“Do as I SAY, not as I DO”

Recently the Virginia State Board of Education published its draft of the proposed new standards for history and social studies in Virginia’s classrooms. Here is a revealing excerpt:

The student will apply history and social science skills to practice citizenship in the classroom by:

Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? These standards suggest that a four-year-old child’s mastery of these social skills is a reasonable expectation.

So why is it that we, as adults, HAVE NOT mastered these same skills? Obviously, we were all exposed to them in theory. Why do we not model them in practice? Is this because we didn’t see these skills modeled in our homes when we were children? Is it because we do not see these skills being modeled by people in public life? Or is it because we have grown carless of our own self-expectations?

Our children are watching us every day. Despite what we SAY, they are absorbing the real message our actions convey.


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