by michael on April 7, 2011

 I was ‘tweeting’ for a few moments. I wrote several tweets. I wrote that parents are the main source of children’s moral authority. I wrote that stupid ideas do not become intelligent just because a lot of people believe it. I tweeted about the savage beating of Bryan Stow at Dodger stadium and the vile repugnant reality that one hundred people watched the beating and did nothing.

Somewhere along the way, I received a direct message reply to one of my tweets from @ShareCareWriter. He or she directed me to the article Fix Parents; Children Will Follow: Saving the Nation’s Schools by Sheila Dunnells, Ph.D., Yahoo! Contributor Network Mar 16, 2011

The article is a provocative, bold and refreshing statement about aspects of education. Given my twenty-one years as a volunteer teaching ethics and moral reasoning in elementary schools, I can attest that there is much wisdom in Dr Dunnells’ words.

Here are a few key paragraphs. I recommend reading the entire article.

“Unfortunately, problems with education do not lie within the walls of PS 42 or with the teachers, unable to ignite the disengaged kids sitting before them. A lack of state- of -the art computer rooms, high- tech foreign language laboratories, Two-In-One Boards, one-on- one instruction or low teacher salaries are not to blame either. The problem with education is with the parents raising the children going to our schools. Parental acceptance of mediocrity promotes children to fail. Want to fix education, parents must change!

Young Children Suffer From B.R.A.T. Syndrome

Young children swing between over-stimulated and exhausted. By first grade, kids have Iphones. They text, email, play games, Google information, and of course, make a phone call. School cannot compete; by comparison to their world, young children are bored by school.

Children are exhausted from a full day in school and then four more hours in after-care. Children who cannot pay attention to a one- dimensional teacher, in a multiplex world, are labeled ADD or ADHD. Over- stimulated, over- indulged, and over- tired—they suffer from BR.A.T Syndrome!

Older students are equally distracted. Although it is against school policy to carry a phone to class, students do it anyway. They split open the pocket on the front of their hoodies so they can see the small screen, put the phone under the desk, and text away!

Today, teachers deal with students who are less motivated, more distracted, less curious and more easily frustrated than children of even twenty years ago. Test scores have plummeted, the need for remediation has surged and in its wake are increased instances of bullying, gang activity, violence, mean spiritedness, and dishonesty.

Being successful in school requires dedication, discipline, a distraction-free environment, and acceptance of delayed gratification to accomplish real goals. Children are taught these skills at a young age.

Government, Alone, Cannot Instill Family Values

No government money in this world will compensate for a drug related sinking gene pool; parents refusing to take action with a troubled child; or administrators who weaken at the slightest pressure from the community.

Students arriving at school ready to learn, respecting honesty, civility and a sense of fair play, are taught those standards at home. Take these ideals to school and it will spill over into relationships with peers and teachers. This will fix our schools.

BASED ON what I’ve read, I really like Sheila Dunnells

 More later

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