Education means more than academic excellence
By Larry Crawford July 20, 2012 11:22PM
Updated: August 23, 2012 6:05AM
Most of us are old enough to remember the TV series, “Doogie Howser, MD.”
Wikipedia describes the series in this way:
“An American television comedy-drama about a teenage doctor who also faces the problems of being a normal teenager. He earned a perfect SAT score at the age of 6, graduated from Princeton at age 10, and by age 14, was the youngest licensed doctor in the country.”
I never saw one episode. I had friends who were loyal watchers and felt it their duty to keep me caught up.
The show lasted four years focusing on what Dr. Doogie needed to learn in order to become a well-rounded human being.
I think I was trying to figure out if the show was an attempt to inspire our children to see the possibilities of being focused on learning and not so much on playing around.
After all, China was educating and graduating their children from college-level studies before they turned 18. Other countries also were turning out college grads much faster than America was.
It seemed the “rest of the world” was catching up with us.
As it turned out, those instances of “quicker and faster” were the exception and not the rule. The students from the foreign countries were like Doogie. They were advanced academically, but they lacked in other, equally important, human growth and development qualities.
It is disheartening to hear a young student on the way to the fourth grade say, “I’m really supposed to be in the fifth grade.” They are explaining and justifying the fact of not having yet shown sufficient academic proficiency to move to the next stage of learning. There is even a sense of embarrassment for this perceived academic lacking.
We can tell our children, “You are right where you need to be! It is more important to stay and get it than to move on without it. You haven’t failed, you’re being prepared!”
Too often, we have socially promoted when we should have morally retained. Have we not yet discovered that all children don’t learn at the same pace or in the same way? If it takes 15 years to instill it all … the time is worth it.
Children are our greatest resource!
In the writer’s draft: “When Dr. Doogie grew up in the areas he was lacking, he quit the medical profession and became a writer.”
Larry Crawford still thinks
schools should be year-round.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org