Text GeoMee01 to Jury Team!

4 04 2009

Jury Team is a UK based non-party affiliated organization that democratically elects (through texting) one candidate to support his/her potential to becoming an MEP / MP.

I’ve become part of this new drive, so if you live in the UK, click here and vote for me!

To vote: Text “GEOMEE01” to Jury Team text number, 86837.

Thanks!





Hikkikomori – Canary in the mineshaft? Part 1

23 02 2009

George MEEGAN

FRGS, AFRIN Associated Professor Graduate School of Maritime SciencesKobe University

5-1-1, Fukae Minami, Kobe, JAPAN 658-0022

E-mail: meegan@maritime.kobe-u.ac.jp

Phone : +81-78-431 6200

Fax : +81-78-431 6365

New Approach of Hope

This is not an academic paper in the usual sense, but is my thinking based on my earlier research. My writing following suggests I believe, a hopeful alternative to the hikikomori, whereby they can become fully educated, but on their own terms, in their time and when and how they themselves decide.

According to my reading the education system itself is said to be an important cause in triggering this phenomena. It could in fact be the prime cause for hikikomori, as it exists in other parts of the world which have zero Japanese culture dynamics. The only thing common seems to be modern, mass schooling and that’s found almost everywhere. So, this being so then an answer, a least in part, should lie in mass schooling. If we can provide a viable alternative to that then we can certainly hope for improvement. That’s where I come in. I have in fact developed such an alternative. It is entitled Democracy Reaches the Kids. {Here called this or also correctly called Adjusted Alternate Education Framework.} Considerations of the theory underpinning such a programme have already appeared in Kobe Journal, etc. passim] I also sent this framework curriculum to likely the highest panel of peers in the USA. They judged it, and sent it back together with the US “extraordinary” visa. {On the US government website they state the qualifications for such an award: they offer as example the Nobel Prize.} Therefore, I think, we can take heart that Democracy Reaches the Kids is fundamentally sound and practically workable. So, I think, you can have confidence in this.

Lets begin were I began. I initially became aware of this startling hikikomori phenomenon from a book entitled ‘Shutting Out the Sun – How Japan Created its own Lost Generation’ by Michael Zielenziger. [Vintage Press] The follow up literature that I have seen would seem to offer little by way of answer, not much real hope. The dedication of the book was for a Japanese young man, Kenji. At present there maybe over one million others in Japan like Kenji. “What do we do when half the population is hikikomori?” asked one speaker in the book. With this urgency in mind I proceed. I have pulled out key quotes, importantly including what the hikikomoro themselves say. What they ask (and alas which, modern education rarely gives them) is actually covered by my earlier research, that into ‘kids that don’t fit in.’ It may also offer hope to hikiknomori. I understand that many are said to be sensitive and often very bright. I am confident that given a genuinely new approach to learning then we can begin to reach these many fine young Japanese caught in this web. I do understand that many are said to be sensitive and often very bright. I am confident that we can together create a liberating outcome.

Part One I take the liberty of going through the following paper; this kindly sent to me by KHJ and their esteemed advisor, Mr. Suguru Sato. I have underscored items which dovetail in some way with my own research into school system failure. Some paraphrasing, quotes in 12 Point. These are the “Notes.” Hikikomori – A Dynamic Systems Theory Perspective by Alan Fogel, University of Utah and Mastoshi Kawai, Mukogawa Woman’s University. The scale of the problem is indicated by this: ‘Hikikomori comprise about 20% of all male adolescents and about 1% of the population of Japan.’ [pp. 206] Here is spoken of the need to change the child to “fit in.”

How about changing the school method so that all from any point of view can automatically fit in? This is what my adjusted schooling framework does. ‘The conventional way to understand this problem is to assume that it resides within the child and to alleviate the problem. We need to find a way to change the child to fit in more with social expectations.’ [pp. 206] A call for another route is surly indicated when children abandon one size fit all school, where no allowance is made for their unique individuality – and they are not sick! ‘… who leave school for long periods are not otherwise diagnosed as schizophrenic or depressed’ – Miiki (2002)’ [pp.207]

One answer attempted was moving sufferers in together with other hikikomori. ‘often against their will.’ [pp.207] We are looking in at a system problem. Both Kondo (2001) and Yoshikawa and Murakami (2001) describe hikikomori as a problem within the family system, rather than simply a problem within the youth. ‘We have written that hikikomori needs to be understood from a dynamic systems perspective.’ (Fogel & Kawai, 2006) Concerning self isolation in their rooms, etc.

I offer a bridging frame. An education alternative which can change the frame as the authors suggest here: ‘Can these problematic consensual frames be changed? ‘The system of relationships must change … and that means stepping outside the familiar frame … Bridging frames are useful to help make a developmental transition between existing and emerging frames. Typically, bridging frames contain elements of both the existing and emerging frames … and have the purpose of allowing people in a relationship to “try out” new ways.’ [pp. 208]

The authors also note the reality of one of the fearsome hurdles at the end of the line in modern, mass schooling: [pp. 208] ‘Children and their parents were also under intense stress during times of entrance examinations, in which a child’s identity depended upon passing or failing.’ [pp. 208] The authors talk of the comradeship that can be found on the net. Internet companions can be more available than any real person. A former hikikomori boy wrote and said:- “Love exchange texts all day.”

Adjusted Alternate Education Framework can easily use this as an approach to these self- isolated folk. It also confirms their intelligence: ‘Adolescents who are typically shy, sensitive and intelligent … Hikikomori is a closing of the border of the child’s world to outsiders. With a small bridge to the outside world via the internet.’ [pp. 208] There is no need, as in the US, for families to try to get the refuser back to the very cause of the problem in the first place. ‘Actively encourage school return.’ [pp. 208]





Democracy Reaches the Kids!

7 11 2008

This is what I do, fight for every singe day of my life remaining. I have failed thus far to get this simple program taken seriously. It is highly uncommon that a reply or mere acknowledgement is ever received.

One continues …..

The Knockout Test: A New Idea.

A full alternative for the kids; those who don’t fit in, either academically-wise, nor socially-wise. It is called Democracy Reaches the Kids! and hooks unreachable kids back into education by focusing on them, each individual, each being different with different speeds of learning. First off is their all round health, then the health of the planet [Environment] That is all our futures, though theirs more than ours. The Culture of their country sure but of their neighbourhood, block and family even. Wonderful! All the family can play a key role in their child’s education. Communication in any language is encouraged but with a strong focus too on the mainstream language. Computer literacy is an increasing must. Social skills such as ‘manners make’th man.’ Then are their innate talents, and yes, even dreams in their real, non-academic world. All are given education validity, examined and recorded. It liberates teachers too. And casts back to the tax payer untold billions currently wasted under the false political mantra “For the children …”

Creativity

 My vision is to gather together kids who have been lost to education and use this bottom level group … one of whom none in education can doubt that they have “failed.” Bring them back. Use their natural enthusiasm, largely lost in modern education. All will be filmed and recorded to make the worldwide model. Local media will be sought to ensure the community are involved, fully appraised.

Education today has become a process that is consumed in testing, grading, etc. And even that is on a narrow range of subjects that have no traction what-so-ever to an angry, dangerous youth. The essence ofDemocracy Reaches the Kids! measures and judges what a youth can do; not block and in effect destroy that youth by what he cannot do.

 Just this October ’08, in Izmir, Turkey, I presented my peers, reviewed paper of a new way to get all maritime students and cadets vital ‘Maritime English.’ It is specified for worldwide. In connection I also created a new dictionary of Basic International English on ONE SHEET OF PAPER (A3) to help in getting a grip on the world language.

ADDRESS FOR THE REFUSER KIDS OF UK

There are a group of children in Great Britain who are called Refusers. You are not alone. In Japan some estimates say nearly one million, as you refuse. Kids, you swim in a sea of the most examined children in the world, and the B 52s of criticism fly over pretty much every day; yet you still refuse to go to school. Quite. This is now your alternative. It allows you to guide your own life, as YOU would, not THEM. I promise you. Maybe by some miracle you can see this. So run home and tell Mum and Dad, that there’s a guy in the snow. And THOSE who scorn you TODAY will one day see you different -for you will be heroes. 

ADDRESS TO THE SECRETARY OF EDUCATION OF THE U.S.A. 
 

Finally, I address the United States of America, directly to you Mr. Secretary of Education and the education/industrial/complex. You recognise this flag we march under. How would those harried giants who first carried it look at America, today?

Is it right that 25% of high school graduates do so functionally illiterate?

Is it right that 50% graduate physically unfit? And why do so many children suffer adult inset diabetes? And this right at the beginning of that great journey we call LIFE. This cannot be right, now can it? This is education’s manifest failure, the emperor with few clothes.

 Money – How much will ever be enough? This teacher dares to say that children need less money, not more money. You don’t believe me?  Well, your most feared agency – I speak of the INS (Immigration) – gave to this the only “extraordinary capacity” visa ever granted in basic education reform. It is called ‘Democracy Reaches the Kids!’ It is one of the 300 or so ideas, estimated per year by high panel, to be able to change America.

There is no country in the world that can change direction so quickly, here the US is without equal. If NOT and current trends continue; gated communities on the one hand, ROBOCOP land the rest. Education’s failure is doing this every day, and has produced an underclass of perhaps 40 millions. They who are excluded from the American Dream. If they cannot be allowed to follow their dreams, then they will surely lean to your worst nightmares. Many already do. The culture of the USA is part toxic, where FREEDOM has become licence, and ABUNDANCE has become, gluttony – from ‘Sea to Shining Sea’ And unless a child is well grounded and centred, then oh, how easily to be blown away.

Are US schools – these Emperors with Few clothes – dealing with this … in any real way at all?

Those of the so called underclass can be re engaged. You know, young Americans have the greatest dreams in all the world. DEMOCRACY can harness their dreams, but in their good time, and on their terms. Trust the kids – your younger American citizens – and it will be a 21st century lit by the smile of a multitude of Kids!

 If America leads then the world will surely follow for AMERICA IS THE HOPE OF THE WORLD. This is the next great historic challenge before you.

 Democracy Reaches the Kids! is in the direct spirit – and is inspired from – the most important revolution in history. It continues in that great spirit. Have you the vision of those who first served under that flag? Madison/Adams both/ Hamilton would have seized on it.

Can you seize the moment?

Can you CHANGE?

Democracy beseeches your considerations.

Finally, I do thank the USA for all the many, many great things that you have done, and continue to do for this World.

Thank YOU America..

Thank YOU.