Creating a forum for students through fostering a “diagonal” relationship

Give power to children and students to thrive. In order to achieve this vision, Katariba runs two major programs: Katariba and Collabo-School. In all of our activities, we place “diagonal” relationship at its core.

What is “diagonal” relationship?

naname_dia“Diagonal” relationship is the key to have active communication with students. “Diagonal” relationship is not based on students’ vertical relationship with their parents or teachers whom they may find at odds with. It is not based on horizontal relations with their friends that tend to reinforce their perspective. Through engaging in conversation with someone who is a step ahead of them (sempai in Japanese), students can speak more freely and express their true feelings. Such a dialogue will also enable them to look for a broader world that they may not have realized before.

Creating a forum for 15 years that brightens the hearts of high-school students

In all of Katariba’s classes, college students and adults called “cast” will listen to what high-school students have to say about themselves, and talk about their own experiences. The experiences that someone older than you take interest in your story and the inspiration you get from the stories from someone who are not so different from you motivate students. Such an experience will brighten the hearts of participating high-school students and it will encourage them to take action for the future. For more than ten years, Katariba has studied this method and created such a forum for students so that the dialogue based on this “diagonal” approach can most function.

Supporting children affected by the earthquake and tsunami

At two Collabo-School which Katariba operate, in addition to the teachers, volunteer staff also tutor students as a “study supporter.” As young and accessible adults, these volunteer staff actively listen to the stories of the students affected by the 2011 earthquake and such an interaction help students to recover from their trauma. Also, the experiences shared by these volunteers which could be different from those in the region help students think more broadly about their own career and future.
Since its foundation in 2001, Katariba has involved many adults and youth as “practitioners of education” in classrooms and has created many fora based on “diagonal” relationship.