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Comments on SEAFING DIVERSITY.htm item 13
Document uploaded 08-25-2008 05:10 AM ET (US)

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Larry VictorPerson was signed in when posted
03:49 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 13
deepwater - Yes to Yes.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, if we were to honestly examine practices in infant, child and youth "raising", across all times and all cultures. Many would horrify us; none would be without serious flaws. Most cultures settle into a tradition of practices for handling the "immature", practices that don't destabilize the culture too much when the young become adults.

Although inheritance ("nature" plays a very significant role in determining a field of potential adults, "nurture" (or its absence)is also a very significant factor. The resilience of most children, not necessarily to be immune to nurture, but not to be totally destroyed by improper nurture, is a powerful factor - necessary for the species survival. Yet, the adult who was a resilient child is usually far from their realizable potentials.

The hard fact is that the adult world has enormous power to mold the upcoming generations, and with this comes an enormous responsibility. The neglect of this responsibility may open the gate for the generations to invent their own adult cultures. The counter-acting power of youth peer groups, and the power of children to mold parents, usually insures that adult generations can't totally control what the next generations will be. Also, adult determination to mold children to their ideals, independent of the nature and wishes of the developing child is recipe for disaster.

Using one of my recent terms, the adult world creates educational scaffolding for the galdee of the young. To date, this scaffolding has never been created with consideration of adequate knowledge of biological development and individual differences of the young. Although we need much more knowledge in these domains, our contemporary knowledge has far outstripped their applications in practice. What is applied is usually piecemeal.

Most of the design of "proper" practices for the galdee of youth (and today, a lifelong process) must be empirical. With this comes the awesome ethical responsibility of "experimenting with life". Yet, all child rearing today is experimental, if sloppy in doing (or not doing) whatever the parents think appropriate (with very few exceptions).

Parents (and other adults, including youth who are always a part of the developmental environment of their peers and those younger) cannot become paralyzed with anxiety about the power they ARE executing on the molding of children - even when the children don't grow up to fit their intended mold.

In my long career as an educator, I started teaching college, then high and junior high, then developing curricula for elementary and pre school. I learned that no matter how well constructed educational practices are, that really work with children, determined by empirical testing -- these practices are warped or ignored by most teachers and parents. The lesson learned: a better educational system (including media and non school factors) depends on the concurrent co-education of adults and children - everyone.

We are all continuing learners, continuing galdee-ers. We are also all learning educators - watch X year olds care for their younger siblings.

Older persons (those with requisite competencies) must design the fundamentals of the educational scaffolding, but final decisions must be in the hands of the learners, whatever age. I call this: Learners for Quality Education or LQE.

The immediate (educational scaffolding) environment should be as finely tuned as possible to the unique nature of the person, taking into account their whole biological and developmental history. Within this well tuned learning environment the learner should have maximum freedom. As we learn, and learn about learning and ourselves, we can begin to participate in the design of our own future educational scaffolding. This is educational bootstrapping.

Back to deepwater's decisive response. Yes, the young should have societal responsibilities -- otherwise when will they ever develop a sense of social worth and develop the skills of responsible citizens, partners, and parents ? Although puberty is biologically driven, adolescence is a societal illness - in persons having the need and competencies to assume responsible roles in society and not being permitted to assume those roles. Adolescence can continue through the twenties and beyond.

In view of the above, popular criticism of education is so very weak and misdirected. As critical a force as education is in determining the nature of a culture and/or society, one cannot wait for significant improvement in the general education system - which is mostly regulated by outmoded societal practices and immune to significant reform. A new and better education system can only co-galdee with new communities, societies, and persons. A challenging enterprise.

06:09 AM ET (US)
Regarding item 13
Should humans, while growing up be given social responsibilities commensurate with their competencies (not age). YES.