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The Possible Creation of a New Inter-generational Learning Space between Vulnerable Young Japanese and Older Adults: Some Findings from Personal Experience through a Face-to-Face Instructional Course at the Open University of Japan

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Naoko Suzuki


There are a certain number of young Japanese people called ‘NEET’ who are ‘Not in Education, Employment or Training’, and they account for approximately 2% of all young Japanese.  Most of them have had problems at school, such as bullying or poor performance in exams, resulting in social withdrawal. Though the percentage of such young people is not very large, there has been wide debate in this country on how to ‘find’ the most vulnerable young people who tend to isolate themselves from society, and how best to encourage them to go back to school or employment.  Coincidently, while providing a face-to-face instructional course as a lecturer, the author has found that some vulnerable youths tend to use their local learning centres which are affiliated to the Open University of Japan (OUJ).  The author found that all the young people who appeared in that classroom had some problems at school and tended to have been socially withdrawn in the past, but had restarted their lives through being enrolled in the OUJ.  Interestingly, adult students in the same classrooms have tried to help young people by giving them advice or telling them their own stories. It is suggested that since the OUJ has great potential for providing an ideal inter-generational learning space, more careful attention should be paid to the young people in OUJ classes.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12681/icodl.676

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