Kick-Off -& Asobi Gokoro (II) Teoría de la Buena Educación -> Buen Ser Humano

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Preámbulo

Tras el inicio de nuestro proyecto,  Kick-Off ( vídeo ), me decidí a escribir una serie de artículos dedicados al tema de educación y al deporte con la intención de ayudar a explicar nuestra visión y esperanzas para este proyecto. Al mismo tiempo, me gustaría aplicar mis propios pensamientos e ideas. La educación y el deporte (la esencia del juego) son dos temas que captan profundamente mi atención y dan lugar a mis propias aspiraciones. Me tomará más de un  artículo explicar todo, así que he dividido mis pensamientos en 5 artículos: 

Tema 1 : “ Educación 

Tema 2: “El deporte y la esencia del juego 

Tema 3: “Educación x juego”

Tema 4: “Educación x Juego = Puerta de entrada para el Desarrollo Internacional”

Tema 5: “Origen del proyecto y los orígenes de mi sueño Asobi-Gokoro 

Estaré publicando cada artículo semanalmente. En estos artículos, reflejaré mi experiencia personal para explicar mis ideas. Sin embargo, es mi intención presentar la raíz de la implementación de nuestro proyecto Kick-Off. Confío en decir que este no es un  buen proyecto  , sino que estamos introduciendo un proyecto potencialmente  i n c r e í b l e.

Antes de entrar a desarrollar el contenido, quiero compartir algo sobre mí. Estoy entusiasmado con este tema y siempre quise compartir mis ideas con los demás. Pero, mi personalidad discreta , siendo Japonés , me ha hecho dudar un poco sobre compartir abiertamente mis ideas de manera pública. Además, a menudo sentía que tenía que estar perfectamente escrito para ser aprobado y alabado por otros. Pero me he dado cuenta que mi ideal perfeccionista no me hace ningún bien, así que he cambiado de opinión. Es como haber retirado una enorme carga de mi hombros. Por ello, escribiré este artículo de una manera muy franca, ya que hablo por varias razones. Uno, creo que comparte mi mensaje mucho más fácil y más claro para todo el mundo. Dos, me permite ser abierto y transparente con mis ideas. Tres, solo hace que mi vida sea más fácil al escribir en el estilo con el que me siento más cómodo.

Así que estoy seguro que no está perfectamente escrito, pero estoy muy feliz compartiéndolo con ustedes de esta forma.

 

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Primero, gracias a quienes hayan leído mi primer artículo. Haga clic aquí.  Esta semana, escribiré sobre la nueva Buena educación -> Buen Ser Humano. ¡Espero que disfruten de su  lectura! 

Tema 1 “Educación”

Episodio 2: Teoría de Buena educación ->  Buen Ser Humano 

<Los superhéroes son superhéroes por una razón>

“… Por eso fuiste elegido. Debido a que un hombre fuerte, que ha conocido el poder toda su vida, perderá respeto por ese poder, pero un hombre débil conoce el valor de la fuerza y conoce la  compasión … Pase lo que pase mañana, debes prometerme una cosa , que permanecerás siendo el mismo. No  un soldado perfecto, sino un buen hombre.

Recientemente comencé a ver la serie Marvel para prepararme para el nuevo episodio de Avengers 4: Endgame. Los Vengadores son básicamente un grupo de superhéroes que se unen para luchar contra villanos para salvar el mundo. Este es una de mis conversaciones favoritas de “Capitán América: El primer vengador”. El Dr. Erskine explica la razón por la que ha elegido a Steve Rogers (un niño normal de Brooklyn) para dar el super-poder (video). Después de recibirlo, Steve Rogers se convierte en Capitán América y salva al mundo. Me encanta esta cita porque realmente muestra la razón por la que es un superhéroe. En general, no son superhéroes solo por su super-poder. Son superhéroes porque son buenos seres humanos con un super-poder. No son seres perfectos, sino buenos seres humanos. Un mal ser humano con un super-poder puede ser el caso perfecto para ser un villano. 

En este artículo, primero explicaré  mi pensamiento  sobre Buena Educación -> Buen Ser Humano al aplicar el modelo basado en el ejemplo de los superhéroes. Luego, discutiré la importancia de una buena educación humana y cómo podemos lograrlo.  Finalmente, compartiré con ustedes una experiencia personal de mis días de escuela intermedia (1ero y 2do de secundaria)  que me dio una lección importante sobre un buena educación humana.

Teoría del Buen Ser Humano para convertirse en un superhéroe ->

Los superhéroes son nuestros ídolos. Creo que muestran el modelo de la vida exitosa que imaginamos. Desafortunadamente, no hay un super-poder en nuestra vida ordinaria. Nadie puede armarse con un traje de batalla de color rojo hecho de hierro,  o tiene el martillo mitológico que tiene un poder mágico o puede convertirse en un monstruo verde con una gran poder. En nuestro mundo, el conocimiento es poder. Aunque piensen que el dinero es poder, personalmente lo veo como algo externo que te da poder. Para poner en contexto, veo el conocimiento como el poder interno así como la fuerza física o el super-poder. El dinero es como cualquier arma, como una ametralladora , que te da poder externo. Pero una vez que pierdes el arma, te conviertes en un hombre normal. Entonces, entiendo que el verdadero poder de un ser humano es el conocimiento, no el dinero.

Para poner en contexto, de acuerdo con la teoría de la Buena Educación -> Buen trabajo, enfocamos a los niños a fortalecer su poder para convertirse en superhéroes. Esto es importante, pero a menudo se deja de  lado el enfoque  desarrollo de su propia personalidad. Recuerda, un buen ser humano es la base para ser un superhéroe. Lo que necesitamos es una ‘ buena educación humana ‘ , donde los niños y niñas crecen para ser una persona con un buen corazón. Todos nacemos con un gran potencial para convertirnos en superhéroes . Sin embargo, también, todos hemos nacido con una semilla que nos puede llevar a convertirnos en villano, en base a nuestro ego.  De hecho, muchos de nuestros problemas sociales son causados ​​por nuestros egos. Por lo tanto, hay que dar prioridad a una buena educación humana más (sin comprometer el desarrollo de su conocimiento) para que los niños utilicen su poder de una manera correcta – para que luego se conviertan en superhéroes. Ser un buen ser humano no garantiza que uno se convertirá en un superhéroe . Sin embargo, es un fundamento indispensable. Este es mi pensamiento Buena Educación -> Buen Ser Humano. Antes de continuar, quiero decir que tal vez haya simplificado en exceso la complejidad humana al explicar mi teoría basada solo en el conocimiento y la personalidad. Soy consciente de que hay otras fuerzas como la ignorancia, la emoción y otros. El Entorno  hace más complicada la realidad. Pero espero haber sido capaz de transmitir mi punto de una manera comprensible mediante el uso de la analogía de superhéroes.

Buena Educación Human ->

La buena educación humana se vuelve tan importante no solo para que la persona tenga una vida plena , sino que también es crucial para el Desarrollo Internacional. Y es por eso que llevó a NC a desarrollar nuestro proyecto Kick-Off ; centrarse en la buena educación humana mediante el desarrollo de habilidades cognitivas y no cognitivas entre los niños y niñas para combatir la pobreza a largo plazo. Pero seguiré discutiendo este punto en mi Tema 4: Buena educación como puerta de entrada para el Desarrollo Internacional.

Ahora, quiero  recurrir a la siguiente pregunta: ¿cómo se ve exactamente una Buena Educación Humana? Bueno, seré honesto . No tengo una definición clara y concisa en este momento. Lo veo como un proceso que nos permite ser un buen ser humano desarrollando principios como la integridad, la humildad, la fidelidad, la templanza, el valor, la justicia, la modestia, la compasión y la empatía. Para ponerlo sencillo, la educación que nos permita ser como “Capitán América”.Estoy seguro que entienden mi punto. Creo que la buena educación humana comienza con una buena crianza. Estoy agradecido por mi mamá y mi papá y por cómo me criaron. Mi mamá me enseñó a ser compasivo y mi papá me mostró cómo ser valiente. Me han hecho la base de quien soy hoy. Mientras tanto, todavía creo que la escuela también  juega un gran papel en la formación humana. En mi caso, recibí una excelente educación humana en mi escuela secundaria en Canadá.

 Mi buena educación humana en la escuela intermedia->

Si alguien me pregunta “sombrero de  cuál era el mejor momento de mi vida “, Respondería en un segundo , “Mis 2 años en la escuela intermedia “. Mi asombroso recuerdo de 2 años comenzó cuando me mudé a Ottawa por primera vez. Para un niño que nació y se crió en Japón, pasando a una sociedad multicultural fue una experiencia reveladora. A diferencia de mi hermano, que había estudiado inglés con diligencia para prepararse para un nuevo entorno, yo estaba demasiado ocupado jugando con mis amigos en Tokio. Por lo tanto , me pusieron en una clase de Inglés como Segundo Idioma (ESL) y no pude ni entender ni hablar por alrededor de un año. Mi amigo me recuerda como un chico japonés callado. Afortunadamente, a pesar de las barreras del idioma, estaba absolutamente enamorado de esta escuela en Ottawa. Hay muchas razones, pero si tuviera que decirlo en una sola palabra, diría que debido al ” Espacio Seguro”. Este es un espacio donde realmente nos sentimos seguros basados ​​en un fuerte sentido de confianza. Desarrollamos nuestro “espacio de seguridad” basado en nuestra confianza mutua. Es un espacio especial donde nos hacemos libres y abiertos. Me gusta imaginarlo como un dormitorio con paredes de azul cielo. Es transparente desde elinterior pero invisible desde el exterior. No hay gravedad en la zona y está llena de aire fresco y cálido. Nos proporciona una sensación de seguridad y eleva mi cuerpo y mi corazón y es lugar en donde puedo experimentar la verdadera alegría. Al mismo tiempo, aquí es donde la experiencia de aprendizaje más valiosa ocurre cuando expones tu corazón abierto a los demás. No aparece de un día para otro. Solo se forma acumulando poca confianza en la construcción de acciones entre una persona y otra. Mientras más fuerte es la confianza,  más cómodo te sientes en el “espacio seguro”.

Es probable que haya construido este “espacio seguro” con sus mejores amigos de la escuela o con los miembros de su familia en la casa. Pero es relativamente raro tener el “Espacio Seguro” en un entorno de aula. Lo que hizo especial a mi escuela secundaria fue  la particularidad de nuestros maestros al valorar la construcción de un “espacio seguro” en nuestro salón de clases. Fui particularmente afortunado porque nuestros maestros de ESL invirtieron enormemente su tiempo es construirlo. He tenido algunos maestros excelentes en mi escuela primaria, secundaria y universidad, pero nada era como mi aula de ESL. Les puedo decir que no hay muchos maestros que puedan hacer esto. Y lo que hace diferente a un gran maestro de los demás es que conocen la importancia de ese espacio y que tienen el valor de invertir una gran cantidad de su tiempo y esfuerzo en la construcción de un “Espacio Seguro”. Y este es el ambiente del aula donde se lleva a cabo la buena educación humana. 

Creo que había un buen número de nosotros que han crecido en un espacio como éste. Pero hubo un muchacho afgano que creo que se benefició particularmente de este entorno. Es uno de mis mejores amigos y se mudó a Canadá casi al mismo tiempo que yo. Era un trabajador infantil y nunca recibió ninguna educación formal en su ciudad natal. En nuestra escuela , él siempre fue el creador de problemas , tanto dentro como fuera de ella. Cuando lo vi por primera vez, estaba un poco asustado porque parecía un niño loco y enojado. Aunque éramos muy diferentes, de pronto se convirtió en alguien muy cercano a través de la práctica del voleibol y establecimos nuestro propio “espacio seguro”. Pronto me di cuenta de que tenía un profundo respeto por él. A pesar que tenía mucho mejores notas, había una cosa que siempre lo admiraba de él: su valentía. A pesar de que estaba causando problemas cada minuto, siempre tuvo las agallas para defender lo que creen que era lo correcto. Todavía recuerdo el día en que salimos a buscar Poutine (comida canadiense mezclada con papas fritas, queso y salsa gravy) en un lugar cerca de nuestra escuela, mientras esperábamos en una fila, había un tipo que nos miraba con cara de disgusto. Pronto nos sentimos muy incómodos, y fue entonces cuando mi amigo se acercó y simplemente le dijo “¿puedes dejar de mirarnos?” Él Respondió furioso y la situación se agravó. El chico se levantó y agarró a mi amigo, pero él no retrocedió y comenzaron a pelear. Ahora que lo pienso, el tipo era probablemente un alcohólico o un drogadicto por la forma en que estaba reaccionando. ¿Y yo qué estaba haciendo? Bueno, estaba intentando detener la pelea, pero creo que no servía de nada. Mientras tanto, otro amigo de nuestro grupo hizo un movimiento inteligente y volvió a la escuela para traer a los maestros para resolver el problema. Yo debería haber hecho eso.

Si eres de mi escuela intermedia, probablemente sabes a quién me refiero .

A pesar  que  he tenido un profundo respeto por mi amigo afgano, él mismo tuvo que pasar por muchas dificultades en su vida, incluso antes de empezar la escuela. Haciendo matemáticas, lectura, escritura o simplemente al sentarse durante una hora fue en algún momento demasiado para él. Al verlo tener problemas, lo que nuestro maestro hizo, primero fue construir un “espacio seguro” para él y para todos nosotros. Y eso era algo que necesitaba en ese momento, lo que más necesitaba. Estoy seguro que él tenía el más profundo respeto por ellos, igual que yo aún lo tengo . Además, estoy seguro que aprendió muchas cosas con solo mirar a nuestros maestros . A partir de ser un niño  enojado,  en los dos años que estudiamos pude verlo convertirse en una persona responsable, disciplinada, y compasiva. Esto es  sólo un ejemplo de cómo he visto recibir una buena educación humana.  Pero estoy seguro que todos mis amigos (incluyendo a mis maestros) disfrutaron de tener un fuerte “Espacio Seguro”  y han aprendido muchas, muchas, muchas cosas importantes el uno del otro. Parafraseando la cita del Dr. Erskine : “No es un estudiante perfecto, pero un buen hombre”.

La buena educación humana es como un proceso sin fin. He demostrado cómo la formación humana que sucede  en la escuela va más allá de eso. Todos y cada uno de nosotros todavía estamos en el proceso de recibir una buena educación humana. ¿Cómo es posible recibir educación sin estar en una institución de educación? Bueno, voy a discutir esto en mi próximo artículo.

Fue un artículo bastante largo, pero les agradezco por leerlo. Y les agradecería mucho si me hicieran llegar sus pensamientos :).

Hasta la próxima.

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Kick-Off -> Asobi Gokoro (II) The Education -> Good Human Theory

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Foreward

Following the implementation of our (Nexos Comunitarios) Kick-Off project (video), I decided to write a series of articles dedicated to the issue of education and sport with the intention to help us explain our vision and hopes towards this project. At the same time, I would l like to apply my own thoughts and ideas.

This topic of education and sport (the essence of play) is something that deeply captures my attention and gives rise to my own aspirations. It would take much longer than a single article to explain everything so I have divided my articles into five sections.

Theme 1: “Education”

Theme 2: “Sport and the Essence of Play”

Theme 3: “Education x Play”

Theme 4: “Education x Play = Gateway for international development”

Theme 5: “Origin of the Kick-Off Project and the origins of my dream Asobi-Gokoro

I will be posting each article weekly. In these articles, I will be reflecting on my personal experience to explain my ideas. However, it is my intention to introduce you to the root of the implementation of our Kick-Off project. I am confident in saying that this is not just any good project, but that we are introducing a potentially amazing project.

Before we get into the content, I want to share a small thing about myself. I am enthusiastic about this topic and I always wanted to share my belief with others. But, my discreet personality, being Japanese, has made me little hesitant towards openly sharing my ideas on social media. Also, I often felt it needed to be perfectly written to be approved of and praised by others. But I have realized this perfectionist ideal of mine is doing no good for me, so I have changed my mind. It is like having lifted a huge burden from my shoulders. You will find it soon enough, but I will be writing this article in a very frank way as I speak for several reasons. One, I believe it conveys my message much easier and clearer for everyone. Two, it allows me to be open and transparent with my ideas. Three, it just makes my life easier by writing in the style that I am most comfortable with.

So I’m sure it is not perfectly written, but Im pretty happy to have it this way.

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First, thank you to those who have read my first article. If you haven’t, please click here to check before you start to read this article. Last week, I wrote an article introducing Good Education -> Good Job theory. This week, I will write about the new Good Education -> Good Human theory. I hope you enjoy reading!

Theme 1 “Education”

Good Education -> Good Human theory

“…This is why you were chosen. Because a strong man, who has known power all his life, will lose respect for that power, but a weak man knows the value of strength and knows compassion… Whatever happens tomorrow, you must promise me one thing, that you will stay who you are. Not a perfect soldier, but a good man.”

I recently started to watch the Marvel series to prepare myself for the new Avenger 4: Endgame. The Avengers is basically a bunch of superheroes coming together to fight against a villain to save the world. This is one of my favourite conversations from “Captain America: The First Avenger”. Dr. Erskine explains the reason why he has chosen Steve Rogers (a regular kid from Brooklyn) to give the superpower (click here to watch the video). After receiving the superpower, Steve Rogers becomes Captain America and saves the world. I love this quote because it really shows the reason why they are superheroes. They are not superheroes just because of their superpower. They are superheroes because they are good human beings with a superpower. Not a perfect person, but a good human. A bad human being with a superpower would be a perfect fit to be a villain in the movie for sure.

In this article, I will first explain my Good Education -> Good Human theory by applying the model based on the example of superheroes. Then, I will discuss the importance of good human education and how we can achieve that. Finally, I will share with you a personal experience from my middle school days that gave me an important lesson on good human education.

Good Human theory to become a superhero>

Superheroes are our idols. I believe they show the model of the successful life that we envision. Unfortunately, there is no superpower in our daily lives. No-one can arm oneself with a fancy red battle suit made of iron, have the random old mythological hammer that somehow has mighty power, or can turn into a green monster with extraordinary physical strength. In our world, knowledge is power. Although you might think money is power, I personally see them as the external thing that gives you power. To put into context, I see knowledge as the internal power such as your physical strength or superpower. Money is like any weapon such as a machine gun, that gives you external power. But once you lose the weapon, you become just a regular man. So, I understand that the real power of a human being is knowledge, not money.

To put into context, according to the Good Education -> Good Job theory, we focus children to strengthen their power to become superheroes. This is important, but it often puts aside a focus on them developing their own personality. Remember, a good man is the foundation to be a superhero. What we need is what I call ‘good human education’, where children grow to be a person with a good heart. We are all born with full of potential to become superheroes. Meanwhile, we are all born with a seed that can lead us to become a villain, which is based on our ego. Without a good human education, the ego will take over a child to become an ego-centric villain who will deceive others for their own benefits. Indeed many of our social problems are caused by our egos. Thus, we must prioritize good human education more (without compromising the development of their knowledge) for the children to use their power in the correct way – for them to then become superheroes. Being a good human does not guarantee that one will become a superhero. However, it is an indispensable foundation upon which they can become one. This is my Good Education -> Good Human theory. Before I continue, I want to say that perhaps I have oversimplified the human complexity by explaining my theory based on just knowledge, and personality. I am aware there are other forces such as ignorance, emotion or one’s environment that makes reality more complicated. But I hope I was able to convey my point by in an understandable manner by using the superhero analogy.

Good human education becomes so important not just for the individual to have full-filled life, but it is also crucial for international development. And that is why it led NC to come up with our Kick-Off project; to focus on good human education by building cognitive and non-cognitive skills amongst children in order to combat poverty in the long run. But I will further discuss this point in my Theme 4: Education x Play = Gateway for International Development.

Now, I want to turn to the following question: how exactly will good human education will look like? Well, I will be honest. I do not have a concise and clear definition at the moment. I see it as a process that allows us to be a good human who develops principles such as integrity, humility, fidelity, temperance, courage, justice, modesty, compassion and empathy. To put it simply, basically, it is education that allows us to be like “Captain America”. I’m sure you get my point. I believe good human education starts with good parenting. I am grateful for my mom and dad and how they raised me. My mom told me how to be compassionate, and my dad showed me how to be courageous. They have made me the foundation of who I am today. Meanwhile, I still believe school also has a huge role in good human education. In my case, I received an amazing good human education in my middle school in Canada.

If anyone asks me “What was the best moment of your life?”, I would answer, “My 2 years in middle school” within a second. My amazing memory of 2 years started as I moved to Ottawa for the first time. For a kid who was born and raised in Japan, moving to a multicultural society was an eye-opening experience. Unlike my brother, who had diligently studied English to prepare himself for a new environment, I was too busy playing with my friends in Tokyo. So, I was put into an English Second Language (ESL) class and wasn’t able to neither understand nor speak for about a year. My friend remembers me as a quiet Japanese kid. Luckily enough, despite the language barriers, I was absolutely in love with this school in Ottawa. There are many reasons, but if I were to say it in one word, I would say because of the “Safety Space”. This is a space where we truly feel secured based on a strong sense of trust. We develop our “Safety Space” built upon our mutual trust. It is a special space where we become free and open. I like to imagine it as a dorm with sky blue walls. It is transparent from the inside but it is invisible from the outside. There is no gravity exists in the area and it is full of fresh and warm air. It provides us with a sense of security and it uplifts the body and my heart and I can experience true joy. At the same time, this is where the most valuable learning experience happens as you expose your open heart to others. It does not appear from one day to another. It is only formed through accumulating small trust in building actions between one person and another. The stronger the trust is, the more comfortable you feel in the “SafetySpace”.

You probably have built this “Safety Space” with your best friends from school or with your family members in the house. But it is relatively rare to have the “Safety Space” in a classroom environment. What it made special about my middle school was that our teachers particularity valued building a “Safe Space” in our classroom. I was particularly lucky because our ESL teachers immensely invested their time of building “Safety Space”. I have had some great teachers in my elementary, high school, and university, but nothing was like my ESL classroom. I can tell you that not many teachers are able to do this. And what makes a great teacher different from others is that they know the importance of such a space and that they have the courage to invest a great amount of their time and effort in building a “Safety Space”. And this is the classroom environment where good human education takes place.

I believe there were quite a few of us who have grown ourselves through a “Safety Space”. But there was this one Afghani guy who I believe particularly benefited from this environment. He is one of my best friends who moved to Canada at the same time as I did. He was a child labourer and never received any formal education in his home town. In our school, he was always the trouble maker, both inside and outside of the school. When I first saw him, I was a little scared because he looked like just a crazy and angry kid. Although we were very different, we soon became very close through playing volleyball and established our own “Safety Space”. I soon realized that I had a deep respect for him. Although I had much better grades, there was one thing I always admired him for. He was courageous. Although he was causing problems every minute, he always had the guts to stand up for what he believed was the right thing to do. I still remember the day when we went out to get Poutine (Canadian food mixed of fries, cheese, and gravy sauce) in place near our school, while we were waiting in a line, there was this guy staring at us with a disgusted face. We soon felt very uncomfortable, and that’s when my friend stepped up and simply told: “can’t you stop staring at us?” He responded furiously and the situation escalated. The guy stood up and grabbed my friend but he didn’t back up and they started to fight. Now I think back, the guy was probably either an alcoholic or a drug addict in the way he was reacting. And what I was doing? Well, I was trying to stop the fight but I think I was of no use. Meanwhile, another friend from our group made a clever move to ran back to the school and brought back teachers to settle the problem. I should have done that.

If you are from my middle school, you probably know who I am referring to.

Although my Afghani friend had my deep respect, he himself had to go through many difficult moments in the school as he had never attended a school before in his life. Doing math, reading, writing or just simply sitting down for an hour was sometimes too much for him. Seeing him having problems, what our teacher did first was to build a “Safety Space” for us to be a good human, and also to do good academically. And that was something he needed at that time, the most. I am sure that he had the deepest respect for them just like I had, and still do. Also, I am sure he learned many things by just looking up to our teachers. Starting from being an angry, crazy, little boy during the two-year period, I have seen him becoming a more responsible, disciplined, and compassionate person. This was just an example of how I have seen one of my friends receiving good human education. But I am quite certain that all of my friends (including my teachers) who enjoyed having a strong “Safety Space” have learned many, many, MANY important things from each other. To paraphrase the quote from Dr. Erskine: “Not a perfect student, but a good man.”

Good human education is like a process without the end to it. I have demonstrated how good human education can happen in school but it goes beyond that. Every single one of us is in still in the process of receiving good human education. How is that possible to receive an education without being in an educational institution? Well, I will discuss this in my next article.

It was a bit of a long article but thanks so much for reading. And I would appreciate it A LOT if you could let me know your comments or thoughts 🙂

 

Kick-Off -> Asobi Gokoro (I) The Education -> Good Job Theory

MIGUEL ANGEL ARREATEGUI RODRIGUEZ

Forward

Following the implementation of our (Nexos Comunitarios) ‘Kick-Off’ project (video), I decided to write a series of articles dedicated to the issue of education and sport with the intention to help us explain our vision and hopes towards this project. At the same time, I would l like to apply my own thoughts and ideas.

This topic of education and sport (the essence of play) is something that deeply captures my attention and gives rise to my own aspirations. It would take much longer than a single article to explain everything so I have divided my articles into five sections.

Theme 1: “Education”

Theme 2: “Sport and the Essence of Play”

Theme 3: “Education x Play”

Theme 4: “Education x Play = Gateway for international development”

Theme 5: “Origin of the Kick-Off Project and the origins of my dream Asobi-Gokoro

I will be posting each article weekly. In these articles, I will be reflecting on my personal experience to explain my ideas. However, it is my intention to introduce you to the root of the implementation of our Kick-Off project. I am confident in saying that this is not just any ‘good project’, but that we are introducing a potentially amazing project.

Before we get into the content, I want to share a small thing about myself. I am enthusiastic about this topic and I always wanted to share my belief with others. But, my discreet personality, being Japanese, has made me little hesitant towards openly sharing my ideas on social media. Also, I often felt it needed to be perfectly written to be approved of and praised by others. But I have realized this perfectionist ideal of mine is doing no good for me, so I have changed my mind. It is like having lifted a huge burden from my shoulders. You will find it soon enough, but I will be writing this article in a very frank way as I speak for several reasons. One, I believe it conveys my message much easier and clearer for everyone. Two, it allows me to be open and transparent with my ideas. Three, it just makes my life easier by writing in the style that I am most comfortable with.

So I’m sure it is not perfectly written, but I’m pretty happy to have it this way.

My first article for this week is part 1 of Theme 1 “Education”. In order to explain the Kick-Off project, this is essential reading to understand how NC sees education.

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Theme 1 “Education”

Part 1: Good Education -> Good Job theory

Okay, so in this article, my goal is to identify the dominant discourse of how we understand “education”. First question, “what is education”? Don’t be a smart-ass and try to end this discussion by searching the definition of education in the dictionary. What I intend to do is a little more than that. But, looking for the definition will be a good place to start.  According to the dictionary (that it is embedded in my MacBook), it states “the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, especially at a school or university.” I believe there will be a no single person who will disagree with this definition. Indeed, education has become such a norm in our lives that we do not take much time to really think about it deeply. If I could have a time machine and go back to 2010 when I started my high school life, I would probably have had the following conversation with myself…

Me 2019: “Hey I just took a time machine to ask you some questions?”

Me 2010: “….. okay”

Me 2019: “Okay so, my first question is… what does it mean having a good education?

Me 2010: “… That’s the question?… I thought it would be something more interesting.”

Me 2019: “Well this is a pretty interesting topic. And you will soon realize… in about 9 years.”

Me 2010: “…. Okay… I guess having a good education is doing good at school.”

Me 2019: “And what does it mean by doing good in school?”

Me 2010: “Ah…. It means to study hard and get a good grade”

Me 2019: “Why receiving good grade is important?”

Me 2010: “…. Because, you kind of need that to get into good universities.”

Me 2019: “And why is that going to a good university important?”

Me 2010: “… omg… is this an endless question?

Me 2019: “No no no, don’t worry, it is not.”

Me 2010: “…ok… because a degree from a good university can get us a good job.”

Me 2019: “So you are going to university to get a good job?”

Me 2010: “Well… not just that…. I’ll say… education also gives us knowledge and skills. Well, to begin with without knowledge, you can’t even get a good grade nor get accepted into university, of course…”

Me 2019: “Okay, then, what do you mean by a ‘good job’ and why it is important?”

Me 2010: “… a good job is basically a good paid job. And it’s important because you need money to be successful.”

Me 2019: “Okay so to summarize, you are receiving education to gain knowledge that allows you to have a good paid job to be successful?”

Me 2010: “Umm… yes I guess you can say that.”

What do you see from this conversation? First, you see ‘Me 2010’ as seemingly confused and even irritated about been asked so many questions about school. I was in the middle of a teenager going through a rebellious phase, so it’s understandable. Second, you see a clear linkage between “good education” – “good degree” – “good job” – “Successful life”. If there is ‘child A’ with a high academic achievement that has the capacity to go a prestigious university, and ‘child B’ who is illiterate and always in trouble at school, which do you prefer to have as your kid? Probably ‘child A’, because they have a much better education that allows them to have greater opportunities in life.

I believe this is a common understanding of how we see education in general. Indeed, after living abroad, I realized how intense Japanese students study to get into universities. During the last year of high school, we dedicate ourselves for the entrance exam of universities. I was in a relatively academically competitive high school, and remember our teachers telling us “at least study 10 hours per day to prepare yourself for the entrance exam of universities. This will determine your career.” It was and still is, very common for us to go to cramming school to study just to prepare ourselves for the entrance exam for the university that you want to get in. Many of my friends went straight to cramming school after school and studied there until around 10 pm and then go home. So pretty much studying from 8am to 10 pm, everyday… You might be wondering if I was studying like this. No, I wasn’t. I applied for university in Canada where there were no entrance exams (just with the grade from my high school). So I was actually super bored in my last year of high school having no-one to hang out with after school. I remember I was doing a part-time job and watching the whole series of ‘Prison Break’, as an excuse to “practice my English”. Anyway, you see how we prioritized so much on getting accepted for universities that “education” became as more like “studying to get into good universities.” The value placed upon the names of universities is so strong that it gives great advantages (and disadvantages) when you are searching for your career.

I personally want to call this good education = good job theory. Not just Japan, in the field of international development, education is always a crucial topic and I believe good education -> good job theory is the dominant discourse. I will discuss the relationship between education and international development in my Theme 4: “Education x Play = Gateway for international development”.

So, what I wanted to mention in this article is that good education -> good job theory is a dominant discourse. But I want you to think carefully: is this how education should be interpreted? What I have realized especially during these two years of experience in working as a field worker in Peru is that I have started thinking in a different perspective. To clarify, I am not denying the importance of good education -> good job theory. Not at all. Indeed, it is crucial in our capitalist society. What I like to address is that I feel there is another theory have been overlooked or undervalued in the shade of the presence of good education -> good job theory. That is, what I call good education -> good human theory. I will further discuss this topic in my next article part 2 of Theme 1 “Education”. I believe it will be something will be worth reading!

And, thank you for reading my first article!

 

 

My ASB Peru Experience – Alec Popa

MIGUEL ANGEL ARREATEGUI RODRIGUEZ

My name is Alec Popa. I’m a third year Medical Sciences student from Western University and I participated on ASB Peru in May of 2018.

 

MIGUEL ANGEL ARREATEGUI RODRIGUEZ            From the beginning it became very clear that the overall theme of this trip was community. On our first day we met the amazing team at Nexos Comunitarios, who immediately made us feel part of their family. They also became our teachers, providing workshops throughout the trip and turning this ASB into an excellent cultural learning experience as well. Our adventure took place in the small town of Cuncani. Cuncani is a very isolated and underprivileged town. Their survival is dependent on the strong community they’ve created. And we were welcomed into this community the moment we arrived. When we arrived at the school where we would be staying for the week all of the children were lined up waiting to welcome us. They ASB May 2018-11introduced themselves and we made a high-five tunnel. It was a very fun way to break the ice and introduce us to the community. What I believe sets this ASB experience apart from the rest is how close we grew to the community. In a typical day I would wake up early, and the first thing I would do is hike one of the many incredible mountain peaks surrounding the village. Then we would start our day in the kindergarten class playing games and making art with the young children. Next, we ate a lunch that was prepared for us by the mothers of the community, made using ingredients pooled together by all the families in Cuncani. Many of these mothers had to walk an hour or more to make lunch for their children and for us, and they do it every day. I was very moved by the difficult lengths these mothers go through to ensure their child has a healthy lunch and I was very touched to be included in their lunch time preparations. This experience was ASB May 2018-4an excellent lesson in humanity. These people who have so little still work so hard and spend every last resource they have to improve the lives of their children. After lunch we moved to either a grade 3/4 or grade 5/6 classroom where we worked with the children on a science project. Funding for these schools is relatively low and as such science is a difficult subject to teach. We were able to bring with us inexpensive paper microscopes called “foldscopes.” With our foldscopes we taught the children about germs and they were even able to visualize them for the first time in their lives.

 

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Our trip was defined by a sense of community unlike any I had ever experienced before and an unrelenting work ethic in the face of adversity. A week in isolation and seeing how much these parents do for their children put so much in perspective. Throughout the trip we had excellent group reflections on technology, privilege, wealth, education, health and so many other topics that we take for granted living in Canada. Overall, the trip was incredibly rewarding and we felt part of a larger project that makes a real difference in the lives of these children. If you wish to learn about another part of the world and volunteer for a truly community-driven organization then this is the trip for you.

Alternative Spring Break with Nexos Comunitarios – Colleen Martin

ASB May 2018-2

 

My name is Colleen from Western University and I was a participant of Western University’s Alternate Spring Break (ASB) in May 2018. During that time, we travelled to Peru and had the privilege of working with Nexos Comunitarios! Alternate Spring Break is a program that travels worldwide and aims to teach participants about the community’s’ ways of life, common challenges, understanding their long-term goals and engaging with community members. This means each experience is different and uniquely rewarding.

 

MIGUEL ANGEL ARREATEGUI RODRIGUEZ

During my time in Peru, we spent a week in Cuncani working with children as young as 2 up to age 12 to teach the importance of washing your hands. We did this by teaching the kids about germs through a play, asking them to draw what they thought germs looked like and using foldscopes (paper microscopes) to show what germs actually look like for them to compare results. Once we had samples under the foldscopes the kids were eagerly looking over each other’s shoulders to get a turn and see the germs. It was a relief to see the project go over well because this was the first time it had been done in the community. After this project, our ASB group went to community members homes to see how they live. Both projects had reports written to communicate our findings that Nexos will use as they continue with their initiatives. Our community partner, Nexos also provided us with cultural workshops to understand Peruvian culture and society better. This really amplified the cultural significance of the trip.

ASB May 2018-7This trip allows participants to gain invaluable learning opportunities from beingoutside the classroom and in a new community, being immersed in a different culture and working with a community partner to be a helping hand in the initiatives. Each initiative is based on current community needs which makes this trip so beneficial to the community.

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Cuncani 2018 – Suhaima Tunio


peru - 1 (19).jpg

I want to sincerely thank Nexos Comunitarios for allowing me to participate in life-changing service-learning opportunity in Peru. This experience was a challenging one, but it was extremely rewarding. Thanks to the enduring partnership that Nexos has with the community and the community-driven nature of the organization, we were able to assist this community in promoting health among their school-aged children.

MIGUEL ANGEL ARREATEGUI RODRIGUEZ
Students from Western University, including me, volunteered at a school in Cuncani. Cuncani is an extremely impoverished, isolated, and rural area without hot-water access and the nearest town being a 2-hour trek away. Through working with the children living in this region, I got the chance to apply my learning about global health, health promotion, and the social determinants of health from my lectures at Western University. I watched all of my textbook learning come to life and I understood the importance of so many different health concepts.

peru - 1 (58)This program was developed using certain facets of the health promotion framework including process documentation and effective program development. I was thrilled to have taken part in promoting health education and teaching the children about germs, health, and hygiene. Without the long-standing partnerships between Western University and Nexos Comunitarios, I would have never realized that such a beautiful community like Cuncani existed and that I could play a role, albeit small, in the health promotion of this community.

When we were there, we improved certain hygienic practices such as hand-washing and introduced low-cost microscopes, called Foldscopes, to allow children to explore the microscopic mechanisms of germ-spread. We were also involved in the pedagogical documentation of these children in order to track their development and learning. Finally, we developed marketing materials (such as photographs and testimonials) to promote tourism in Cuncani so that hikers and other adventurers who are exploring the Andes can stay in the houses of these families to help generate income within the families.

ASB May 2018-46

Furthermore, I realized how difficult it was for me to live in the mountains, yet how accustomed such young children were to this area. It was truly inspiring to see their resilience towards the altitude and the lack of hot water. This experience taught me that so many different factors can play such a huge role in the health of a community such as the living environment, community social support, isolation, food-availability, and education. All these components must come together and be considered when aiming for health promotion.
Another notable feature of this community was that these families were almost entirely self-sufficient. Living in such an isolated and rural area, they had adapted to their environment by making their own clothes and farming their own food, in which many traditions were passed on since the spectacular culture of the Incan empire. Most of them had even made their own houses! They all owned animals including alpacas, chicken, and sheep and they utilized their resources in any way that they could. Manure was repurposed as fuel for the fire and also fertilizer for farming. The community in Cuncani taught me that the human-spirit is incredibly strong, and that people can tame the mountains to make it their home.

MIGUEL ANGEL ARREATEGUI RODRIGUEZ

After returning to Lima and going to a memorial regarding Peru’s recent political history, we learned about the horrific genocides from terrorist groups against Peruvian aboriginal communities. Coming out, I felt that this paralleled some of the aboriginal issues that Canada deals with. This experience further highlighted the importance to support Cuncani due to its aboriginal roots and the systematic isolation. In this way, I feel that I learned more about Canadian history and realized that human history is extremely similar worldwide.
This service-learning opportunity was truly remarkable and has allowed me to grow both academically and personally. Not only was I able to use what I had learned in class to assist in a community-driven project, ASB Peru helped me to learn valuable lessons about gratitude, resilience, and cultural competence.

 

Chasqui challenge: accepted and applauded

By Nicholas Bruce (Journalist, Nexos Comunitarios Advisory Board)
In this picture: Andrew, Nico & Kenji. Nico is one of our partners from Cuncani, who kindly joined the challenge on the first day.

A challenge is meant to be just that. Extra ordinary. Extra demanding. In the end, extra rewarding. Hiking 13 straight hours at over 10,000 feet above sea level is no easy task. Cycling 11 consecutive hours is a feat at any altitude. The efforts of Kenji and Andrew were phenomenal and we applaud them. Not just because of these numbers, but the persistence to continue even after a trip to the health center. Even after a nagging knee injury. Even after a bicycle with a single working gear. Even after a long delay and hours past the projected finish. Still the duo continued, persisted, sweated it out.

Beyond that, and the whole purpose of this challenge, was not to focus on the foolhardy foreigner. Not to show off and showcase. The purpose was to bring some light, shed some awareness that when all is said and done, this was two days, one weekend. Extra ordinary efforts of energy are being made and consumed and created and challenged and met every day by very ordinary people. Residents of Cuncani. Their chasqui descendants. Their enthusiastic offspring. Generations have made treks high in the isolated communities of the Andes, in and around Cuncani, for ages. As we applaud Kenji and Andrew for no small feat of their own, we aim to bring attention and praise on those who do this most every day in slightly different manners. Well done all around.