The Personal Side of Education

Today, Ravitch commented on the writings of Ellen Booth Church, an educator, renowned children's book author (the I Spy series, etc.) who recently wrote, "All learning is social-emotional learning. Children do not learn skills in isolation but through social connection and interconnection to the real world—their world." I agree! We are dealing with "people" and not just "brains." Thus, who should do better at running socially and emotionally healthy classrooms? The Church and other private parties or the government?
Excellent comments!  I don't know if the "All" part of Ellen Church's essay is entirely accurate, but meaningful education really is "social-emotional learning." I suppose there are many small-town public schools that fit this image, but the massive institutions that typify much of the education world struggle to find a meaningful place for human emotions and relationships in the curriculum.  I guess this is primarily why I support school choice - the government - now and always - operates very poorly in the interpersonal arena.  

Parents on the other hand, tend to have a much greater concern for the emotional/social wellbeing of their children than principals, superintendents, and bureaucrats.  Give parents greater (financial) control over not only the choice of their child's school but its curricular priorities, and we may have a solution to our nation's declining human and social capital - especially in the inner cities.

When more local churches can afford to run schools that will address the needs of their children on a more human level, within a context of trust, shared core values, and parental involvement, and without the micromanagement of the state, THEN we may begin to see more socially and emotionally healthy kids and the rebirth of a healthy social fabric in our inner cities.
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