Friday, April 04, 2003
"AMBITIOUS parents who teach their pre-school children to read, write and add up could be setting them up for mental health problems later in life, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health says.
In a report issued today it encourages parents to interact with their infants at home through informal play — with shapes, textures, letters and numbers and through songs and stories — but gives warning that parents should not adopt a formal teaching approach. “Rigid and structured home-learning and pre-school education directly solely at teaching a child to read, write and do sums is unhelpful for pre-school children, whose self-esteem can easily be dented,” Helpful Parenting says. "
But this is just another example of modern "dumbing down". Teaching a child just "to read, write, and do sums" could "set them up for mental health problems in later life"?
John Stuart Mill (not quite of his own free will) "learned Greek at three, Latin a little later; by the age of 12, he was a competent logician and by 16 a well-trained economist. At 20 he suffered a nervous breakdown that persuaded him that more was needed in life than devotion to the public good and an analytically sharp intellect." And it never did him much harm.
In my day....
Tuesday, April 01, 2003
So how can anyone be so crazy as to come up with this ploy: Islamic Jihad: Bombers sent to Baghdad. Yep, Islamic Jihad is busy announcing/collaborating with Iraq announcing that they are sending 4,000 "martyrs" to fight coalitions forces. Predictably, through suicide bombing.
Throw in (link unknown) the news that a bombing in Israel was claimed by the newly formed "Ali Jaafar al-Noamani Brigade", named after the Iraqi soldier who blew up four American soldiers whilst posing as a taxi driver, and I see the end of hopes for peace in Israel for a(nother) generation.
The UK government may be committed to dragging the US to the negotiating table, but it won't take many suicide attacks on US forces, or, more particularly, on UK forces, by maniacs supplied by a Palestinian organisation, and with groups revelling in attacks on coalition forces committing atrocities in Israel, for any support to wane.
NB: the main impact of suicide attacks will be, as in Israel/Palestine, to make life worse for the ordinary people of the region. We've already seen Iraqi civilians killed at roadblocks in circumstances where, a day or so ago, troops might not have used deadly force. Large scale attacks would be likely to involve tighter restrictions on civilians. Not that destroying the livelyhoods and dreams of Arabs comes unnaturally to Islamic Jihad...