Depleted Elementary School Curriculum
Who makes these decisions anyway? Todays curriculum is written in language that only a lawyer can understand. Written by academics for academics. It’s a huge tome put out by the Toronto District School Board, which takes more than a bit of muscle to carry around. What exactly does it tell us? Lots and lots and lots of detail. About particular subject matter and methodology and aims and specific outcomes. And what exactly are you left with after you’ve gone through it, besides confusion? Do you really have a good picture of the child you’d like to produce from all this? Likely not.
100 years ago in Ontario there was the Gray Book. A small little document probably under 50 pages that told you what kind of child we wanted to see after his/her 8 years of elementary school with us. It was an uplifting piece. Short and to the point. Its recommendation for curriculum was 10% music 10% gym, 30% literature, 10% math, 10% art. We’re nowhere near that. Our children are often obese for lack of exercise. Music and art get short shrift and often considered “fringe” subjects. There ‘s an overemphasis on math and computer skills, and little consideration for total screen time that the child’s exposed to.
To raise real human beings, not just automaton human “doings”, we need to rethink our approach to education and curriculum in particular, and stop doing violence to the children under the care of the school system. Dr. Aymen the well known author of “Change your Brain Change your Life” can be seen on U Tube advocating for less drugs for our kids, advising natural remedies and supplementation as a first course of treatment for our behavioral kids. I agree. Nutrition and supplementation should be the schools concern. Nutrition, adequate sleep, freedom from abuse. These are necessities. Psychologists realize now a child can’t learn anything if these life’s necessities are not covered before the child arrives at school.
Then once he/she is at school half the time spent in program, should be spent either out in nature or studying nature: learning responsibility, relating to the plants and animals, learning gardening and how to grow what we need to eat. Then teaching children meditation and mindfulness, as is done in some experimental programs now, would be a huge step forward towards living an inner authentic life, in touch with our feelings – a far cry from the bullying, backstabbing, shunning school yards that have become normal. Tribes training – learning how to work in real groups. Right brain training as well as left brain training. Sure skills will have to be taught and trained, but we’re no longer needing to raise robots for our assembly lines – which are on their way out. But rather fully human beings who are raised to love life and love themselves and have the confidence and creativity to create all our futures. Amen
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