"A school girl wrote to [President Hoover] and complained about social studies. 'Do you think they should make me do those in school?' she asked. 'No,' he answered. The schools were doing all kinds of things 'these days' that were none of their business. The girl should work hard in important subjects like arithmetic and spelling. And if children want to learn dancing and such things they can do it after school." ~~Ruth Beechick, You CAN Teach Your Child SuccessfullyOur local newspaper ran a story on leisure education this week after Linda Caldwell and Edward Smith lectured at the university.
Did you even know that leisure education exists? We're not talking about even a college degree in recreation here; we're talking about adding yet another "subject" to the curriculum of middle-school students.
These were a few of my favourite bits from the article:
"If they [young people from 12 to 14] find something they are passionate about, they are on a positive trajectory," Linda Caldwell said in an interview after the public lecture. "If you are doing something positive, you are not doing something negative."
Caldwell, a professor of recreation, park and tourism management in Penn State's college of health and development, said parents can't assume they know best when it comes to teens. Youth must be intrinsically involved in the decision making process for using their spare time, she said.
The five-year study, which began in 2003, is looking at youth in Grades 7 to 9. The curriculum, called TimeWise: Taking Charge of Leisure Time, was introduced to teachers and educators at the school. The work is being funded by the United States-based National Institute on Drug Abuse.Oh, so that's where the tax dollars are going.
But alas, the work of a leisure researcher is not all fun and games.
The brain of a young adolescent [is] open to influence and ready for change. In fact, the frontal lobe, where decision-making is processed, is not fully developed. So it's ripe for igniting passion and introducing leisure education, Caldwell said.I just bet.