By Paul A. Ibbetson
What part should schools play in the personal development of our children? Most parents naturally expect teachers and administrative staff to assist their children in learning important skills like reading, writing, and arithmetic, but we now know a child’s development goes far beyond the basics at school. Upon closer inspection, most parents recognize that schools often teach children additional skills, such as how to interact with others, follow rules, think critically, and in many cases, develop career aspirations for what their Mom’s and Dad’s hope will be a bright and happy future. All this instruction is positive and benefits our children. However, there is more still that students will learn.
If we pull out the microscope of reality and aim it at the classrooms of America, we will see that teachers and school staff are now modeling and teaching ethical and moral values to our children as well. Teachers model ethical values they support and then hold them up as important, as well as the social issues they talk about and those they withhold from classroom discussion. So while parents should hold the dominant role and have the right and responsibility for their children’s upbringing, when students are in school, they are greatly influenced by what happens in the classroom and all other aspects of daily school life.