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Pedagogies of Kindness and Respect

On the Lives and Education of Children

Edited By Paul L. Thomas, Paul R. Carr, Julie A. Gorlewski and Brad J. Porfilio

Pedagogies of Kindness and Respect presents a wide variety of concepts from scholars and practitioners who discuss pedagogies of kindness, an alternative to the «no excuses» ideology now dominating the way that children are raised and educated in the U.S. today. The fields of education, and especially early childhood education, include some histories and perspectives that treat those who are younger with kindness and respect. This book demonstrates an informed awareness of this history and the ways that old and new ideas can counter current conditions that are harmful to both those who are younger and those who are older, while avoiding the reconstitution of the romantic, innocent child who needs to be saved by more advanced adults. Two interpretations of the upbringing of children are investigated and challenged, one suggesting that the poor do not know how to raise their children and thus need help, while the other looks at those who are privileged and therefore know how to nurture their young. These opposing views have been discussed and problematized for more than thirty years. Pedagogies of Kindness and Respect investigates the issue of why this circumstance has continued and even worsened today.
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Chapter Two: Are We Educating Our Children Within a Culture of Care?


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Are We Educating Our Children Within A Culture OF Care?



By law, this nation does not allow children to work long hours in factories, mines, and mills as they once did in order to help their parents pay the rent for the tenements in which they lived. We wanted them to be both safe and educated, so we built schools for them and required them to be there. We are pleased to report that our children no longer labor where they were unable to engage in childhood activities like singing, dancing, playing, exploring, and discovering new things. Because this culture’s main focus remains on economic productivity, however, keeping children safe does not ensure that they receive the attention they need in order to thrive. For example, according to (2014), on average, every nine days since 1998, a child, forgotten by his or her caregiver, suffers for hours before dying in the backseat of a safely parked and locked automobile having been first safely strapped into a properly installed, government-certified car seat. To avoid these deaths, news outlets, psychologists, child experts, and even spokespersons from weather services tell caregivers to leave something important (like a purse, cell phone, or computer) in the backseat with the child, so when caregivers leave the car, they’ll remember the important item they left, and in the process of retrieving it, will notice the child (e.g., Larsen,...

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