A holistic education award for educators

■ The complex challenges of our future cannot be solved without the young people being educated in classrooms today. The Next Education Award is an award that honors educators who provide transformative education that help these future problem-solvers thrive.
■ The world faces a growing number of challenges, such as climate change, widening inequality, geopolitical issues, and more. Solving these difficulties requires many years of continued, collaborative effort, by people equipped with the necessary knowledge, skills, and mindsets. Our aim is to shine a spotlight on the educators who are providing students with an opportunity to develop these facets, and to help spread their educational efforts across the world.
■ The finalists for the award will be able to be a part of the Next Education Award Community, where they can connect with like-minded educators, and judges who are renowned experts in their respective fields.

We look forward to receiving applications from around the world!
Applicants can apply as individuals or as a group.

We look forward to receiving applications from around the world!
Applicants can apply as individuals or as a group.

If you are applying as an individual, or representing an organization, click above.
If you are applying as an individual, or representing an organization, click above.
Please read our privacy policy here.


Tetsuo Goda

Deputy Director-General for Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Cabinet Office – JAPAN

Tetsuo Goda was born in 1970, and joined the Ministry of Education in 1992. He has served as the Director of the High School Education Division of the Fukuoka Prefectural Office of Education, and been in charge of the incorporation of national universities and the revision of the Courses of Study in 2008, as well as serving as a Fellow of the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Planning Officer of the Higher Education Bureau, Director of the Academic Research Grant Division of the Research Promotion Bureau, Director of the Curriculum Division of the Elementary and Secondary Education Bureau, Cabinet Counselor of the Cabinet Secretariat, and as Director of the Finance Division of the Elementary and Secondary Education Bureau, before assuming his current position in July 2021.

He is also a part-time lecturer at Joetsu University of Education and Tohoku University. He is the author of “How to Read and Use the Courses of Study” (Educational Development Institute, 2019), co-author of “The Future of Schools Starts Here” (Educational Development Institute, 2021), and “Media Literacy” (Jiji Press, 2021). His essays include “‘Society 5.0’ as an Idea and Educational Policy” (Journal of Educational System Studies, No. 27, 2020). He has also served as the president of the PTA of Meguro Ward elementary and junior high schools for six years.


Norio Murakami​

Representative Director, Norio Murakami Office Inc.;
Professor, Graduate School of Urban Management, Osaka City University;
Visiting Professor, GLOCOM, International University of Japan;
Visiting Professor, Osaka Institute of Technology;
Counselor, University of Aizu;
and others.
Norio Murakami was born in Saiki City, Oita Prefecture in 1947. After graduating from Saiki Tsurushiro High School, he entered the Faculty of Engineering at Kyoto University. After graduation, he started his career as a system engineer for minicomputers at Hitachi Electronics Co. After Hitachi Electronics withdrew from minicomputers, he transferred to Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) Japan, where he was in charge of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry(MITI, Current METI)5th Generation Computer Project and acquired knowledge in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). From 1986 he worked at DEC’s Artificial Intelligence Technology Center, and after returning to DEC Japan in 1991, he served as Director and General Manager of the Marketing Division.

He joined Google in April 2003 as Vice President of Google’s U.S. headquarters and President of Google Japan, where he was responsible for all Google operations in Japan. He was appointed Honorary Chairman in January 2009 and retired on January 1, 2011 to open his own office, Norio Murakami Office. Currently, he is also an outside director of Mercari, Inc. and director of the Oita AI Technology Center.

Kayoko Kurita

Professor, Graduate School of Education The University of Tokyo;
Deputy Director, Center for Research and Development of Higher Education, The University of Tokyo;
Project Professor, Innovative Learning Creation Studies, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo
Kayoko Kurita was born in Mie Prefecture, and graduated from the University of Tokyo, School of Education. She has also graduated from the Graduate School of Education at the University of Tokyo, and has a PhD. in Education. Her original field of research was psychological statistics, but after being inspired by the curriculum at the graduate school of Carnegie Mellon University, to which she belonged as a researcher, she changed her field of research to quality assurance in Japanese higher education.
After eight years at the National Institution for Academic Degrees and University Evaluation (now the National Institution for Academic Degrees and Quality Enhancement of Higher Education), she moved to the University of Tokyo. She is in charge of the Future Faculty Program at the University of Tokyo, and is active in research areas that contribute to improving the quality of university faculty, including the development of the online course “Interactive Teaching”. She also conducts research on and supports the dissemination of “teaching portfolios”, a method for improving teachers’ education and visualizing their educational performance.

Makiko Nakamuro

Professor, Faculty of Policy Management, Keio University
Makiko Nakamuro graduated from Keio University in 1998, and has a PhD. from Columbia University. After working at the Bank of Japan and other institutions, she was appointed to her current position in 2013. She has been in charge of digital education at the Digital Agency since September 2021. She specializes in the economics of education.
She has served as a member of the Industrial Structure Council, the Council for Regulatory Reform, and other government expert panels. She is the author of “The Economics of Cause and Effect: How to Think Through the Truth from Data” (Diamond Inc., 2017) and “The Economics of Academic Achievement” (Discover Twenty-One, 2015).

Naohiko Hinoda

Musashiono University Chiyoda High School, Head of School
After spending his childhood in Thailand, Naohiko Hinoda returned to Japan and entered Doshisha International Junior and Senior High School, where he received an education that differed from the general education offered in Japan at that time. After graduating from Doshisha University, he joined Mabuchi School and was involved in the launch of Nara Gakuen Tomigaoka Junior and Senior High School in 2008.
In 2002, he was appointed as the principal of Osaka Prefectural Minoh High School as a part of the Osaka Prefectural Government’s open recruitment system and became the youngest (36 years old) principal of a public school in Japan. In 2018, he was appointed as the principal of Musashino University Junior and Senior High School. From 2020, he has served as the head of school for Musashino University Chiyoda Senior High School. He is the author of the book “Why did a public high school with a deviation score of 50 attract the attention of the world’s top universities? (2018, IBC Publishing) (2018, IBC Publishing).

Sota Takagi

Otemon Gakuin Junior High School and High School Exploratory Department Exploratory Designer
Sota Takagi was born in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. After moving to Belgium and Malaysia as a child, he returned to Japan and enrolled at the Canadian Academy. After completing the IB Diploma there, he entered the University of Queensland, Australia.​​ He returned to Japan after completing his master’s degree in education at the same university. In 2015, he was hired by the Osaka Prefectural Board of Education as a Super English Teacher and taught at Osaka Prefectural Minoh High School.
His teaching, which goes far beyond language acquisition, utilizes educational and cultural differences as key learning opportunities, and has achieved remarkable results, including helping students from Japan enter top overseas universities. From 2018, he has been working as a Learning Designer at Taktopia Corporation to promote entrepreneurship education amongst youth, and from 2020, he has been working at Otemon Gakuin Junior and Senior High School in the exploratory learning department, which aims to diversify learning.

Shuhehi Morofuji

Representative Director, Katsuiku Education Foundation
Shuhei Morofuji was born in 1977, and graduated from Kyushu University, Faculty of Economics. He is the Founder of SMS Corporation (Tokyo Stock Exchange, First Section) and led the company’s growth as President and Representative Director for 11 years. In 2014, he founded Reapra Pte. Ltd., where he has formed a team that has successfully launched numerous businesses across Asia. He has also personally invested in and supported many entrepreneurs in their start-up phase, and has a strong interest in human learning and development. He is the Co-founder and Representative Director of Katsuiku Education Foundation and the President of the Unson Foundation.

Application Details


We welcome applications from a wide range of educators who work with preschool/elementary/middle school/high school students. Here are some of the aspects we look for:
Educators who work with children between 3-18 years old. We are looking for a wide range of practices from those who are working with young children/ elementary/ middle school/ high school students.

I: The use of challenges as learning opportunities
We look for practical educational endeavors that are connected to the issues faced by the students in the classroom, and the communities in which the applicant operates.

I: The use of challenges as learning opportunities
We look for practical educational endeavors that are connected to the issues faced by the students in the classroom, and the communities in which the applicant operates.

II:Positive impact on students
We look for practices in which the students’ development is planned, and measured qualitatively and quantitatively.

III: Contribution to the community/society/environment/planet
We look for practices that help improve local communities and society, and/or contribute to the future of the environment and planet.


①:The “Grand Prize Winner” selected in the finals will receive a cash prize of 100,000 yen.
②:The 10 finalists who pass the second round of the competition will have their names, titles, photos, and practices published on this website.
③:Finalists will be covered for round-trip transportation, accommodation, lunch and dinner for the finals event in Itoshima, Fukuoka (in the case of a group application, only one representative will be covered).


Preliminary screening: Written Application
Deadline for recommendations*: Monday, January 17th, 2022.
Deadline for general applications: Monday, January 31st, 2022.
*If you are recommending someone else to apply
Please click the Apply button below and fill out the form to submit your application.
Late February 2022:
Announcement of results for preliminary screening
2nd round:Interviews
A 30 minute online interview will be conducted between February and March 2022
Late March 2022: Announcement of 10 Finalists
Late March 2022:
Announcement of 10 Finalists
May 1st 2022: Finals
Pitches by finalists
Award ceremony and social event
※ If you are applying as a group, the final pitch must be made by one representative of the group.
If you are applying as an individual, or representing an organization, click above.
If you would like to recommend an applicant, please use the button above
* Please read our privacy policy here.

Prize Recipients

“Next Education Award” finals, was held at Ochanomizu Education Plaza on May 1, 2022. 10 finalists who had been selected through the previous rounds of assessment gave their final presentations and this year, two finalists were selected for the Grand Prize with three Honorable Mentions. All 10 finalists gave excellent presentations on their backgrounds and thoughts leading to their educational practices and the judges had a lively discussion to select the recipients. After the recipients were selected, the day concluded with a social event in which the finalists and judges exchanged feedback and ideas.
Group photo of finalists and judges
Ms. Ishikawa and Mr. Oike receiving their Grand prize from the representative of Katsuiku Education Foundation

Two Grand Prize winners

Prize money 100,000 yen and the Grand Prize Cup

Maiko Ishikawa
Kids Code Club Association

Creating a place for children, to learn together.

Junichi Oike
Kurashiki Washu High-school in Okayama

Cultivating the ability to survive in the era of Society 5.0. “Product development practice for overcoming dilemmas”

Three Honorable Mentions winners

Presentation of plaques

Kazuma Ishimori
Window of Aristotle

Online education to build confidence and thinking skills, and to live life on your own terms.

Ken Kuroi
Sapporo Kaisei Secondary School

ANIMADORE(Enhance food and agriculture education in Hokkaido)

Yuko Makino
Iidanishi Junior high school, Nagano

“Think about what you can do for a sustainable society.”


Maiko Ishikawa
Kids Code Club Association

Representative Director.

Creating a place for children, to learn together.

Through our programming courses, we have provided diverse and global IT learning opportunities free of charge to more than 4,000 elementary and junior high school students in total, with the following three goals: ① To provide a place for children to interact, and play ② To provide opportunities to develop 21st century skills and a sense of self-esteem; and ③ To eliminate parents and children’s apprehension towards IT. The “After School Programming Club,” a non-teaching programming class, is held twice a week during after-school hours. It provides a free virtual space where children can create their own products and projects using programming, teach each other, and make presentations to each other freely.

Kazuma Ishimori
Window of Aristotle


Online education to build confidence and thinking skills, and to live life on your own terms.

Window of Aristotle is an interactive online classroom that aims to “nurture people to be themselves in any society”. By interacting with a wide range of questions through dialogue, students develop the ability to think and interact with each other. Students develop these skills through a liberal arts education that covers topics and wisdoms from ancient and modern cultures. In addition, the classroom is managed with a focus on psychological safety which allows students to have respect for others with different backgrounds as well as developing their own self-esteem.

Noriko Inui
Pep Talk Foundation

Public Elementary School Teacher in Osaka. Teaching advisors. Deputy director of Promotion and Education, Pep Talk Foundation. Pep teacher Representative.

“Loving Yourself as You Are: Through Pep Talk Classes”

Do you all love yourselves just the way you are? Are you telling your children that you love them just the way they are? Children are treasures, and we adults who surround them are also treasures. “Pep Talk” is an approach to accepting yourself as you are as well as developing a sense of self-esteem. We share the skills as well as how to embody “Pep Talk” values through our “Pep Class”, to bring smiles to teachers and children across the country. Students learn about positive thinking, how to communicate, and the power of words. We want children and teachers to be able to say that they can be who they are and love themselves just the way they are.

Yoshimi Ueda
Reina Co., Ltd.

Representative Director.

Kodomo Edu International School / Reggio Approach

The Reggio Approach that we implement allows us to begin with each students interests and develop those interests into project learning opportunities. In other words, it is a STEAM*-type project learning that fosters not only cognitive skills but also non-cognitive skills. We believe that learning begins the moment children open the school door, and we have also created a system to nurture non-cognitive skills throughout the day, such as getting ready in the morning and controlling emotions when they are emotional. Our program is characterized by nurturing not only individual skills such as the ability to think and concentrate, but also the ability to interact with others, such as the ability to negotiate and be considerate. (*STEAM S=Science, T=Technology, E=Engineering, A=Art and M=Math)

Junichi Oike
Kurashiki Washu High-school in Okayama


Cultivating the ability to survive in the era of Society 5.0. “Product development practice for overcoming dilemmas”

Product development programs, which are implemented mainly in business-based high schools, tend to be a one-on-one program between a school and a company, and is highly regarded as an education program that fosters creative thinking and action-taking. The “Kojimatching” program implemented at our current school adds to the above basic model by requiring students to collaborate with two or more companies that have different set of values. This will allow students to develop their ability to face dilemmas and unexpected situations which will be required for Society 5.0 and we have named it “Product Development Training to Overcome Dilemmas”. The goal of the program is to foster the above skills and develop regional talent that can survive in a rapidly changing, unpredictable society with diverse set of values.

Hiroshi Osamura
Fukuokafutaba High-school

Chairperson of the Inquiry-Based Cross Disiplinary Study Promotion Committee.

Social Business Practical Project

The aim of this project, in which “SDG’s natives and working adults, team up to launch and implement projects to solve social issues”, is to “change society using the school as a starting point”. With the school as a platform, a structure was created in which students “learn from professionals” and adults “learn from SDG’s natives.” Through these interactions, we discovered social issues that had not previously been brought to light, and together we devised and implemented solutions to these issues. The next step is to involve community members and parents, in the school-initiated community transformation program.

Ken Kuroi
Sapporo Kaisei Secondary School

Teacher. IBDP coordinator.


“ANIMADORE” was established to enhance food and agriculture education in Hokkaido and to develop human resources to revitalize the primary industry. The project began with six participants, and has grown into a food and agriculture education program approved by Sapporo-city with more than 30 high school students participating each year. Experts from a variety of industries will design learning activities based on the theme of:“from planting seeds, to harvest, and to the table,” and participants learn about food and agriculture in a collaborative and exploratory manner for a year. We are dreaming of the day when the word “ANIMADORE” will take on the meaning of new professionals, who can connect producers and consumers, and convey the appeal of agriculture.

Hiroyuki Takada
Higashiyamato Daini Junior High School

Senior researcher.

“Will LEGOs save the earth!?” - Aiming to simultaneously solve global and local issues under the theme of "Natural disaster” -

The two objectives of the practice were set as: ① To learn about SDG’s and aim for a sustainable society from the perspective of “disaster prevention”, utilizing LEGOspike, and; ② To expand the level of communication from individuals to the classroom, society and the world at large and attain the goal of our originally set SDG goal #18 of removing indifferences to social issues. The first half of the project was to learn more about SDG’s from experts from outside of the school, followed by a survey of 100 local residents to understand local issues. In the second half, the issues were analyzed, and “Natural disaster” was selected as the most urgent issue. After further visits to companies and exchange classes with the University of Fukui, the students created a sustainable city with LEGOs. After the presentation, the results of the study on disasters were also presented to Nepalese students with whom we have been in contact for 1 year since disasters were a theme that the two countries shared in common.

Yuko Makino
Iidanishi Junior high school, Nagano

Home economics Teacher.

“Think about what you can do for a sustainable society.”

The study of “Consumerism and the Environment” was the subject matter. The curriculum starts with students learning about the issues of their own consumption behavior, and the environmental problems that surround them, and the curriculum developed to thinking about how to solve these issues. The curriculum proceeded as follows: ① Establish learning themes that will accomplish the task. ② Set up opportunities to become aware of one’s position and responsibilities. ③ Accumulate learning records through subjects. ④ Use learned key concepts. ⑤ Collaboration with local government officials, etc. ⑥ Create and develop a Japanese “SUGOROKU” dice game, titled “Summary of study of consumer life and the environment”.

Yusuke Yamauchi
Nitobe Bunka Gakuen

Project designer/VIVISTOP NITOBE chief crew.

“Create a place in a school that is not like a school.”

Nitobe Bunka Gakuen’s creative learning space, VIVISTOP NITOBE, is working on updating the classroom as well as afterschool programs under the concept of “breaking down the boundaries of classrooms, subjects, grades while having teachers and students create and learn together”. This learning space is open to the community on Saturdays. By transcending the boundaries of the school and adding the function of a co-creation center for the regional community, we aim to create a society based on conviviality. Working together with adults who have made a living out of things that they “love”, my role is to support children and develop new ideas together.


There is no maximum age limit. The minimum age is 20 years of age at the time of application.

Yes. Anyone can apply as long as they are working with students from preschool to high school level.
Yes. If you are applying as a group, please enter the name of the group as well as the name of the representative on the application form. One representative will be asked to attend the interview and the final pitch.
There is no minimum required years of experience as long as the application meets the criteria written in the Application Details section. New initiatives will not be at a disadvantage. Also, the three criteria (I~III) need not be met to the same degree.
We understand that for some educational practices, measuring impact both qualitatively and quantitatively can be difficult. Even if you are not able to measure impact currently, you can apply if you have the intention and a clear plan on how to measure impact, for example, through questionnaires or other means.
You can apply regardless of the scale of your achievements. We welcome all applications that have a positive impact for young people and future society.
Yes, as long as you have permission from that organization.
The Katsuiku Education Foundation will contact the person you have recommended. If the applicant agrees to apply for the award, we will share the application form and ask them to fill it in and apply by Monday, January 31, 2022.
Please be sure to use the application form to apply, and the contact form to ask questions about your application. Please note that we cannot accept applications or questions through other means.
Results will be sent to first round applicants via email. If you are selected for the second round, we will send you an email with details on the interview.

You will be featured on the Next Education Award website with a profile of your teaching/project. Finalists will also be invited to attend the finals, where their transportation to and from the venue, one night of accommodation, and lunch/dinner for the event will be covered. (For those applying from abroad, there will be a maximum limit set for transportation costs being covered)

You must be able to attend the entire finals event to be eligible to apply.

This award covers transportation to and from the venue, one night’s accommodation, and food and beverage for lunch and dinner. (For those applying from abroad, there will be a maximum limit set for transportation costs being covered)

Yes, but please keep in mind that you will have to pay for transportation, accommodation, and other expenses of anyone other than the representative who will be pitching at the finals.
At the moment, we are planning to have 10 finalists.
There will be no live coverage of the event. We intend to send an edited video of the day’s events to those who wish to view it at a later date. Details will be posted on the website as soon as they are finalized.
The finals will be held at a venue in Itoshima, Fukuoka. *This is subject to change depending on developments around COVID and/or other unforeseen circumstances.
If you have any questions not covered in the FAQ, please contact us below.
Organizer:Katsuiku Education Foundation