From a perspective of moral education, this study has examined the experiences of a group of college students who volunteered in disaster areas after the magnitude 9.0 Earthquake, which struck the Northeastern region of Japan in March, 2011. The research, utilizing the method of grounded theory, has uncovered that most of the students have gone through positive changes in their development of moral and social characters, such as attaining deeper sense of empathy and caring personalities. The study expresses, in identifying the nature of those transformations, that the importance of volunteer work should strongly be recognized by the colleges and universities in Japan, in fulfilling their public responsibility of creating and building learning communities that are responsible and caring.
This paper explores the use of project work in a content-based instruction in a Rajabhat University, Thailand. The use of project is to promote kinds of learning expected of student teachers as stated by Thailand Quality Framework: TQF. The kinds of learning are grouped into five domains: Ethical and moral development, knowledge, cognitive skill, interpersonal skills and responsibility, and analytical and communication skills. The content taught in class is used to lead the student teachers to relate their previously-acquired linguistic knowledge to meaningful realizations of the language system in passages of immediate relevance to their professional interests, teaching methods in particular. Two research questions are formulate to guide this study: 1) To what degree are the five domains of learning expected of student teachers after the use of project in a content class?, and 2) What is the academic achievement of the students’ writing skills, as part of the learning domains stated by TQF, against the 70% attainment target after the use of project to enhance the skill? The sample of the study comprised of 38 fourth-year English major students. The data was collected by means of a summative achievement test, student writing works, an observation checklist, and project diary. The scores in the summative achievement test were analyzed by mean score, standard deviation, and t-test. Project diary serves as students’ record of the language acquired during the project. List of structures and vocabulary noted in the diary has shown students’ ability to attend to, recognize, and focus on meaningful patterns of language forms.