How Aboot Teaching Children How to Not Live in Self Denial?

March 26, 2009 at 9:03 am | Posted in Politics, Rants | Leave a comment

U.S. Fed Trade Commission Requires Advertisers To Show Typical Results:“a new FTC rule banning commercial testimonials that warn ‘results not typical‘ or ‘individual results may vary.’ Under the new rule, marketers using, say, body builders to advertise weight loss pills are also going to have to show an average lardass whose results might be more typical. You can guess how advertisers are reacting to the change…”

*sigh* Of course, it would be much better if there was an education system in place, in the U.S. or Canada, that taught the “average lardass” to recognize horse hockey when they saw it. But there isn’t. What I’d like to see is something like The Critical Thinking Community for grade school curriculum. If anyone knows of such an organization, please tell me aboot it.

BTW a few years ago when I was at BCIT, I did a spit take when I saw a poster for Competition Bureau Canada claiming that they were protecting Canadians from Misleading Advertisements. At the time I though ridiculous! almost every ad on TV is balderdash!, but in researching who they are I found out that they actually do a lot.

Adam Bradwanski @ the Globe and Mail kind of agrees with me:

People in my line of work – some of us, anyway – are fond of rambling on about the need for schools to do a better job of teaching civics. If you want a more active and informed electorate and a greater sense of civic responsibility, the first step is to give kids a better understanding of our democracy and their role within it.

A few months ago, a friend of mine who works in securities came back at me with the Bay Street version of this. If you really want to prepare students to survive and thrive in today’s society, what about giving them some basic understanding of how to manage their personal finances?

It was a good point. Unless they learn it from their parents, a great number of kids are at risk of coming out of high school – and university, for that matter – with no practical knowledge of how to responsibly handle their own money.

Again it’s aboot rethinking children’s education to equip them with more life skills.

Narcissism and the Economic Crisis?:

In his seminal book the Culture of Narcissism , Christoper Lasch lamented the degree to which the Western Psyche had shifted toward traits that by any measure would be seen as predominantly narcissistic. In spite of his grim assessment and dire warnings, even he would be impressed by how deeply we have plunged into the emptiness of narcissism.What impact do narcissistic traits and characteristics have in the face of the ongoing economic crisis? First of all grandiosity and denial are common features of the condition which I think can easily be seen as the two horsemen of the apocalypse that lead us down the path to our current situation.

Again, how aboot taking a long term approach to this problem by introducing some Basic Psychology into the elementary curriculum. I don’t expect eight year olds to be able to digest a college level text book, but you could take one chapter oot of that book and spread it oot over the course of a school year with examples that children wold understand.

Of course you can’t expect children to learn every subject at once. If you introduce new material, something will have to be cut in order to make room. And that’s when the fighting begins. What kinda edumacation system don’t teach my son what the capital of Paraguay is?!?

Also, if you teach children to think, they might just disagree with you on issues that you have strong opinions aboot. They might learn to stand up to authori-teh:

American historian, professor, and long time social critic Howard Zinn once said, “Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that numbers of people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of the leaders of their government and have gone to war, and millions have been killed because of this obedience . . . Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty.”

For those reasons changes often/would have a problem finding political will, and in my opinion are not likely to happen. Still, if anyone knows of a group that is trying to introduce more life skills to children, I’d love to hear aboot it.

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