Dr. Jason Goulah Speaks on Soka Education in Toronto
By Paul Sherman, Toronto
Dr. Goulah lecturing at the University of Guelph-Humber
On November 21, Dr. Jason Goulah, Associate Professor at DePaul University, Chicago, recently visited Toronto to deliver two presentations about his scholarly research on Soka Education and Daisaku Ikeda studies.
At the invitation of the University of Guelph-Humber, Dr. Goulah provided the inaugural annual lecture of the university’s Soka Education Research Initiative on Global Citizenship (SERI-GC). The project, funded by the Makiguchi Foundation for Education, is directed by Dr. Paul Sherman, who works at the university as Head of the Family and Community Social Services program.
SERI-GC’s mission is to conduct research and disseminate knowledge on the philosophy and practices of Soka education, with an emphasis on global citizenship. The initiative provides selected undergraduate students and faculty an opportunity to develop scholarship that will contribute to local and international discourse on Soka education and its practical application for educational settings. There are currently over 40 institutes and initiatives around the world that study Soka education, including those in Argentina, China, Denmark, Japan, and the United States. SERI-GC is the first such initiative to be established in Canada.
During his visit to Guelph-Humber Dr. Goulah met with the SERI-GC members and with the university’s Vice Provost, Dr. John Walsh and Assistant Vice Provost, Dr. George Bragues, who with Paul Sherman, recently returned from Japan after visiting Soka University and Kansai Soka High School, and meeting with representatives from Soka Gakkai International. The highlight of Dr. Goulah’s visit to Guelph-Humber was a well-received lecture on “The Role of Dialogue in Soka Education” to approximately 90 students, staff and faculty at the university.
Following Dr. Goulah’s activities at Guelph-Humber, he gave a somewhat less academic, but no less highly educational, presentation on the history and conceptualization of Soka education to SGI members at the SGI Canada Culture Centre in Toronto.
Dr. Goulah said that there is a growing global scholarly interest in Soka education and it will be increasingly important for academics to elucidate a fuller appreciation for how, based on his mentors’ original concepts of value-creation, SGI President Ikeda’s vision of Soka education can best be understood by both educators and lay persons. Dr. Goulah’s work at DePaul is focused on this objective, and speaking highly of the pioneering efforts in this regard of the work being done in Canada, he expressed a sincere expectation for future collaborative projects with Canadian scholars who are conducting research on Soka education and Ikeda studies.