Off Topic: a plan for the future to have a future

As a retired educator I often run across items that give me hope for the children in our school system.  This video raises some very important questions about the influences in children’s learning capability.

Surprisingly, it is not only the child, or the teacher who are responsible for their success.

It is the parent…

With that in mind I share with you a video that was introduced to me on Angela Grant’s blog site, she calls: Failure to Listen.  The video is entitled:

Plan for the Future to have a Future | A Theory of Change (video from Harvard)

After watching , you may agree or disagree with the theory and the recommendations posited.  However, I urge everyone to watch, to think, and to consider, that the children in our current system are our future.  Children learn what they see at home, they emulate their parents, for good or ill, and the lifestyle modeled is often self-perpetuating.

My questions to you are:

  • Can we break the cycle?
  • Is it society’s job to step up and step in?
  • Do you believe that interventions of this type will even work?
  • If not, do you have a different idea about what to do?

Speak up, speak out, and share your thoughts.

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7 thoughts on “Off Topic: a plan for the future to have a future

  1. Angela Grant says:

    Hi Lynda,
    You pose some thought provoking questions. We are at crossroads of values.

    Does it matter that children and family are dying because of poverty and other issues that exposure them to toxic physical, social and emotional environments without counter-balancing positive protective supports?

    Does it matter that the science says we can prevent this?

    Great Job, Lynda!

    Thanks.
    -Angela

    • Lynda says:

      Angela, thank you for bringing this into the spotlight. I enjoy your blog site because you always feature the hard questions. You make us think! Some of the topics you cover are hard to talk about… but they need to be. Only by discussing them openly and honestly will we as a society ever solve them.

  2. Littlesundog says:

    Ugh. This is one of those situations that seems bigger than life. As a childless person, I see the problem, and I complain about it, but truthfully, it overwhelms me. The video makes good points and observations. But, people have to WANT change and recognize the need for change. I don’t see that happening, especially in the community I live in. We live in a very poor area with cultural challenges. I have taken neighbor’s children under my wing, to offer encouragement and love. But that might just be for 5 minutes or an hour. What happens when they are not feeling loved at home, when people don’t treat them with kindness or encourage them? Who gives them the skills that lead them to self-confidence, caring and nurturing?

    The problems presented with today’s kids, and today’s parents are overwhelming, and I think it goes much deeper than the video’s superficial approach. It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there, and usually only the strong survive. We keep passing that from generation to generation, rewarding those who work hard, are the smartest, the best, and are the most successful. You are correct about kids emulating their parents. So what is it that we’re giving our kids at home? What do we show them about what is really important in life?

    To me, it’s about stopping the labels, and pushing them to climb the ladder to success… whatever that is. It’s getting back to simplicity, and love. Helping one another and showing respect and kindness. Why are the “gifted” kids not encouraged to help the kids who need a little help? Why do we not have curriculum that teaches life skills? Instead, we put favor on those who stomp on others to get to the top… just like we do as adults. Agggh, I went on too long about this. I’m fairly negative about the future for our kids. I’m not upset with the kids… I’m upset that we’ve lost sight of the important life skills that result from teaching love and kindness.

    • Lynda says:

      You have brought out some very important points, Lori. As a teacher, I didn’t need to go to Harvard to see the truths brought out in this video. It was abundantly obvious what was going on.

      In the current classroom atmosphere, our bureaucrats demand that the student perform to the standards, the teacher is under pressure to make the student perform and teach the standards. So where is the bureaucrat behind the parent to perform? At the end of the day, when the child goes home, who is there to reinforce all the good learning that came out of the day?
      There are as many variables as students, some good, some bad, some misguided. It is a conundrum.

  3. tootlepedal says:

    Children learn everything from someone not just parents. It is a sobering responsibility to think that you may be one of the people that children are learning from. It is a responsibility that seems to escape those who who want to sell stuff to children.

  4. Lynda says:

    Agreed, Tom! In the instance of many of my students much of what they learned was just as much from older siblings as their parents. As a teacher I often wondered how much of what I tried to teach actually stuck with them. Did I plant a seed, did it mature and bear fruit? In the classroom with my little kids it wasn’t always about ‘The Three R’s.’ Often it was about basic morality, fair play, health, being able to see the other person’s point of view and so much more.

    And it did tickle me when a parent would come in and tell me what their child told them I said… generally, it was word for word! (It was about 50-50 that they liked it, or not.)

    “Out of the mouths of babes” 😉

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