Chapter 3 of Paul Tough's book Whatever It Takes focuses on a major part of the Harlem Children's Zone organization known as "Baby College," a program for recent parents and expecting parents. A key mission of Baby College is "to figure out what advice and support to give these parents so that their children would have a better chance at success."
One of the most difficult sessions for parents and instructors for Baby College occurs during discussions of punishment and discipline. Baby College instructors view punishment as "anything physical, from hitting to spanking to shouting to shaking, and all of it, they believed, was the wrong approach." By contrast, they preferred discipline: "a consistent, coherent system of rules that was enforced through talking."
Why do the instructors' views of punishment and discipline create so much tension, and why--and please, no inconsiderate remarks--might support for punishment be so pervasive among so many of the parents enrolled in Baby College?
Or, let's consider a question raised by one of the parents in Baby College: "Why is it so hard for us to get information that will take us to the next level of society?" she asked. What do you think; why is it so hard for them to get that necessary information?
Harlem Zone, Vision, & Disparity
Harlem Zone, Poverty, & Skills