sitstillandpayattention

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Month: November, 2011

Fathers and Sons

I’ve recently joined a group whose mandate is to marshal greater awareness of men’s issues, in part, as one gentleman implied at the meeting last night, “to leave a meaningful and more robust legacy for our sons and children.” I urge anyone who feels that the principle of social justice and equity in a secular society is incontrovertible, to avail yourselves of this site.

http://www.equalitycanada.com

Mandate

The Canadian Association for Equality mandate for its Men’s Issues Awareness (MIA) Campaign:

We recognize the need to build a movement centered on Men’s Issues which, through a broad coalition of groups, will engage in consciousness-raising, public education and efforts to change public policy.

We feel the public must be made aware of the existence and specifics of Men’s Issues and the fact that these issues are not isolated, but rather interconnected and part of a large societal pattern of discrimination, ignorance and harmful public policy that in many ways disadvantages boys and men.  We will engage in critiques of contemporary society as necessary, but our focus shall be on positive activism to advance a healthier society.

Some areas of concern are as follows:

Men’s Health
Family Law/Fathers Rights
Boys Issues (Education, Abuse, etc)
Men and Violence (stranger and domestic)
Crime and Punishment/Legal Biases
The Workplace
The Media
Legal Biases
Academic Misandry
Male Genital Mutilation

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ADHD: The Default

I have been reading a number of interesting books (some, you will likely have already availed yourselves of) pertaining to the difficulty boys have attending to their classroom “tasks.” I will list some of them below for your consideration.

When one encounters a student who finds that the order to “sit still and pay attention” is an almost impossible task the immediate “diagnosis” (most often by the teacher) is a convenient default–“He/she is always fidgeting, I think your son/daughter has ADHD.” Rather than pedagogical strategies or the educational system meeting our children’s needs (and they ALL have exceptionalities of one sort or another) the default is therapeutic strategies/interventions (most often pharmacological) in order to “modify” our children–that is, to better fit an educational system that needs reform (another topic) or to help ease the burden of our fatigued teachers (who provide a mere 188 days of instruction per year).

Rather than attention deficit is it not the case that, more accurately, it is an attention difference (see Kenny Handelman’s Attention Difference Disorder). The title of this book however still suggests it is a disorder, if you like, a pathology. I have been giving this much thought and paying very close attention to our own son–my own preference is to call it something like “hyper attention dis-location” which I should like to discuss at greater length in a later post.

For now I want to deliver on my earlier promise and leave you with what I take to be some enlightening reading (your own suggestions are always welcome):

Handelman, Kenny, Attention Difference Disorder: How to Turn Your ADHD Child or Teen’s Differences into Strengths

Sax, Leonard, Boys Adrift

Tyre, Peg, The Trouble With Boys

The hurdles we face were already anticipated by John Holt; the following are considered canonical texts in the field of education:

How Children Fail (1964), How Children Learn (1967), The Underachieving School (1969), Instead of Education (1976) etc.

That is it for now, we face a steep learning curve and I hope you can bear with us while we stumble forward.

Building Community For Our Children

Our intention here is to initially invite comments, concerns, suggestions and/or stories regarding your child’s educational experience (Ontario and beyond). We want to create a support group for parents and children who have found their discussion with educators and schools unsatisfactory.

Links and information to come.

Please stay tuned

Concerned Parents

Welcome to our blog and resource site whose main subject of concern is the education of our children–in particular, though not exclusively, our boys.