A lesson for teachers

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Posted by HSG on June 17, 2005 at 14:44:31:

From impressionable grade-schoolers, to savvy high-school youth, a crisis is facing today's student population, especially in North America.

And the question that arises is this:

What are the schools going to do about it?

Well, a good first step would be if they . . . addressed the crisis itself.

That is, if they addressed the real crisis, and not a mythical crisis that doesn't even exist, a hallucinated "epidemic" that has been thoroughly debunked and discredited.

In a nutshell, it is high time for schools to stop obsessing about what young girls enjoy during lunch time, and to start focussing on what they learn during class time--because today's educational crisis in taking place in the classroom, not in the cafeteria.

It is completely appalling, if not ridiculous, to read of the draconian measures that some schools are taking to monitor what students eat during their breaks. Every day brings another absurd example of schools trying to play Big Brother over students' eating habits.

Is this really what North American schools are becoming--state-funded health spas?

For the good of our society, it is for teachers to reassess their values.

As many news sources, such as the following articles, note,


our educational system is in a very real crisis. North American test scores consistently rank among the lowest in the industrialized world:


But what is more alarming that the simple performance of the students, is the fact that the current educational system as a whole could have profound methodological flaws.

Some analysts suggest the current system was structured to serve an industrial economy, not an information economy:


And just a few months ago, Bill Gates delivered a speech at the National Education Summit on High Schools (a speech that has reverberated around the world), in which he asserted that North American high schools are so "obsolete" that "even when they're working exactly as designed [they] cannot teach our kids what they need to know today":

http://www.gatesfoundation.org/MediaCenter/Speeches/ . . .

This educational crisis is, of course, a highly controversial topic. The causes and suggested remedies are as manifold as those that are associated with any contentious political issue, and they provoke the sort of cultural and economic questions that are too divisive to be discussed here.

But for the purposes of this forum, the fundamental, non-political point is this:

At a time when the school system is in such an admittedly troubled state, educators must surely realize that developing their students' minds will benefit those students far more than micromanaging their food choices.

Teachers must surely know that the quality of life that their students will lead will depend on what those students know, and what they think--not what they eat.

Therefore, shouldn't teachers adjust their educational priorities accordingly?

Of course they should.

Unless . . .

Unless they are using the mythical "weight" issue as a smokescreen, to divert attention away from the educational system's very real shortcomings.

No. Surely not.

That would be unimaginably irresponsible.

* * *

If educators wish to teach their students at least one good lesson during their school years, it might be this: love your body the way it is, and eat whatever you want. Your body will take care of itself (nature built it that way--it knows what it wants). It is the mind that needs attention.

Let them learn this lesson the easy way, so they don't have to learn it the hard way.

Crystal Renn--whose journey to self-acceptance is a textbook case of teaching by example. Let's hope that many young girls take this lesson to heart.

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