Thursday, February 02, 2012

Schools need less emphasis on empathy

Mary Grabar writes in an Atlanta paper op-ed:
Consider what an “official” of the curriculum company told an Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter: “It’s important for kids to have some empathy for other people in the world.”

Really? When did schools get into the empathy business?

But this official’s admission illustrates how prevalent this belief is among educators. Educators have swung sharply from what most citizens believe schools should be doing, and that is imparting knowledge objectively and teaching students how to present written and oral arguments using logic and evidence.

Instead, students are asked to adopt attitudes and present opinions on adult issues. ...

But there are other means by which educators exploit students emotionally: Writing assignments that ask for feelings and opinions. ... Group work. ... Community service. ... The emphasis on everyday people, instead of leaders and heroes. ... Anti-bullying efforts. ...

But when schools emphasize feelings over knowledge and give students a false sense of accomplishment, they’re not helping.

Real knowledge and a strong work ethic come from such things as memorization, rewards for correct answers, intellectually challenging reading, and standard-based math and writing, not from “brainstorming” in groups, or getting praise for unsupported opinions, impressionistic scribbling in journals or token acts of do-good-ism.
This is the femininization of the schools. They are now more concern with indoctrination than learning.

1 comment:

A K Haart said...

"They are not more concern with indoctrination than learning."

Is there a typo here?