A shadow is unique to each person and yet indistinguishable from another. Likewise, everyone is different, but we are all still human.
I feel like this is such an important and yet rarely discussed social problem in Japan. As someone now working in Japan, who was raised in a culture which actively promotes tolerance and understanding, it can be really difficult to deal with a lack of recognition that this is not just a “foreign” problem, but that it happens in Japan on a daily basis. Change is slow in Japan, but issues like this need to be made a priority for Japan to become a better functioning member of the global community and just a better country. It’s sad that despite its reputation for politeness and innovation, Japan has fallen far behind in certain social issues such as this one. Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.
Where do I begin? I spent the last thirty minutes listening to a group of arrogant and condescending non educators disrespect my colleagues and profession. I listened to a group of disingenuous people whose own self-interests guide their policies rather than the interests of children. I listened to a cabal of people who sit on national education committees that will have a profound impact on classroom teaching practices. And I heard nothing of value.
“I’m thinking about the current health care debate,” I said. “And I am wondering if I will be asked to sit on a national committee charged with the task of creating a core curriculum of medical procedures to be used in hospital emergency rooms.”
The strange little man cocks his head and, suddenly, the fly on the wall has everyone’s attention.
“I realize that most people would think I am unqualified to sit on such a committee because I am not a doctor, I have never worked in an emergency room, and I have never treated a single patient. So what? Today I have listened to people who are not teachers, have never worked in a classroom, and have never taught a single student tell me how to teach.”"
- 2009 National Teacher of the Year Anthony Mullen, describing his experience at a national conference on the future of teaching in his blog post, “Teachers Should Be Seen and Not Heard.” This should be read. (via politicalprof)