Friday, November 26, 2010

Education Ministry Blames teachers and students for bullying

In an effort to deflect blame for bullying and resulting suicides, Japan's Education Ministry is blaming inadequately trained teachers and psychologically imbalanced children.

"...the government is considering instituting a training program for teachers to address the problem."

"...schools have begun psychological testing to examine children's mental states so classroom problems can be detected as early as possible."

The only real solution of the problems lies in the elimination of the violent government education system.

Group solution eyed for bullying / Hopes rest on teacher training, psychological tests for children : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri): "- Sent using Google Toolbar"


CEJ said...

From what I could see at the junior highs, to quite an extent, yes, teachers are to blame for the bullying culture. They certainly don't know how to deal with bullies, but they use bullies to make others conform. The ministry seems to act as if outward compliance with all its directives and policies (documented in mostly contrived reports issued by the school administrators and school boards) guarantees improvement. They are clueless about the local realities.

Daniel said...

Agreed, CEJ. And your comment on using bullies "to make others conform" is a real eye opener. Have you seen that personally? How does that dynamic work?

The psychological testing of children is the more egregious of the two to me.

1. What is the testing supposed to show? Who is likely to become a bully? A victim? A suicide victim?

2. Is this testing valid? What proof is available to show that?

3. If a student is shown to be a likely bully/victim/suicide then is interdiction possible? How? By whom?

Their (the government's) final strategy for any problem is violence, physical, psychological, or social. That is government's only method of dealing with problems, and in the end that is how MEXT will deal with this.

CEJ said...

Well I'm recalling numerous cases in the 'bad old days' when teachers would start with the argument: the child gets teased/bullied because he/she can't fit in. So a lot of the bullying actually transpired because of the relationships betweeen homeroom teachers, certain enforcer type teachers at the JHS (e.g., gym teachers), and the socially dominant students.

I don't know what the solution is when the school culture is bullying and domineering in nature.

As for the question, have I seen it personally? It's been a while since I worked at JHSs and SHSs, but at the JHSs I worked at, yes, that is how it appeared to me--that the ringleaders of ostracism and bullying were certain teachers and the students they liked who dominated their peers.

Daniel said...

CEJ, Thanks for the explanation. I have never experienced or heard about this kind of dynamic between teachers and students.

As for what I think about schools and bullying, this is my comment, again from Arudou Debito's site on the bullying and suicide of a junior high student.

"However, working within he government school system to fix a problem endemic to the government school system is unlikely to produce a fix.

Bullying is endemic to institutions where those institutionalized (military, prisons, schools) are forced to associate. Government schools must be dismantled, and children/parents given the choice of educational opportunities.

From School and Health 21, 3/2008, Social and Health Aspects of Health Education
Marie BLAHUTKOVÁ, Michal CHARVÁT (collected 2010/11/8 at 13:35),+institutions,+prisons,+military,+school&hl=en&as_sdt=2000

“Fifth stage (totality, so called complete bullying)
The fifth stage of bullying may be found in prisons, military institutions and educational institutions for youth.”

There is one theme common to all school bullying, and that is school."

Again, if government were serious about finding a solution this problem, rather than maintaining control of young people through an institution they call "school," they would see that the problem is the institution.

Daniel said...

Here is another example I just found of where forced association, it this case for periods that exceed statutes, create violent environments.

"...temporary care centers for abused children and juvenile delinquents have seen violence between residents resulting in injuries..."