Monday, September 22, 2014

why so many kids can't sit still in school...

There is an epidemic of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) diagnosed among children in school. You can read about it in this article in the Washington Post. Why So Many Kids Can't Sit Still in School Today. The number of children affected by this "disorder" according to statistics published by the center for disease control has grown from 7.8 percent in 2003 to 9.5 percent in 2007 and to 11 percent in 2011. That amounts to a growth rate of 15 percent per year in the number of children diagnosed with ADHD.

Comenius had simply observed children in action, as anyone in his or her right mind might do and said,
"Boys ever delight in being occupied in something for the youthful blood does not allow them to be at rest. Now as this is very useful, it ought not to be restrained, but provision made that they may always have something to do. Let them be like ants, continually occupied in doing something, carrying, drawing, construction and transporting, provided always that whatever they do be done prudently. They ought to be assisted by showing them the forms of all things, even of playthings; for they cannot yet be occupied in real work, and we should play with them.
He also described the ideal school, which is a far cry from what American education has become. Comenius said the following about schools:
"Artisans do not detain their apprentices with theories, but set them to do practical work at an early stage; thus they learn to forge by forging, to carve by carving, to paint by painting, and to dance by dancing. In schools, therefore, let the students learn to write by writing, to talk by talking, to sing by singing, and to reason by reasoning. In this way schools will become workshops humming with work, and students whose efforts prove successful will experience the truth of the proverb; "We give form to ourselves and to our materials at the same time."
In other words, having children sit still in school is a shameful waste of their natural inclination to learn by doing. We make schools boring and waste precious time and attention.

 Make, fix and create...


  1. Doug,

    How does your approach reflect that of the Waldorf model? You seem to have similar insight.

    Please keep the posts on education they're wonderful and I pass them along to every educator and parent that we know.


  2. When did school start being about the adults? Why aren't the child's needs placed highest on the priority list? It's as if all adults want to do is make their lives easier. Real teaching requires great energy and enthusiasm and kids are greats role models in this department- maybe we should take their lead more often than have them take ours.