Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Curmudgeon Raises His Voice

The Post has an article on the debate whether kids should enjoy their summer vacation or work. It quotes both sides, including this:
"I think the pendulum has shifted," said Gail Hubbard, supervisor of gifted education and special programs in Prince William County, where summer homework policies are under review. "I think we went for several years requiring more and more and more." Now, she said, the goal is "to make sure it benefits the learner instead of burdens the learner."
As an old curmudgeon, in my day, the idea was the burden was the benefit. And that's being proved by modern science, and Dr. Hubbard is out-of-date. An athlete has to train hard, a scholar has to study hard. No pain, no gain. While the brain may not exactly be a muscle, we now know that experience causes physical changes in the brain; the more experience, the more training, the more reading and thinking, the more the brain is able to handle (at least in scholarship). So, make those whippersnappers sweat, say I.

No comments: