Today's post isn't necessarily discussing a single topic about education. It actually deals with some of the things that I have been dealing with as a mom who happens to be a teacher.
I am analytical by nature. I love math and I love data. I guess I am kinda weird like that. I love research. Give me a good case study with data and I will eat it up.
Now before I continue, I am not trying to be controversial in ANY way and if you ask those closest to me, they will tell you that I HATE controversy, period. So I am not writing this to get in a debate with anyone, I am just stating some things that I WOULD love to study some day and see some good raw data on the topics.
There are several topics that one day I would love to study. And I say one day, because these topics that I am interested in, I believe, may not have real statistical information for many years to come. I am only writing about two today.
Topic #1: The first topic that really interests me is the topic of technology and the implications of when/how we use it with our children. I know that we will never go backward in the use of technology, as a parent I have drug my feet when it comes to introducing it to Evan, particularly computers. I finally broke down and bought Evan a computer game for his 3rd birthday.
As a teacher, I have seen the negative implications of too much use of technology in this generation of kids. Students now a days "need" to be entertained in the classroom. If what is being taught in the classroom, doesn't have fast moving graphics, bells, whistles, interaction, music etc., students aren't interested. The attention span of students seemed to decrease each year I taught. Do I believe this has to do with the ever increasing use of technology amongst our students? Yes, in some part, but not fully responsible!
Just by talking to the students, you begin to realize just how much time is spent in front of the computer, along with time spent in front of the television playing video games.
How much is too much? I am not anti-technology (geeze, I own a blog for goodness sake and Evan is proficient on the iPhone). But I do believe that technology is not the answer to everything, all the time. School districts are paying millions of dollars to implement software (study games) for studying for the achievement tests, teachers are encouraged to have websites with study information, teachers are also bombarded with games and interactive websites to share with their students on projection screens. When and how is this too much?
Going back to my introduction, someday in the future, I would love to see hard core, unbiased data on how technology has increased or decreased intelligence. Are kids smarter then they were ten years ago? Are IQs increasing or decreasing? Are students losing their common sense and trading it in for better test scores?
As a parent, with a teaching background, I would love to know how much is too much? And how much is needed to just keep your kids up with the ever-changing technology?
Topic #2: How the bombardment of parenting books - in particular baby rearing practices - have long term implications on children. I've read the books, I know the arguments. I chose what, I felt, was best for my children. What is interesting to me as I read the books and articles, were the arguments that were given against other methods. Both sides have somewhat valid arguments, but neither have any hard-core mathematical studies to support their claims.
I just think this whole phenomenon is intriguing. What did parents, especially mothers, do before "the experts" wrote books. Oh yeah, they relied on their mothers for advice and relied on their God-given instincts on what was best for their children. I find it almost humorous that first time mothers run to their books for advice, stress about not being able to find a written answer to a question. Don't get me wrong, I am not judging or making fun of any one. Besides, to an extent I was that mom (with Evan), running to the "experts" who obviously know everything, so they obviously know how I should handle Evan. With Carter, I was much more carefree and just allowed myself to love Carter, not worrying about what the "experts" had to say. Besides who knows my boys best - me! I still, will on occasion, read up on child rearing practices. Obviously I am NOT saying that I know it all, I will always listen to advice from my parents and of experts. But I don't necessarily follow ONE particular source to the tee and do exactly what one person says to do. That just doesn't make sense to me.
Basically, there are some startling and discouraging "statistics" given in some of the best selling parenting books, if you don't follow their guidelines. (No wonder why moms are so stressed!) I would just love to see how these children turn out in the long run. Are these claims, ones that should be taken seriously, or are these people quacks who have impacted a whole generation of moms. I don't know, but I would love to see some mathematical and scientific studies about it one day.
So now it's your turn. If you have come across some great case studies and would like to share them with me, please share. Remember I love the data, not just merely opinions.
Are there any issues or topics that you have really been interested in since becoming a mother?