As the needs for better education in our schools has increased, so has the push to deliver better education at a lower level to ease some of the strain on teachers at the higher levels of learning. Because of this, students are expected to do things considerably earlier than past generations have had to. This means that students are starting math earlier, learning history earlier, and even learning how to read and write earlier. The problem is that many schools are finding that students aren’t always on the same playing field in terms of their abilities, especially when it comes to reading.
Along with these increased need for skills, in reading in particular, has also come the increased labeling of children as having special needs, relating to issues such as ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder). While many say that this increase is because of the lack of knowledge of the disorders in the past, resulting in fewer children being diagnosed, however many state that this is a means of controlling the students and making them more placid in school.
The reality is that most of these children don’t have these disorders, the problem is that these are young active children. When you try to confine young active children to doing tasks that require them to sit still and do nothing for a long period of time, many of them are going to fight it and try to still do something else. They are going to act out, and they are going to talk out loud. While this is seen by many as a learning disability, in reality it’s because these children aren’t mentally ready to be able to sit still for that long of time. This wasn’t an issue before, because children were able to grow up another year before being forced into subjects that require less movement such as reading and mathematics.
So I do think it is logical that with more requirements on students, especially those that keep them from being creative and entertaining themselves through means of activity, that more are just going to act out. Once they are old enough to understand the importance of behaving and listening, they are going to be much less likely to have these issues, but if they are already diagnosed and being treated for a disorder, that they don’t really have, then who is to know whether or not they would have calmed down along with all of the other students on their own. The reality, is that we can’t prove it either way.
This is why I think it’s important that teachers start with their young children and teach them how to behave in public settings. Teach them how to sit still and teach them the joy of reading. If they feel they are good at reading, they may be more apt to read with the class or sit and read alone than if they find it complicated or boring. I think ultimately as demands change, parents need to change along with them in order to advance their children much faster. If the parents aren’t willing to make these changes, then those children are always going got be a lot more aggressive and difficult to control and will continually be labeled until all the children in the school system are placid and emotionless.