Equity Education

jdespain (jdespain@efn.org)
Sun, 5 Apr 1998 10:16:29 -0700 (PDT)

I am not a standard researcher but a teacher in the public schools for
over 25 years. For the last 10 years I have professionalized as a
substitute and through my travels around the County and with my inquiring
mind it has become increasingly clear how desperately our students need
Equity Education.

Daniel Goleman's book Emotional Intelligence does a wonderful job of
citing research on the value of educating the emotions of humans.
Without such education, people tend to become emotionally confused,
over-reactive, even out of control and violent, as seen in particularly
with men's behavior and crime rate and other socio-ills in both genders.

It is so obvious to me that children from pre-school through the age of
reason (about 7 yrs) need a steady influx of emotional support and
guidance.I believe that starting with self-esteem and empathy, we plant
the seeds of compassion for life.These years provide the foundation of
the human being and with such guidance can make a major difference in how
they behave in their teens and as adults. Certainly continued education
after 7 years must happen, kicking in sex ed and other higher level
skills of conflict management is necessary. Learning and practicing
emotional self control is the key.

We all know how important it is that parents provide nurturing
environments for values in their children. But no single source of child
care is responsible here. The schools provide the atmosphere of peer to
peer communications which will sustain themselves throughout each
generations lifetime. So the schools must work pro-actively (not blaming
parents or suppressing emotions as many of them do now) with the emotional
side of students. We only need to look to our society and it's
degenerating emotionally with increased violence to see this is true, for
most of us adults have not had such emotional education and divorces,
violence and prejudice is rampart in our adult world. As well, the media
is a big educator for children and must take responsibility for selling
out values for income. Parents and schools can help guide children, but
media must be required to straighten up it's act. All this talk about
rights for child porno sickens me. It must be realized that without
responsiblity their is no right to anything.

A joining of efforts by schools, parents and the media could create a wave
of positive change for the next generation of children to pass through our
care. The current students need all the support they can get for sorting
out their feelings on a daily basis. The schools are run by the public's
money and the public needs to take a stand for what their children need to
know. Because we ultimately socialize on a world level, sex ed and other
values are not just a family matter. It really does take a village to
raise a child..but that village needs to know where it stands and where it
is going.

The National Coalition Building Institute is a great organization for
building understanding with all ages. Rethinking Schools is a terrific
newspaper full of progressive education ideals and the National Coalition
of Education Activists provides excellent resources as well.

For the children.

Jean-Marie DeSpain, M.S.
Educational Ideals
P.O. Box 1143
Veneta, OR. 97487

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