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Promoting Political Participation through Experience-based Political Education
Unformatted Document Text:  identify those who park bicycles and those who suffer from parked bicycles quite easily, but it was difficult for them to take note of the roles of potentially interested groups such as railway company in control of stations, association of shops, the police, local or national governments, or residents and users of the facilities, which requires a certain level of knowledge and imagination. Another point we had expected was that their framework for problem solving would be moralistic. Since they are used to be disciplined in family or school in moral sense, they may well use the same approach to understand the social problem. It is easier to notice problems in the public with moral value and moralistic thinking, but they do not necessarily lead to political solutions for the problems. The students responded to the pre-seminar assignment mostly within the expected range, but some students already noticed the rules or the facilities related to the bicycle parking. Many found unlawful parking of bicycles near the stations or shopping areas as a problem, and pointed out that those who “think only about their interests” or “try to avoid paying parking lot fee” are causing trouble for “pedestrians (especially pregnant women or disable people).” Some refer to the capacity of the parking lots, price of parking lots, or the problem of patrolling, but did not identify who are making decisions and implementing them. 2) Discussion in the Seminar In the seminar, we asked the same questions as in the pre-seminar assignment as the first stage, then after a half-day discussion, asked them to come up with a program to solve the problem. In the discussion, students are left free to state their opinions and discuss each question without any pre-set framework. When the discussion start repeating itself rather than developing, college-student facilitators intervened and gave some cues. As the discussion took place inside a classroom, we provided about 30 pieces of pictures of such items as facilities, posters, warnings, regulations of bicycles parking lot, workers removing unlawfully parked bicycles, section of local government on bicycle parking. These items reminds the students of the interested parties such as local residents, railways company, association of shops, local or national governments, intending to make it easier for them to notice interested parties. Most of the students started categorizing the items by their appearances, such as facilities, people, or posters. They place each category of pictures on the whiteboards. They could easily finish categorizing all the items, but could not find out the relationship among the categories. Then they started to try some other ways of categorization, until they could come up with a way to explain all the relationship without contradiction. It was only after facilitators suggested who are behind such facilities, rules, or posters, students moved to categorize the pictures by actors. They 27

Authors: Ishibashi, Shoichiro. and Chieko, Otsuru.
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identify those who park bicycles and those who suffer from parked bicycles quite easily, but it was
difficult for them to take note of the roles of potentially interested groups such as railway company
in control of stations, association of shops, the police, local or national governments, or residents
and users of the facilities, which requires a certain level of knowledge and imagination.
Another point we had expected was that their framework for problem solving would be
moralistic. Since they are used to be disciplined in family or school in moral sense, they may well
use the same approach to understand the social problem. It is easier to notice problems in the public
with moral value and moralistic thinking, but they do not necessarily lead to political solutions for
the problems.
The students responded to the pre-seminar assignment mostly within the expected range,
but some students already noticed the rules or the facilities related to the bicycle parking. Many
found unlawful parking of bicycles near the stations or shopping areas as a problem, and pointed
out that those who “think only about their interests” or “try to avoid paying parking lot fee” are
causing trouble for “pedestrians (especially pregnant women or disable people).” Some refer to the
capacity of the parking lots, price of parking lots, or the problem of patrolling, but did not identify
who are making decisions and implementing them.
2) Discussion in the Seminar
In the seminar, we asked the same questions as in the pre-seminar assignment as the first
stage, then after a half-day discussion, asked them to come up with a program to solve the problem.
In the discussion, students are left free to state their opinions and discuss each question without any
pre-set framework. When the discussion start repeating itself rather than developing,
college-student facilitators intervened and gave some cues.
As the discussion took place inside a classroom, we provided about 30 pieces of pictures
of such items as facilities, posters, warnings, regulations of bicycles parking lot, workers removing
unlawfully parked bicycles, section of local government on bicycle parking. These items reminds
the students of the interested parties such as local residents, railways company, association of shops,
local or national governments, intending to make it easier for them to notice interested parties.
Most of the students started categorizing the items by their appearances, such as
facilities, people, or posters. They place each category of pictures on the whiteboards. They could
easily finish categorizing all the items, but could not find out the relationship among the categories.
Then they started to try some other ways of categorization, until they could come up with a way to
explain all the relationship without contradiction. It was only after facilitators suggested who are
behind such facilities, rules, or posters, students moved to categorize the pictures by actors. They
27


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