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nugneant's Journal: CHILDREN-TEACHING

Journal by nugneant

From a post in the "RICE THREAD":

You do up the laces of the two year old, and teach them at the same time the importance of having tied shoe laces. You repeat this lesson many times. Many many times. They might listen and hopefully not trip over untied shoe laces, instead coming to you to do them up until such time that they can do it for themselves. If they do trip, the lesson you tried to teach suddenly has consequences and they might really learn it this time.

Or - and pardon me for sounding cynical - they'll quickly learn to tune you the fuck out, and come to regard you as a nattering old pretentious douchebag. I say this as a Child Developer Developer Developer!!! (though not a parent) and not as someone layin' down the bitch-talk (ie, not someone who's just trying to call you a nattering old pretentious douchebag).

It's my experience that the kids whose parents would do things like this grew up to be stressed-out little ulcers - the ones who, the instant they got out of high school, were making stupid choices left and right just because they were finally FREE of being reminded about the horrors that untied shoelaces and strangers with candy lead to. The kids whose parents were more laid-back (who would, in the media of the time, be portrayed as spoiled fucking brats [c.f. Eric Cartman]), ended up much more healthy, didn't seem to have as many self-destructive tendacies as the former group, were a lot more content with their classes and career-track/whatever, and seemed more able - or willing, perhaps - to learn things on their own, as opposed by rote. (this, by the way, isn't just some guy on /. babbling about his childhood - a lot of educational theorists have written that the absolute worst way to teach a young child anything is by route. Hence the de-emphasis in the last thirty years from the class reciting "two times two is four, two times three is six, two times four is eight", in favor of Schoolhouse Rock! style songs (I would like to thank my 2nd grade teacher, Ms. Schwab, for teaching us our times tables when most kids were struggling to have the basics of addition drilled into their minds - though, as a small side effect, I have a noticable pause on my 7's when going from 28 to 35, due to the lyrics "keep on counting, 35 can't wait"). Granted, one might argue that this is merely a different form of rote, but the key difference is, it's fun, so children don't see it as rote.

Anyway, I could go on for a lot longer, but, in the interests of discussion:

SHOULD CHILDREN BE TAUGHT BY MARY POPPINS WITH THE GIFT OF A MAGICAL BROOM AND ANIMATED CARTOON CHARACTERS SO THEY CAN GROW UP TO BE INTROSPECTIVE MUSICIANS AND LEFTISTS AND MICHAEL MOORE

OR SHOULD WE SET THEM ON FIRE MANDATORILY FOR DARING TO WALK AMONGST US

DISCUSS.

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CHILDREN-TEACHING

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