The history of the College of Psychology can be traced back to the foundation of a normal school in 1872. This school developed and turned out many talented persons in Japan's educational world, changing its name to the Tokyo Normal School, then the Higher Normal School and eventually the Tokyo Higher Normal School. In 1929, the Tokyo University of Science and Literature was founded on the base of the Higher Normal School. An education faculty with pedagogy and psychology specialties was established at this university. Led by the education faculty, theoretical and practical research on education was carried out. The Education Faculty of the Tokyo University of Education inherited this history after the war. Initially, the faculty had three courses: Education, Psychology and Arts. A special education course was later added to the faculty. A graduate school of educational study was also established soon afterward. The new establishment took on and evolved the pre-war tradition of developing human resources for the educational world and pursuing theoretical and practical research on education.
With the great changes in Japanese society that took place at the end of the 1960s, however, there arose a need to take a comprehensive view of humanity and education from a wider perspective. As for human resources development, the need also arose for people who could take an active part not only in school education but also in the world of various professions concerned with humanity. In response to these calls, the University of Tsukuba was opened in 1973. A new institution was set up at the University of Tsukuba by reorganizing the Education, Psychology and Special Education courses at the Education Faculty of the Tokyo University of Education to form the College of Human Sciences. The first students were enrolled in April 1975. The College of Human Sciences has been committed to fostering people who can deeply understand the multiple faces of humanity and contribute to human development and character formation. We have been engaged in this task over the past 30 years, during which we have crossed over from the 20th century to the 21st.
With the advent of the 21st century, Japanese society is again in the midst of great changes. The national universities are no exception, and many of these educational institutions are currently tackling various reforms. Originally, the University of Tsukuba set up a unique educational system that was comparable to a faculty at other universities and featuring the first, second and third clusters of colleges with both humanities and sciences courses designed to provide a type of education that combined the two academic disciplines. With advances in academic studies and changes in social needs for university education, however, new colleges were born and it became difficult to clearly define the integrated educational goals and the profiles of human resources to be developed in terms of the clusters of colleges. In fiscal 2007, we therefore reorganized the first, second and third clusters of colleges as well the School of Library and Information Science. In addition to the existing School of Health and Physical Education and the School of Art and Design, seven new schools were subsequently born, including the School of Human Sciences. They are the School of Humanities and Culture, the School of Social and International Studies, the School of Life and Environmental Sciences, the School of Science and Engineering, the School of Informatics, and the School of Medicine and Medical Sciences.
The College of Psychology, the School of Human Sciences (50 students enrolled) was established as a college mainly providing a specialization in psychology, embracing a wide area of research in psychology from basics to applications. The School of Human Sciences comprises the College of Education (35 students enrolled) that specializes in education and the College of Disability Sciences (35 students enrolled) that specializes in mental and physical handicaps. The three colleges aim to advance education to foster human development and character formation through alliances.
Psychology is the science of the mind and behavior. Born in the late 1800s, it now has research areas and methods so diversified that they cannot be covered by a single psychologist. In Japan, there are more than 50 academic societies concerned with psychology. With an increase in the number of people who are interested in mental problems and counseling, there are currently many universities where one can study psychology. However, the College of Psychology at University of Tsukuba is the only one that allows one to study, under more than 20 dedicated teaching staff, almost all areas of psychology from basic research on the brain and behavior to developmental clinics and practical research on counseling.
Some of the curriculums for the College of Psychology are common and others are specific to five study areas: experimental psychology, educational psychology, developmental psychology, social psychology, and clinical psychology.
Common subjects are designed to enable students to acquire the basic knowledge of psychology in general, statistics and methodologies for experimental and practical training. Graduation study scheduled for the fourth year is intended to be the fruit of education at the College of Psychology.
In the area of experimental psychology, you can study interesting phenomena and mechanisms of senses such as vision, hearing and smell, and of perceptions; the commonalities and differences between the minds of man and animals; and the mechanisms of the brain and hormones related to learning, memory, emotion, motivation and stress.
In the area of educational psychology, you can study the processes by which people teach each other and learn from each other, especially the socio-cultural functions of language that supports learning, the basic mechanisms of phenomena associated with memory and perception, as well as the development and change of human abilities through a learning process and statistical methods to measure changes in the characteristics and mental abilities.
Developmental psychology is broadly divided into areas concerned with infancy, childhood, puberty, youth and senescence according to the target ages. In some cases, however, it is comprehensively aimed at lifelong human development. Developmental psychology may be designated a research approach, in that development is a temporal change. It is therefore possible to understand the human mind in terms of the development of cognition or emotion. Developmental clinical psychology seeks to understand and take care of various problems with the parent-child relationship and children's development.
Social psychology aims to understand the relationship between individuals and society from the aspect of the workings of the mind. In this area of psychology, you can study the influence of a group on an individual's behavior and mind; the psychology of interpersonal relations; mental biases by race and sex; human behavior during a disaster; the influence of the mass media; and the pathological aspects of social behavior like aggression.
In the area of clinical psychology, you will study the basic theory and clinical method and also analyze stress-related problems and the well-being of the mind and body of an individual and a group from a psychological viewpoint. It is also possible to study the theory of personality and pathology as well as the theory and techniques that support counseling, and the relationship between brain damage and abnormality of cognition and emotion.
As mentioned above, students at the College of Psychology can study various approaches to the mind and behavior according to their individual interests and concerns. We give many lectures and seminars, even to small groups of students. Since multiple classes are held in the same periods and on the same day of the week, you might have a difficult time deciding on what to take after enrollment.
The College of Psychology at the School of Human Sciences has close connections with other educational organizations. The College of Education and the College of Disability Sciences, which belong to the same School of Human Sciences, are closely related, since it is easy for students enrolled to take classes from other colleges.
All of the full-time faculty members at the College of Psychology belong to psychology-affiliated organizations. Some of them teach doctoral courses at the Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences. In particular, the teaching staff at the College of Psychology are engaged in education and research training for graduate students specializing in Psychology, Kansei, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, and Human-Care Sciences. The graduate school is designated as a Class 1 educational institution for students specializing in Human-Care Sciences to obtain qualifications as clinical psychologists. The teaching staff is also involved in education and research training for graduate students specializing in counseling and school leadership development under the Masters Program in Education. The Tokyo campus offers evening Masters courses in counseling for students with current jobs.