Thursday, September 23, 2010

Values in two hours

Big industry boss wants us to teach our kids values. The plan is to allocate two curriculum hours a week in which the kids can learn the values of citizenship and about their social and moral responsibilities as human beings who can balance their reasoning abilities with their emotions.

This latest development could be a step in the right direction, seeing as how our kiddies are so drained of soul by the time they've passed junior high. This is one opportunity for us to reach them with a different perspective from the usual results-are-everything message they're so tired of listening to. That is, if they don't have a test to pass at the end of the year just to prove that this extra class justifies the taxpayers' monies funding it, in which case the whole exercise becomes self-negating. Actually, taxpayers don't have to worry since we'll be teaching it for no extra pay, but you know how accountants get about justifying every microsecond of our time -- it's their job.

I can see how such classes would be great for the kids in secondary school and below, though I believe they already have some kind of social studies and civics and moral ed classes. An extra two hours a week could help them put the theories they learn in-class into real, practical projects; or at least get them learning about their world butts-off, hands-on. These are skills we can't learn from textbooks anyway, so let's get active for a change. Let's use this opportunity to show them what goes on outside the classroom, unmediated, uncensored, and fully sensory.

I wonder if these two-hour weekly sessions are meant to continue through junior college? If we start taking in kids who have real experience working within the community since their secondary school days, I'll bet our GP classes will be so much more engaging for both us and our hypothetical future students. After all, everything Boss wants taught we already cover in GP, with the exception that we have an exam at the end the kids must take.

With the experience they bring with them coupled with their mid-teen maturity, they should be ready to discuss the basis of their beliefs, the nature of the human condition, human partnership with one another and stewardship over the rest of the world, and have a sense of fun, innovation and hope for their future.

I know I'm being idealistic. Our intentions are always good. I'm just worried about the accountant in his little back room working out how all this is going to pay off in dollars and cents, effectively placing a price tag on the priceless, thus rendering it worthless.

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