February 12, 2008

"Empathy Babies" May Be Coming To A School Near You!

"Bullying in schools has been a problem for decades, despite attempts to thwart it." writes Jessica Blanchard for the Seattle P-I. She is reporting on an innovative program--read that--"hair-brained" and a giant waste of money.

Such is the case with a Canadian born program which uses babies in the classroom to enhance "emotional literacy." This in turn is supposed to cut down on bullying. If you're not dizzy, you're not listening.

Here it is in a nutshell in their own words: "…if children can learn to identify and understand how other people feel, and better communicate their own feelings, they'll be less aggressive and less likely to bully other students."

A baby attends a classroom with one of its parents and a certified instructor (that lends credibility I guess) urges the students to "monitor the baby's development, watch how it responds to different situations and"--my favorite part--"try to interpret what its feeling."

In one session a father with baby in tow, passes a new diaper around the circle of kids for students to examine and touch. The children talk about the diaper and ask why disposable vs. cloth; how much do diapers cost; how does this dad know his baby is comfortable in his diaper?

This valuable use of class time of course takes away from less important issues like reading and language arts, math and science and things that old fogies like me remember. After all, if a child doesn't "feel safe", he can't learn well…

I suppose the reporter is right saying bullying has been a problem for decades but only barely. See in the 70's we had bullies but then the bullies had bullies and so on. It was called a pecking order; welcome to the world.

But when bullying got out of hand, as it did one day with me and Phil Radtke, having taken all I could take, I strolled across the street on my way home from school and cold- cocked this bully. Old fashioned fisticuffs--well, rolling on the ground more than anything--ensued and lasted about 10 minutes. At the end it was a draw, but amazingly a year of Phil's bullying and taunting me came to an end.

Sometimes turning the other cheek is just plain stupid but honestly, is it the school yard bully who Jesus had in mind anyway? But now babies in school are supposed to do what families are designed to do in shaping the "emotional literacy" of their children. But not in today's world; not when we have a government that chisels away at parental rights and responsibilities keeps pushing for a "Nanny state." Hip, Hip Hooray!


Blogger notcon4med said...

Are you familiar with Voddie Baucham? If you're not, you should be. Do a google search on him. Check out his youtube videos promoting his latest book, Family Driven Faith (very good) and also his just released 2 dvd set, Children of Caesar. I haven't seen it yet, but expect it will be a thoroughly biblical and soundly argued call for Christian parents to wake up with regard to public schooling.

9:34 AM  
Blogger Carmenzta said...

Many years ago when my sons were still in grade school, I was involved with the PTA and was a volunteer teacher's aide. What I experienced during those years still makes my blood boil. It seemed that children spent their time doing anything other than actually learning and teachers did anything else other than teach. It really is sad that our kids have to go through this hogwash in school and then have problems writing a complete sentence or remembering the times table. Sigh.

3:32 PM  

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