Soka Education Conference

Soka Education Conference

The Soka Education Conference is an annual student-run, student-initiated conference. Open to all, the conference stands as a venue for all interested to explore and ponder the values and ideas of Soka Education. Each year the Soka Education Student Research Project (SESRP) invites a diverse array of people, from current SUA students, alumni, educators from various backgrounds, and community members to contribute to the discussion and offer their insight and knowledge. Throughout the conference, presenters will share their studies, experiences, and applications of Soka Education Pedagogy and humanistic education in traditional and non-traditional spheres.

2018 Soka Education Conference: 14th Annual Conference

On February 17 and 18, 2018, Soka University of America’s Soka Education Student Research Project (SESRP) will host their 14th annual Soka Education Conference. The conference will be held in Pauling 216 on February 17, Saturday, 9:30am–5:30pm, and on February 18, Sunday, 12:00pm–5:30pm. This year’s theme is Cultivating Civic Engagement through Value-Creation Pedagogy. The Soka Education Conference is an annual event held by the undergraduate students of Soka University of America aiming to promote dialogue and discussion on the application of Soka Education pedagogy and humanistic education in traditional and non-traditional spheres. The conference is open to the community, and admission is free.

This year’s coordinators are pleased to offer a forum where scholars, educators, and community members engage in dialogue. The conference will be a platform to discuss topics relevant to the theme such as community-building, social justice through education, and the application of value-creation pedagogy in various countries.  

SESRP is excited to present this year's keynote speaker, Dr. Ceasar L. McDowell, professor of the Practice of Civic Design at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His current work is on the design of civic infrastructures and processes to connect the increasingly demographically complex public. His research and teaching interests include the use of social media and technology in promoting democracy and community-building, the education of urban students, the development and use of empathy, civil rights history, peacemaking and conflict resolution. His approach to building inclusive communities and designing new spaces for dialogue will offer invaluable insights to our conference. His contributions to creating peace in local communities deeply resonate with the conference theme and the core values of Soka Education.

Complementing the keynote speaker, SESRP will have a diverse selection of speakers, a panel discussion, and workshops by current Soka University students, alumni, graduate students, and researchers from all over the world. A few titles of this year’s presentations include: “Inspiring Educators: The Heart of Value Creating Education,” “Teacher Education as Civic Engagement: Rethinking What It Means to be a Good Teacher,” “Seeking the Meaning of Global Citizenship: Findings from Case Study Research of Soka University of Japan.” For more information, please contact or visit our Facebook page.

The Program of the 14th Soka Education Conference

Word document of the program is available here.

This year's conference booklet where the more details about the presenters, panelists, and presentations are available has just published as well. Pleas click here or find it on our booklets page. 

 Day 1: Saturday February 17’2018





Opening Words

Bryan Penprase


Introduction to SESRP



Can We Teach Our Students to Be Happy? An Analysis on Happiness and Education in Sōka Inspired Schools in Japan and the USA

Viviane Vallerand


The Heart of Value Creating Education: Inspiring Educators!

Vandana Jain




Representation of Women at Soka Women’s College: Discourse Analysis

Nozomi Inukai


Seeking the Meaning of Global Citizenship: Findings from Case Study Research of Soka University of Japan

Paul Sherman


Poster Session

Cultivating Civic Engagement through Value-Creation Pedagogy

Kamalika Bose

Disarmament Education and Value Creation: A Transformative Approach

Anna Ikeda

Value-Creative Dialogues for Creating Social Justice

Maya Gunaseharan

The practical implementation of Global Citizenship and Value-Creation pedagogy in a bilingual setting

Thomas Binns

Associating as a Model of Civic Engagement

Melanie Reiser & Jessica Bridges


Teacher Education as Civic Engagement: Rethinking What It Means to be a Good Teacher

Michio Okamura

Nozomi Inukai


Keynote Presentation

Ceasar McDowell


Closing Words


 Day 2: Sunday February 18’2018





Opening Words

Hyon Moon


Applying Makigiuchi’s Value Creating Pedagogy Towards Reducing Social Isolation in Schools and Increasing Humanistic Leadership in Civil Society

Gail Thomas

Malena Baizan

Hinako Irei


Implementing Principles of Transformative Value-Creating Global Citizenship Education into University Curricula – Fostering Civic Engaged, Social Responsible and Competent Learners

Emiliano Bosio





Storytelling for Change (Pauling 407)

Recipe for building sustainable programs that support STEM equity (Pauling 416)

#SAVEOURGIRLS (Pauling 216)

Hopeful Imagination (Lion’s Den)

Soka Education 101 (Pauling 439)

Wula Dawson

Daniel Figueroa

Menelik Tafari,




The Philosophy of Soka Education and its Impact on Pedagogy in Brazil

Hidemi Sato


Panel Discussion: School Inovation & Iteration


David Carr,

Ebony McCaskill,

Nanneta Okonkwo,

Dylan Porter,

Jamila Revill,

Sarah Rice


Menelik Tafari


Adaptive and Resonant Leadership for Social Justice: The Role of Leadership for Social Change – An Exploratory Case Study of the School of Public Health Professor Makiguchi

Junior Menezes


Closing Words

Jay Heffron


Thank you everyone for your continuous support of SESRP and the conference. The dates of the 14th Annual Soka Education Conference are on February 17-18, 2018This is a great opportunity for everyone to present their research at an academic conference and learn more about Soka Education Pedagogy in the process. We have our Facebook page, please make sure to join this page in order to get most up-to-date information!!

You can watch the LIVE STREAMING of this year's conference here

PST. If you have any questions regarding the proposals, Soka Education, or the conference, please do not hesitate to contact us at

Soka Education