Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Socialization: How are Schools Doing?

Traditional public schools have a testing- and competition-focused model that often gets in the way of potentially positive social interactions. After all, you can’t test students in their personal interactions, so in what’s the point in fostering it?

When considering if school is a good place to learn healthy interpersonal relationships, it is important to make the distinction between socializing and being socialized.  

Socializing is fun. Being “socialized”... not so much.

When we think about school, we generally see 20-30 children, grouped by date of manufacture,  in a room with one adult. Order and rules govern the room. They are required to move from place to place when loud bells ring. Recess, another thing that can’t be tested, is fast becoming an endangered species.  Today’s schoolchildren enjoying 50% less time outdoors then when I was in school.  

The ability to be quiet is highly valued.
  • Do not talk during class.
  • Do not talk in the halls.
  • Be quiet in the lunch room.

Failure to conform to “shushing,” is met with a stern warning: “You’re not here to socialize.” Disobedience results in consequences, even low grades in “conduct.

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