Answers to Questions About Learning and School
Parents send their children to school and trust that the "magic" of learning happens. Parents often think they know about school because they went to school. People who have worked in school know it is quite different from what they remember from childhood.
When children have no problems in school, parents don't think to ask questions. When children have difficulties, parents often don't understand the situation and try to deal with the consequences of the problems. This page attempts to simply answer common questions that many parents have about school and how their children learn.
- Why don't my child's teachers teach what my child needs to know?
- Who decides what my child will learn?
- What is taught in each level of school?
- What does it mean that my child's school is in crisis?
- Is this a good system of grading schools?
- What are educators doing?
- What is the difference between remediation and intervention?
- School Safety
- Cognitive Development
- School Readiness
About school safety...
- What do schools do to make everyone safe?
- Others pick on my child. Is that a safety issue?
Yes and no. Emotional safety is feeling safe from: negative comments; put-downs, ridiculing, teasing or "tricks" by others, and settings for failure. Emotional safety issues (sometimes along with physical safety issues) are frequent and constantly addressed in elementary (3rd – 5th/ 6th), middle (5th /6th – 8th) and high school (9th – 12th) grades. Unfortunately, adolescence is when fitting in with peers becomes important. Anyone different from others experiences some form of rejection by others. The rejection happens in many ways: comments and ridicule, exclusion from groups, intentional or inadvertent gossip, physical intimidation or aggressive and/or bullying behaviors.
Each student must develop coping skills. These skills include:
- a close circle of accepting friends to protect them;
- non-social or outside interests, such as academically challenging courses, sports or other extra-curricular activities, that either improve "social standing" or are more important than school relationships;
- assertive (NOT aggressive) behaviors to avoid becoming a victim;
- a "tough skin" to ignore others' behavior.
Click here to listen to recordings of Dr. Jennifer Little discussing various topics relating to education.