Keynote Speaker (2)
Professor Jeffrey Trambley
Faculty of International Communication
Musashino Gakuin University, Japan
Introduction of Prof. Jeffrey Trambley
Jeffrey Trambley is a professor at the Faculty of International Communication of Musashino Gakuin University in Japan and at the institution’s graduate school program. Originally from Minnesota in the USA, he began his EFL career teaching in the Czech Republic at the secondary school level. In Japan since 1997, he first spent 2 years as an Assistant English Teacher (AET) for the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan on the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Programme in Fukushima Prefecture before moving to Tokyo to complete his Master’s degree at the Tokyo College of Music.
He has taught at universities in the Tokyo area since 2002. His research interests span a variety of disciplines including EFL reading assessment methods, student motivation, gender bias in testing, and ICT usage. Currently, his research efforts focus on Olympic Education (OE) and the role of higher education in the Olympic Movement as well as how educational institutions can promote inclusion and diversity. He hopes his research will ensure that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics will provide lasting educational benefits extending far beyond 2020.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Mascots in the Context of the Olympic Education Program
The 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games are viewed as a catalyst of change seen not only in the landscape and infrastructure of the host city, Tokyo, but also felt deeply in the hearts and minds of the Japanese people and the international community. As Tokyo enters the final countdown to the Games over the next 2 years, the carefully laid plans are finally coming into a clearer view.
In this keynote speech, I will focus on the context of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Education program and its use of the official mascots as an educational tool. The use of mascots in the Olympic Games has expanded greatly since the first mascot was designed for the Grenoble Winter Olympic Games in 1968 and as many researchers have indicated, they now serve as part of the enduring legacy of the Games (Davou, Thwaites & Chadwick, 2008). In the context of the Olympic Education (OE) program for the Tokyo 2020 Games, one of the integral components has been the Olympic mascot, beginning with the design contest in May 2017, continuing with the voting process from three final candidates conducted by nearly 16,700 elementary schools across Japan and abroad, and culminating in July 2018 when the mascot names, Miraitowa and Someity, were publicly announced. From the onset, the importance of the mascots’ multiple roles was highlighted: welcoming athletes and visitors from overseas, exciting children and fans, and communicating the Values of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 (The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympics and Paralympic Games, 2017). This keynote speech will outline how the mascots have thus far been employed in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Education (OE) program and whether the mascots, through their individual character profiles and design components, are successfully embodying the Tokyo 2020 Olympic core concepts of “Achieving Personal Best, Unity in Diversity and Connecting to Tomorrow” (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (Japan), 2016).