Two Landmark Studies: Behavior Problems and Schooling

13 11 2007

What Thinking Parents are discussing on our parent-directed education list today:

November 13, 2007
Bad Behavior Does Not Doom Pupils, Studies Say
By BENEDICT CAREY

Educators and psychologists have long feared that children entering
school with behavior problems were doomed to fall behind in the upper
grades. But two new studies suggest that those fears are exaggerated.

One concluded that kindergarteners who are identified as troubled do as
well academically as their peers in elementary school. The other found
that children with attention deficit disorders suffer primarily from a
delay in brain development, not from a deficit or flaw.

Experts say the findings of the two studies, being published today in
separate journals, could change the way scientists, teachers and parents
understand and manage children who are disruptive or emotionally
withdrawn in the early years of school. The studies might even prompt a
reassessment of the possible causes of disruptive behavior in some children.

“I think these may become landmark findings, forcing us to ask whether
these acting-out kinds of problems are secondary to the inappropriate
maturity expectations that some educators place on young children as
soon as they enter classrooms,” said Sharon Landesman Ramey, director of the Georgetown University Center on Health and Education, who was not connected with either study. . .

Well, it’s about time!

Seems to me “inappropriate maturity expectations” are the river running through all harmful schooling and training practices whether they are inflicted on children at school, church, or home. Standardized testing to the point that little kids get physically ill or think of killing themselves to stop the pain and shame is not the beginning or the end of it. How about whipping four-month-old babies for crying in their cribs, for example, as the Pearls’ parenting books advocate, and the horrific child abuse reportedly prompted by “toilet training” accidents at home . . .

And maybe it’s the culprit on the other side of elementary school, as preteens and teens encounter the juvenile justice system — is statutory rape for example, a crime fabricated out of nothing more than “inappropriate maturity expectations”?