Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Relationship Practice

A few days ago, the blog Bridging Differences, co-written by long-time educators and policy analysts Diane Ravitch and Deborah Meier, talked about measuring education policy by its impacts.

A recurring theme in the discussion was the importance of relationships: "the opportunities young people have to keep company with respected, powerful, and wise adults," and, "the relationships between the key actors—students, teachers, and families."

What a great insight, even if the authors missed the reason behind it. God designed little humans to be nurtured, taught, and loved by two adults within a supportive community. Instead, we put children in a situation where the only consistent thing is meeting their peers in the same building.

The adults charged with their education teach a specialty for fifteen weeks, and then students move on to a new adult. They have no time to bond or learn the ways of their instructor.No wonder they value their peers more than their teachers. At least their peers are always there.

The government has funded many initiatives and innovations in an attempt to fix modern education. They all fail because they forget that humans are complex.  A rising emphasis on mentoring programs across the country indicates that people are realizing something:

If we want children to grow up respecting adults, finding great mentors, and being able to interact with all ages and types of people, surprise, surprise - we will have to give them the opportunity to practice!

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