Friday, March 01, 2013


In the UK, 19.8% of school pupils have special educational needs 

(eg learning and behavioural difficulties)

The EU average is 4%

Photo by Bert Hardy

Why does one child succeed in life, and another one 'fail'?

In How Children SucceedPaul Tough writes that what matters most is character skills.

These are skills such as self confidence, optimism, perseverance, curiosity, conscientiousness, and self-control.

In other words, emotional intelligence, as taught by good parents, good mentors and good private schools, is what matters.

Both rich children and poor children can lack emotional intelligence.

"Suniya Luthar, a psychologist at Columbia University found significant psychological problems at the high end of the income spectrum... These problems arise most often in those high-income homes where children feel simultaneously a great pressure to achieve and an emotional distance from their parents..."

'How Children Succeed' — Q&A with Paul Tough

Bill Brandt

"Apparently medical reasons explain why children who grow up in abusive or dysfunctional environments generally find it harder to concentrate, sit still and rebound from disappointments. 

"The part of the brain most affected by early stress is the prefrontal cortex, which is critical for regulating thoughts and mediating behaviour. 

"When this region is damaged - a common condition for children living amid the pressures of poverty - it is tougher to suppress unproductive instincts."

School reform: Stay focused | The Economist

Website for this image...

Children who do not have good parents need good mentors and tutors, according to Paul Tough.

"Studies show that early nurturing from parents or caregivers helps combat the biochemical effects of stress. 

"And educators can push better habits and self control. 

"The 'prefrontal cortex is more responsive to intervention than other parts of the brain,' writes Mr Tough. 

"It stays malleable well into early adulthood. 

"Character can be taught."

School reform: Stay focused | The Economist

The problem is - how does a child from a problem family find a good mentor?

The best mentors are often grandparents.


Anonymous said...

The German childrens act just pre W W II made education and health a priority for children, i wish we had something like that here now
Karen Cummings

Steed said...

Yes Anon, but didn't it also make home-schooling in Germany illegal?

Loving Children said...

Education and teaching are for slavery.

Children need love, protection, natural food, a stable understanding family and peers to copy enjoy and learn with and free range.

Besides traumas, the main influence on children's character is what they naturally learn by copying.
If you shout at them to be quiet, they will tend to shout after the shock and intimidation subsides.
If you truthfully tell them what is going on, they are intelligent from early on.
The magical age and fairy tales need space as declared land of dreams throughout life.


education (n.)
1530s, "childrearing," also "the training of animals," from Middle French education (14c.) and directly from Latin educationem (nominative educatio), from pp. stem of educare (see educate). Originally of education in social codes and manners; meaning "systematic schooling and training for work" is from 1610s.
educationese (n.)
"the jargon of school administrators," 1966, from education + -ese.

educate (v.)
Latin educatus brought up, taught (past participle of educare, educated, from primitive to elite)
mid-15c., "bring up (children), train," from Latin educatus, pp. of educare "bring up, rear, educate," which is related to educere "bring out, lead forth," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + ducere "to lead" (see duke (n.)). Meaning "provide schooling" is first attested 1580s.

a : to provide schooling for
b : to train by formal instruction and supervised practice especially in a skill, trade, or profession
a : to develop mentally, morally, or aesthetically especially by instruction
b : to provide with information : inform
: to persuade or condition to feel, believe, or act in a desired way , propaganda

Examples of EDUCATE
Parents trust schools to educate their children.
The job of our public schools is to educate.

Origin of EDUCATE
Middle English, to rear, from Latin educatus, past participle of educare to rear, educate, from educere to lead forth — more at educe
First Known Use: 15th century
Related to EDUCATE Duke and Duce (Mussolini).

duke (n.)
early 12c., "sovereign prince," from Old French duc (12c.) and directly from Latin dux (genitive ducis) "leader, commander," in Late Latin "governor of a province," from ducere "to lead," from PIE *deuk- "to lead" (cf. Old English togian "to pull, drag," Old High German ziohan "to pull," Old English togian "to draw, drag," Middle Welsh dygaf "I draw").

teach, indoctrinate, instruct, lesson, school, train, tutor

Related Words
coach, mentor; drill, fit, ground, habilitate, prepare, prime, qualify; direct, guide, lead, rear; catechize, lecture, moralize, preach; implant, inculcate, instill (also instil); homeschool; edify, enlighten; brief, familiarize, impart (to), inform, verse; initiate, introduce, show; reeducate, reschool, reteach, retrain.

Latin educere to draw out, from ex- + ducere to lead — more at tow.
educe, evoke, elicit, extract, extort mean to draw out something hidden, latent, or reserved. educe implies the bringing out of something potential or latent .

Loving Children said...

Blogspot removed the following parts in parenthesis because they were in angle brackets:
b : to provide with information : inform (educating themselves about changes in the industry)
: to persuade or condition to feel, believe, or act in a desired way (educate the public to support our position), propaganda

educe, evoke, elicit, extract, extort mean to draw out something hidden, latent, or reserved. educe implies the bringing out of something potential or latent (educed order out of chaos).

Anonymous said...

Hullo Aang,

May I belatedly drop in my two cents worth? Having been to school (ahem) it's my considered opinion that 'what' is taught is nearly irrelevant. Think of how many facts and formulas you were taught at school. How many can you remember now? I'd be struggling to tell you how to calculate the area of a circle, or when the French revolution was, or how algebra works. But the thing is, I don't know that it really matters.

For mine, the only thing that counted at school was the enthusiasm for the topic imparted to me by a handful of passionate and charismatic teachers. Which is to say, I view a love of the subject as being far more important than the minutiae which comprises it. Sure enough, dull, uninspired teachers stick to the minutiae, grind it out, and leave their students with a variety of anti-intellectual hatred.

Whilst it's probably true that I was predisposed, my most passionate teachers taught English. But here's a thing you may find surprising - I was taught at a Catholic school wherein religion was compulsory. And whilst this was dull and tedious stuff initially, in the last year, year 12, our religion class consisted entirely of philosophy. I recall Socrates, Aquinas, Kohlberg. But like I said, the 'what' of it is neither here nor there. Rather it was the infective passion of the teacher that counted.

Sure enough we shake our fist at the Catholic church, and quite rightly, but I still thank those lay teachers, priests, and brothers for having shared their passion with me.

Or to put it another way, I was taught to think for myself. And thinking about it, that's the only thing that counts. If one possesses that ability every topic is yours for the having.

Otherwise, you remain unmissable.

best etc. etc.

Site Meter