Work That Reconnect: Deep Time Journal 原稿 RE: Program

RE: Connecting Juniors to the Idea of Human Rights and the World

-Anti-bullying Program for Junior High in Himeji City, Japan




1. Background: Networks of Facilitators

2. Anti-bullying Program: RE: Program

3. Who developed RE: Program? survival 13:

4. What’s next and their challenges

5. Barriers and Our Challenges: Cultural Aspects of Japan

1. Backgrounds: Networks of Facilitators

ERIC is a Japanese organization active in the education and training for facilitators of international understanding education since 1989, based in Tokyo, one of the pioneers of participatory approach of teaching and learning in Japan. It has developed into networks with facilitators and leaders in the areas such as environmental education, human right education and development education.

ERIC stands as abbreviation of International Education Resources and Innovation Center. Coincidently, it stands for steps of experiential learning: Experience, Reflect, Interpret and Connect. We have thought “challenge” or “change” for “C”, but connecting what you have learned to the real world and everyday seemed more important than anything else as application into action. I was so happy to learn about “Work that Reconnect” because of this abbreviation. “C” connected us more to WTR network and reminded me of reconnecting.

The program I am going to introduce is “RE:”, again, the name follows this happy coincidence. RE: stands for many meanings, including Rights Education, and it is a program to teach human rights to end bullying in junior high schools, by re-directing the energy of young people from poison to medicine, so to say.

I have reported their program and booklet in my blog, if you can read Japanese.

This program is a fruit of facilitators’ network in Kansai area, with whom ERIC has ad been working together to give “TEST”, Teachers and Trainers’ Effective Skills Training, two day seminar every year, since 2003.

2. Anti-bullying Program: RE: Program

The development of RE: program started in 2012, when KARALIN received a phone call from Himeji City’s Board of Education, asking for anti-bullying program for Junior High Freshman from April 2013. Their plan was to cover all 35 schools in their city, with three different programs, provided by different groups and organizations.

When KARALIN got this telephone, the numbers of program to be delivered looked too much for one organization to cover. So, they turned to their network for supports.

Six organizations formed a committee called “Survival 13” in January, 2013, and started developing a participatory workshop program for junior high students and training for facilitators. 13 is how old they are and the core member of this committee are ten, who’d attend all the workshops as main or co facilitators, to ensure the quality.

This year is the forth year of delivering the program to the Himeji City’s junior high schools. And it has been extended to other areas, too.

Outline of RE: Program

1. Introduction of RE: Program and what RE stands for;

R=rights, resilience, respect,

E=empowerment, emotion

R+E=RE:=regarding, in reference to, responding to, reply

2. Draw a picture from narrative. How do you comprehend the explanation and put it to the drawing? Compare in a pair. Are they the same? Or different?

3. Everyone is different and have the right to be treated as “a” person, different from the others.

4. Let’s hear your feelings. What are feelings that you don’t want to have? What are the feelings that you feel unfairly treated?

5. Discuss the feelings you’d have when you are not treated as a person with dignity.

6. Let’s share IJIME STOP Card. Hand out to each.

7. Now share a story of “Haruta”, a 13 year-old boy, how he felt in a day. When he felt “harmed” or “mal-treated”, what did he do?

8. When a poisonous arrow is triggered to a person, he/she will trigger another to others. And so on. Chains of triggering poisoned arrows. Where does it end?

9. Who is the person who would not trigger an arrow to others? Who cannot shoot an arrow against anybody?

10. What will happen to a classroom where everybody shoot arrows to each others and these arrows ends where it is most vulnerable?

11. Can you think of the loss as a class with such situation?

12. What can you do to change this situation?

At the stage 6, they pass out “IJIME STOP Card” to each student.

IJIME STOP Card has the following contents:

1. Front page: Survival Note to lessen Bullying

2. How do you feel, now? How do you detoxicate the poisonous arrows at you? Other than shooting at others?

3.&4. About “ME”: Characters into Strengths

5. Sexuality is diverse. Using some words about minor sexuality could be bullying, even if you don’t take it seriously.

6. Definition of “Ijime”=Bullying and general reactions

7. Record the evidences

8. Where to get supports

9. Convention on the Rights of the Child

The messages RE: program wishes to deliver young peopel are:

1. Let students know about the Convention on the Rights of the Child

2. Importance of each individuals as unique and unreplaceble being

3. Each one of you are members of this class and each constitutes the class as a community.

4. Each one of you are valued and could contribute to build the class as a place where we live and learn.

5. Bullying does not end as personal affairs, but actually conforms the structure of the community.

3. Who developed RE: Program? survival 13:

So much work and wishes had been put into this program from each member organization’s background. In this sense, RE: Program reconnected works of human rights, gender, anti child abuse, sexuality and so on.

Some of these facilitators share the backgrounds of working as CAP facilitators from the middle of 1990’s. Typical CAP workshops consist of child workshop, teacher’s workshop and parents workshop. Three facilitators play a scenario for child workshop, which shows that it is children’s right to say “No” to what they feel pushed, embarrassed, harassed and bullied and it is a right thing to do to “Go” and “Tell” someone to help them.

RE: Program is carried out by two co-facilitators, using a set scenario, but not a play like style of CAP, Child Assault Prevention. Since RE: Program is delivered to junior high students, just reading a scenario will be enough for provoking their reflection. But to have two facilitators is important to have more eyes to observe and know how students react, also to keep the quality of each workshop.

For that, one of the facilitators must be a member of survival 13, who developed the program. 13 meaning the junior high school age. There are 10 members.

Here is the profile of “survival 13”, quoted from “We Have Dream Booklet 6”.

RE: member organizations

Non Profit Organization Empowerment Sakai

We respect the rights of children, acknowledge diversity of each others and hope the society without violence will come true, and for that end, are contributing to build local communities where children and adults are safe and secure as the way they are. Our main activity is to give programs on human right, sexuality and diversity to children at school for their empowerment. We carry messages to each child that “There is nobody who could be hurt.” All our programs are child-right centered.

Facilitator’s LABO

Gender, human rights, assertion, conflict resolutions and communication are the main theme of the workshops, programs and facility trainings. Personal office of a free-lance facility, Atsuko Kurimoto. By creating workshop setting where everyone is empowered and treated equally, honest dialogue there could lead to our learning toward actions for more sustainable and better society for all.

Non Profit Organization SEAN

Our mission is to realize “society where each one’s reason to be is recognized and treated meaningfully”, regardless of sex, age, challenges, wealth. It was established as nursing support group in 1997. Now it has grown to give lessons to schools and human rights workshops on “gender and violence” and also runs a Day House on the Corner. Publish research reports and textbooks on gender awareness.

Non Profit Organization KARALIN

What we want to realize from the bottom of our heart is a society where diversity is respected adults and children, women and men are equal partners, neither side is superior to others, and solve problems without violence, respecting each others life and spirits. We are helping each others to do what we want to do, to take initiative and to refresh. We welcome more members to come! Together with you! From now, from here!


Jinken Gakushu Juku (Human Right Learning School)

A series of seminars started in 1998 on human rights with participatory approach method. It is managed autonomously by participants who want to learn about human right, who her/himself is a planer for human rights workshops, who wants to brush up facilitors’ skills. Whoever learned and studied about human right’s issues and perspectives would help expand the learning of the others, not anyone person being an authority or experts. How can we maintain such learning? Our challenge.

You can contact us via Yao City’s Human Rights Association.

General Foundation Yao City’s Human Rights Association

As a general foundation established by the city, we cooperate with human rights promotion policies and enforcement and contribute to build humane society. Three main ideas for our activities: enlighten, connect and support. We develop and provide educational programs and teaching materials for the enlightenment. We build partnership with city’s municipality and private enterprises. We support people with challenges for their self help and self-actualization and organizations which help them.


4. What’s next and their challenges

Members of survival 13 have promoted the program to other cities in Osaka Prefecture.

Schools are more or less very closed community. Some aspects of bullying derive from such closedness. Therefore, to reconnect children to the wider world where universal human rights are respected and where diverse people are trying to live together will widen the children’s view and extend them to see the connection of lives on Earth and their existence and contribution as life.

Someone from outside could blow fresh air which enable children to breath more freely. And to live with more diverse connections will enable, also, more freedom of choice for their lives. Reconnecting children to the life and the world. That’s what RE: Program aims.

The challenge is that even if they give trainings to become RE: Program facilitators, two days workshops, not everyone trained could serve for the program. Also, their co-facilitation policy, one must be a member of survival 13, cast some limits to growth.

The members felt that some facilitators were too much into gender issue when they convey questions and answers with students. Bullying can be seen from many aspects and to keep the RE: Program’s originality, to try to understand the structural mechanism of bullying and therefore to overcome bullying takes community to combat, not only the personal problem resolutions for being bullied and bullyers. Bullyers also are under stresss of structural mechanism.

So the next challenge is how to involve adults at school. How to open their eyes for the culture of bullying and its structure is the next step. The culture of school for cooperation and problem-solving must be embedded.

This year they have given a workshop to adults so that they could take “whole school approach” to humane community building. This program needs to be completed and planed for good delivery.

With all members, tied with their own organizational commitment and responsibility, their challenge is to keep their dreams and to go forward.

5. Barriers and Our Challenges: Cultural Aspects of Japan

As a network of facilitators of Human Rights education, we face the same barriers in Japanese society. These barriers work also against the anti-bullying workshop as well as human rights promotion. At our annual workshop together we have analyzed and learned about the difficulties and shared our experiences. Let me share some of them.

ERIC first introduced participatory approaches to teaching and learning to Japan, translating "World Studies", developed by UK development education network in 1989. Both international education and development education were trendy at that time. World Studies is learner-centered, activity-based program to teach about the international situation of interconnectedness, North and South problem, gender, racism and limits to development.

Participatory approaches was also common to the environmental education, which ERIC translated PLT in 1992.

It was in 1996 to 1997 when ERIC and Satoko Nozawa, a specialist on cooperative negotiation, started a study group for Japanese style conflict, thinking that something is not working when we both trained CR and CN to the Japanese audiences. I myself had an experience of being told "this is impossible", when I introduced 12 rights of assertion and such negative reactions to CR and assertion trainings. Why is it?

The group started with monthly meetings to share examples of conflicts to which neither CR nor CN work and found "Japanese Conflicts" to name it.

"Japanese Conflicts" are the conflicts between a person who believes that she/he is representing the shared values of the community and a person who belongs to the same community but insists on her/his own values.

Even if you assertively communicate with "I message", you will not be able to convince nor divert her/his opinion, since it is "their" community's common value to pass on to the next generation! You are the one who has to be educated and socialized by their good discipline.

Why conflict resolution does not work is obvious. CR and CN stand on individual, while Japanese conflicts take place between a group or a community and an individual.

We further acknowledged aspects of Japanese culture which undermine CR and CN, from the study by Geert Hofsted "Cultures and Organizations". They have listed 5 index to compare cultures and we have picked three of them to work against culture of CR; collectivism, big sense for power distance and uncertainty avoidance.

Let me explain why these three traits work against CR.

1. Because of collectivism, people's value system is "Kanjin shugi", a term named by Jifuji Misumi, a Japanese sociologist, community-based. People act according to the values of communities, therefore there is no consistency. When people are at human right education, they act humanely, but it does not assure that they act accordingly in other place nor they'd advocate it.

Tosio Yamagishi points out that the Japanese choose to stay "Mind-at-ease Society" than "Trust-based Society". In a community where people are aquaintance to each other and share the same values, people feel at ease. But they cannot trust strangers, because they don't believe in universal values that people could share and act upon. Values are what one community share within themselves, not with others.

2. Japanese have larger sense of power distance comperatively, according to Hofsted. Power could be enforced when the community agree to it. Power could be applied when people around admit it. Because of the power distance, the higher could have bigger power to override others. If you speak against him/her, you will be retaliated in other scene and the people in the same community will accept such abuse of power, because of their sense of power distance.

Asao Naitou calls it "group order first", where structural power relationship forces people obey slavishly.

3. Uncertainty avoidance leads communities to stay as they are, stick to precedentism and avoid risk-taking. Therefore whoever propose for changes and corrections would be seen as disturbance.

ESD, education for sustainable development is an education for values. That sustainability is importance, that we are responsible for building fair and just society, including future generation, and that we should respect cultural diversity. These are set values on which we build our common future. How can we educate people who only share values according to TPO?

Even today, Japanese society go after what's trendy in the world and try to catch up with it. SD is a fashion. So, some people argue how to make SD fashionable and attractive. But a fashion will go away, soon forgotten. Unless you build sure values within you, to act autonomously, Japanese will drift from a trend to another, where fascism could easily grow.

As I see myself a person with double-culture, spending one year in USA when young, I see some hope with this network of facilitators who share same values for human rights and gender and act, raising voices here and now.

Oppressive Japanese culture may have about 400 years of history and build up. Then we should struggle to change it for just as long. As Amartya Sen says, we have to rely on intellect beyond identity.

What are the wisdoms which reconnect us all around world for this time of violence and hatred? The answer is that we are all human. We only have one earth to provide for all lives. We have to learn to share, respect and care.

I am glad that I am part of this wisdom.

by eric-blog | 2016-11-15 13:16 | ◇ブログ&プロフィール
<< 改正児童福祉法 フィンランドはなぜ一位になれたのか? >>