I am Masato Tahara. I was a student of Biophysics in Waseda University in Japan. My resarch goal was to reveal how multicellular body is self-organized from intercellular communication. I theoretically proposed the mechanism of Cellular communication and aggregation of Slime Mold, dictyostelium.
However I had to quit in middle of Ph.D. due to personal troubles and ended up becoming a Physics teachers in a private tuition center instead.
Giving up being a researcher was exhilaratingly difficult for me and was also the starting point of troubles which turned my life chaotic for the next 5 years.
When I accepted the new reality which I had received, there was a presence of a new future. According to U theory, that is a “U process”. I was able to get a new mindset.
I decided to live as an educator and developed an original teaching method of Physics called the Tahara’s method. Tahara’s method has helped many high school level students so I established an e-learning company in 2004.
I made video lectures and an LMS to help students who want to study with Tahara’s method and also started challenging new methods of online teaching.
All my studies of self-organization helped me spread out Tahara’s method because the internet itself a self-organized process like the ecosystem and fortunately Tahara’s method became popular enabling me to publish 10 books in these 10 years.
The next large changing wave came with the big earthquake in 2011. It made me jump out of my comfortable shelter and seek information about nuclear power station accident and the involvement of politics in it. In my journey for learning, I ended up finding many contradictory aspects of society including the educational system.
This shocking experience again brought a big change to my mindset. I started to seek out other educational styles to be able to build a much more open and flat society based on freedom.
In 2012, I found flipped class method. This method possessed the possibility to make students more active and free. In a flipped classroom, teacher’s roll changes from teaching to coaching or facillitating.
Power structure in the classroom changes from hierarchy to flat which enables students to try and learn everything by themselves.
I created a small Facebook group named “Flipped Classroom Study Group” and began online learning meetings. This FB group now has 3800 members.
Many collective wisdom emerges in online communities through a self-organized process.
When I was looking for an effective method to promote self-organized process in our community, I found World Cafe in 2013.
I then joined Amy Lenzo’s online course “Hosting World Cafes:The Fundamentals” and studied the theoretical background and the skill of hosting a World Cafe.
This course created a road in front of me. We have organized a lot of online study meetings and workshops. The online dialogues have changed our mindsets to become more positive and active.
We gradually understood how to co-create our future and how to transform society with dialogues.
In 2016, I co-hosted a hybrid online facilitation session in IAF Taiwan conference with Kazuaki Katori and Amy Lenzo. 26 participants joined real session in Taiwan and 15 participants joined Zoom room from Japan, USA, Belgium etc. I shared my learning journey with participants.
I think international collaborative learning can change our mindset drastically and create new type of community in cyber space.
In 2017, I became a FLGI(Flipped Learning Global Initiative) ambasador. Jon Bergmann and I had a workshop in Japan, where we talked about paradigm shift of education. → FLGI
Our team and I set up new company, SOI(Self-Organizing Inc) in Japan in 22th February 2018 to promote self-organization in education and organization. → SOI