Young babies learn amazingly quickly when they are hungry they cry and someone feeds them, when they are wet someone changes them. At the same time the baby responds to mother by gurgling and smiling at this caring person. The caring person responds in very much the same way and also by adding some words: whose a beautiful baby then. Very quickly mother and baby are communicating with words. Some time later Bill or Sue will learn to walk and then walking and talking will develop with astonishing rapidity. Much of this learning is a one to one business, one person speaks and the other listens, they take turns. Sitting in front of a television set is completely different. There is no to-ing and fro-ing , the programme has no interest in the person watching whether that person is two years old or eighty-two. It is totally unresponsive.
I heard on the radio that some children in England starting school in their fifth year are scarcely able to talk. Teachers expect children to follow simple instructions and to be able to respond using brief sentences. It is inexpressibly sad that young children in a rich country like this one start school at such a terrible disadvantage. There is a view that the education of poor children is an unnecessary expense because they will get ideas above their station. In this rapidly changing world who knows what skills and knowledge will be required in 20 or 30 years. Countries where only a small wealthy elite are educated like Saudi Arabia or Syria tend to develop very unhappy populations ripe for any demagogue who appears. What follows is hundreds if not thousands of deaths and a society always in poverty. In countries where the education of every child matters for example Finland, Sweden or The Netherlands populations, societies are at the forefront of modern developments and their societies are peaceful and prosperous.
I have been a teacher and a lecturer for a number of years. I am married with two sons. I'm interested drama, films, TV, books, society in general, poverty and riches and political systems.
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