Education Abuse

EDUCATIONAL ABUSE OF CHILDREN

Raised awareness helps us see that children’s interests must be protected wherever they are. The schools have their share of practices which hurt children, and parents can be on the alert for these and intervene when needed.

EXPERIMENTATION

One parent group in the United States actually formed to eliminate drug research on children in schools. There are other experiments, sometimes called innovations, pilot projects, etc. anything new which has not been in your school before should have safeguards built in so that children are not used, either for half-baked amateurish efforts or major shifts in educational practice without the public knowing. Two key documents on human experimentation apply as much to schools as they do elsewhere: Nuremberg Code and the Declaration of Helsinki.(l) The key things to look for are:

1) informed consent of all subjects (if children, parents provide the consent)–informed consent means knowledge of the objectives, methods, expertise being applied;

2) there are fruitful results for the good of the group (not obtainable by other means);

3) all prior knowledge brought to bear (pitfalls, problems, improvements from previous experiences taken into account);

4) avoid physical and mental suffering and injury;

5) ability to leave the experiment at any time,

6) safeguarding the integrity of the individual, especially if the subject is in a dependent relationship as in a teacher-student relationship.
HOMEWORK ABUSE

In the recent ‘back-to-the-basics’ trend many teachers are assigning increased homework because they think that’s what parents think ‘back-to-the-basics’ means. Not only are these teachers misreading what parents want, but their homework assignments are taking on a punitive tone. Some of the errors being committed in the name of homework are: overloading, thoughtless or poorly explained assignments, assignments not marked, all students given the same assignments regardless of student’s competence, class follow-up on the assignment done in a way to turn-off students. There is no excuse for homework abuse. There is abundant literature for teachers to know what are good and bad homework practises.

“MILKING” THE EDUCATIONAL DOLLAR

At one time it was easy to show that 100% of the Kindergarten to Grade 12 education dollar was spent on behalf of students K:12. Now, it is harder to justify some of the spending when some of the following are charged: education and social and recreation programs for adults; trustee and officials’ trips to distant locations; memberships for staffs in a myriad of professional organizations ….Without proper monitoring and awareness more and more of the educational dollar will be diverted at the expense of educational programs for children (for whom the money was collected. Accountability, unfortunately is still more theory than practice.

FAILURE TO TEACH FOR COMPETENCE

It is known that most children can be taught the basics of most school subjects. It should be a minor scandal that the methods of mastery teaching are being resisted for inconsequential reasons. It is becoming abundantly clear that citizens need a foundation of basic skills and knowledge on which to continue further learning and active citizenship throughout their lives. Educationally handicapping practices which fail to remediate and educate all children in the basics should not be tolerated.

EXCLUDING PARENTS FROM EDUCATIONAL PLANNING

There is ample proof that parent involvement in education improves both educational and social development of children. Failure to work in partnership with the home handicaps the child’s educational potential.
(1) The Test Score Decline, L. Lipritz, Educ. Technology Pub., 1977 (section on “I Don’t Want My Kid to Be a Guinea Pig” page 128)

(2) Positive Mental Health for Teachers, J. Mackiel, March 1979 The Clearinghouse

(3) How One School District Handles Unsatisfactory Teachers. Better Homes and Gardens, Nov. 1979 page 23

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