We've been having an extended conversations about Paul Tough's book Whatever It Takes. We've covered issues related to education, disparity, class values, and poverty, to name a few topics.
So what important lessons have we learned? What idea from the first half of the book has been especially memorable and why?
Or, what important idea related to the Harlem Children's Zone would you want to bring more attention to? Why?
the idea in this book that really stood out to me is how crucial it is for childern to be brought up right and the effect it can have. In the book, it has many statiscis but the one that stood out to me is how 80% of what we learn comes before the gae of 5! 80%!! The parents that are coming in to the Baby College are getting direct help that is not only going to effect them, it will effect the entire neighborhood. This concept of how early childern need to begin learning astonished me. If these childern dont get the proper eduaction, then they will be at a huge disadvatnge to thier peers.
In my opinion this book really makes a point to all of society, where one man can come up with a grand idea that has the possibility to forever change the academic system in low-economic status communities. I believe the main point of the first half of the book is to understand the concept if you want to change how they compete with middle-class students you have to change their environment. The environment has a grave effect on most students and they can't even begin to learn when they're faced with everyday life issues.Also as a side note it's good to see Canada a black male and others reinforcing, teaching, and providing a different route for low-income students to stop the generational chain.
The first half of the book is intriguing because it's about change. Change the minds of parents i.e. how to discipline, will change the outcome of the child. Change the child and you change the makeup of society. He is able to bring this ripple effect to life, anyone can say they want to help the community, or have a vision of a center to help the community, but the real change Canada shows is realizing how to change the people of the community.
Reading this book, it shows that it is no easy task, they have to comfort things that are crucial to the success of a child. It makes you wonder how in the world can one man do this? Then you realize that his dream was fortified, by others who had belief in the possibility in getting these children ahead in life doing, whatever it takes.
- Cassaundra Sampson
Douglas took the words right out of my mouth. It really is so important to make sure that, right off the bat, kids are given all the opportunity they can to learn and succeed. And by early, it means EARLY. You can't wait around and try to help the child when it's beginning to fall behind. Take action early and young (before 5 years old) and it can take away the disadvantage a child could have to their fellow students!
I would like to learn and dig deeper into the baby college issues, such as disciplineand chastising your children, I believe that in todays society, African Americans still hold on to vaulues from generations ago, such as "it takes a village" and "spare the rod" It will take time to drift away from that, but for the sake of our parents being jailed and prisoned for spanking, it has got to change.
I also think that the situation of separating troubled students and youth from bad environments should be explored a bit more. it would be a great opportunity for teens in the ghetto to get out, but at the same ttime you dont want to insult parents or parental figuers by separating their youth, in a way its like saying, "your not doing it right"
so far this book has been good, im anxious to see what the rest holds
As an aspiring educator, I view education as a vital necessity for the development of out society. Within the first half of this book, we have discussed varied issues, from poverty all the way to quality parenting. All of the issues, and the rudimentary problems derived from these issues, stem from a lack of education. To create change in the lives of the lower-class, we must educate them. We have to catch them young and install new and better practices within them. Not only must we educate the youth, but we also have to educate the older generations, so that they can install the knowledge into the younger generations. “Knowledge is power.” Cliché, yes, but very true, as Paul Tough proved through his case study in Harlem.
Something I thought was rather profound was the differences between the principal's (Terri Grey) approach to teaching and Geoffery Canada's approach. I was surprised that Mr. Canada felt so strongly concerning test scores and the like, when real-world application is so important. On the other hand, I appreciated his zeal for seeing results...
I would like to put a little spotlight on this paradox and on the benefits of both approaches -- and on which of the two is truly more effective (because I have no clue which would be!)
I think the most important message that has stood out to me so far in the book is that it's never too early to start on the path to success. That means it begins with our children and future children. How they are raised and the types of parenting techniques that are used will eventually get them to that next level in society. Canada knows this and his Baby College gives an opportunity to parents who would've never had one. Each child's success varies depending on how they are raised and the Baby College, through education, makes sure that their learning starts "in the womb."
I completely agree with Douglas! Children need stable environments and parents need to understand how to provide that environment. The programs that Canada has sent up (Baby College) are extremely beneficial to the families. In addition, we need to make sure we are educating students effectively. Promise Academy's intent is to educate disadvantaged children to become well educated middle class adults. This idea of helping the disadvantaged and making something of their lives is the most important thing to do. I feel we all can contribute in our own way to these issues through volunteer opportunities, or teaching.
I think the part about discipline vs. punishment was an interesting idea. I would tend to agree with a lot of the parents in baby college that "spare the rod and spoil the child". I was actually raised on a similar strategy to Victor and Cheryl's "bea ass early" strategy and I thought it to be wildly successful. My dad only ever spanked me and my sister really well about three times when we were little. After that it was enough for a threat of a spanking that would keep us in line. I think that discipline/punshishment is a fine line and different kids will respond to different things.
Another interesting part of the book I found was the effect of what kind of vocabulary you use with them while they are little. Talking to them like an adult and explaining big words to them is integral to increasing their brain function as well as fostering inquisitiveness. My little niece is not hesitant of asking an adult what a word means, and that makes me feel like she has a great chance at being successful in life.
As many have stated, I found that the emphasis on getting an early start with a child's education is crucial. The gift of education is one of the most important gifts a family can give to their children. Starting early instills that mindset for the rest of a child's life, and allows them to believe that they can do whatever they want to if they set their mind to it. That combined with a good, stable environment will be key aspects to a child's success.
I thought that the Baby College was one of the best parts of the first half of the book. It is indeed amazing that by teaching parents to become better individuals and how to discipline and raise their families will help them raise and make successful children.
Usually, we think of haivng to help children in grade schools and high schools in "discovering" themselves and in helping them become successful and positive-contributors to society. Even though we are to always support this youth, it is fundamental to start right when they are born.
Wow! Kids are like sponges and they absorb everything parents say or do. Because the parents will be good to their children, the children will then grow up to be good, too. Parents attending Baby College are helping set the future for their children: a very positive and fruitful one.
The most important idea that I got from the first half of the book is that educators and education administrators can not give up on children. Currently, the US is witnessing a trend of rapidly increasing drop out rates. Children are giving up on education and I believe it is occurring because many educators give up on children. Geoffrey Canada was passionate and totally involved in education and he wanted to help. Many educators that I have come in contact with during teaching observation are either completely involved, burn out, not interested, or working strictly for a pay check. Teaching is not a job that can be done long term if the only goal is to obtain a pay check. Educators have to put their hearts into the profession in order to effectively education students.
The idea of how early childhood learning greatly affects the rest of a childs' life is what stood out to me. I always knew that as a child you absorb and learn more information faster then when you're older but I had no idea it was anywhere near what it actually is. If you want children to grow up and be successful you have to put them in an environment where they can be nurtured and expand their minds to the fullest. One person with an amazing idea can change the world if others follow and believe. But in order for that person to stumble upon that idea they have to be well educated and have an open mind.
The Idea that stood out to me and that I believe is very important is the idea that children should not be strictly taught "to the test" in order to succeed in the real world. Which is a goal that the "Movement" wanted to accomplish. They must be taught to Think which will prepare them for college and beyond. It will give them the tools needed to productive citizens.
I believe the most important idea in this book is the idea that children need to be disciplined in a loving manner. Their parents shouldn't scold them when they are angry with their children. They should have an approach of praising their children for the good things and talking about the bad things that they do.
I also believe that the baby college should be brought up with more attention in society because research does show that children with 'good' childhoods have more success in the future. This is important because the children are our future and by making this baby college, the parents are doing the best that they can so that their children can strive.
I believe this is a book that students should be required to read in every educational level. This book gives perfect examples of why education is so important. Some people don't know what exactly goes on in poverty ridden neighborhoods, because they don't live in one, or doesn't know anyone living in poverty. What stuck out to me the most is the part about the good and bad apples. Everyone needs to be equally educated. No matter if one group of people seems to be excelling more than the other, both groups need the same amount of attention. Although learning mainly takes places in the classroom, parents need to start taking the initiative to root the importance of education in their children
This book so far is very interesting and the valid point is brought up that children need to learn early. They need to be in a good environment and around those who can heighten their educational skills. The idea of the baby college was a good idea to me because its purpose was to make sure that parents knew what they were doing and could provide the environment needed their child that was conducive to learning. A heavy emphasis was put on education and whats happening in the schools. I have mixed feelings about what was stated but I do believe that children need to be able to apply what they learn and test scores are not necessarily a predictor of what they really are capable of .
I always knew education was important, but i never realized how crucial it was to start that early. Also, I never really thought about how these kids were being left behind. More should be done to give them a better chance to compete with their peers. They should have the same chance to succeed as any other child.
Baby college is doing a good job of teaching the parents how to start educating their children early. I loved reading how dedicated they were to their cause. Whether they had to the parents house or pay for transportation, they did whatever it took to help. I also liked Canada's thoughts about leaving the kids in their neighborhood to influence the other kids. This is one idea I believe should be emphasized. Who better to influence you than your peers? There will be more lasting results this way.
-The lessons i have learned is to try to change my neighborhood or help my neighborhood before giving up on them. I can try to change the minds of the people in my neighborhood so they can change the minds of their children.This will soon improve the neighborhood. The first idea from the book that has continued to inspire me is the saving more than just a few children. I feel that idea will really save a lot of people and their children. He wanted to make sure that he reaches out to everyone and not only just a few people few. I love IT! I want to make that my Mission!
Sorry about the late post!
The whole concept of baby college is the idea that stood out to me the most. It is interesting that a program for these families out their that have received such recognition. I understand the focal point of the program but if the ideas that are in place for this program were brought to everyone, our future would be that much more intelligent and prepared.
This is a inspiring program that is trying to help the less fortunate in our society and will be a program that will produce some of the finest kids with a unique background!
I found the bit about how home life and child growth the most profound out of all the other ideas. I never personally realized how much communication really means when raising a child. Also, I never saw its effect it has on poverty and class movement. The ideas that were introduced in the study has defiantly effected and changed how I view parenting.
My dad works in an impoverish school district where quite a few of the children have children,are bieing raised by a single parent, or bieng raised by a grandparent who is young enough to be their actually parent. This book correlates with the issues I see where my dad works. For me, it has driven home how hard it is to make sure that the child's home life doesn't harm the education the child receives at school.
The idea that really stood out to me is the idea that one that has grown up in a lower class would benefit from being taught the ideals of a middle or upper class society. I myself would have considered our family to be lower/middle class while my sister and I grew up in Korea. My parents however constantly instilled in us that the key to happiness is success. It is important to be the best that you can be and do whatever it takes to be at the top.
Having these ideals instilled in me as a child changed my life. I do not settle for less than what I know that I am capable of and the feeling of accomplishment and success (for example in academics) is very rewarding. It gives me pride and happiness and this makes me keep wanting to be better at everything I do. Therefore I strongly believe that ideals that people grow up with will influence their lives greatly and mold them into a certain type of person.
I think that the ideas that have stuck out the most are the ones about children how children should be negotiated with insted of just given a spanking and how children who grow up in a household in a white household has more childrens books in their homes.
I think that the negotiation part stuck with me because that was the exact opposite of what I was taught. In my house children obeyed what adults said with no "back talk" so the fact that the book said to treat children like they were equal to adults kind of threw me for a loop. Even though I wasnt raised to negotiate with my parents I do think that it is something that I would think of intergrating into my parenting skills so that my children can better compete in society.
The other thing that stuck with me was the fact that even black parent who are college graduates have children that are at a disadvantage because white parents that are college graduates have more children's books than them. I think that that is a shame. I think that this happens because of the mind set that black people have of success is having more stuff rather than education.
I think that this book has opened my eyes to some things that I have never been aware of. This book has taught me that just by making minor changes in the way that a person raises a child can help improve their lives in the long run and I think that it is at least worth a try because we have tried our way for years and that isnt working so it time to change.
So far I've learned that parents should stimulate their children's minds at an early age so that when their children start school, learning and excelling will come easy for them.
I also learned that parents that grew up in poverty and made bad choices along the way should definitely do all that they can for their offspring to ensure that they will not go down the same path, by putting them in programs to teach them how to raise their children the right way and raising their children the way their parents raised them isn't always the best way.But they can't always give their children what they need if resources are not available to them in their community like people of higher economic statuses.
I think that more attention needs to be brought to education in the lower class areas. Students in low class and poverty should be getting just as good of an education as students in the middle and high class students. If the students in lower statuses were giving the resources that they need to rise up and out of lower class they would be moving into the direction of success!
What I have found important from the first part of the book is how environmental factors majorly contribute to how a child grows up and who they grow up to be. It's all got to do with the beginning and the opportunities children are given to start with. Parents must find a way to make these opportunities available for their children even if they are in poverty. the impoverished must educate themselves, because if not it is just an ongoing cycle of poverty.
This brings awareness to young mothers, especially, because they have taken on the responsibility of children at an early age. It is frightening to grasp the fact that not only do they, as an individual, have to quickly mature but also they are responsible for the academic development of their child as well. Disastrous atmospheres, harmful trial and errors, and ignorance (simply lack of knowledge) that are inevitable for many young mothers puts a huge deterrent on the most crucial part of child development-their earliest years! 80% of what we learn comes before age 5, unbelievable! Yet so many are unaware of how important it is to master this 5 years.
Throughout this story the effort to increase tactics of improvement for our youth is amazing and well appreciated.
I think the idea that stood out to me most was how children need to start learning from a really early age. I think this stood out to me most because I completely agree with it. I believe that it is very important to start teaching children while they are young. Not only should they be taught things that they would be taught in school but also values and morals.
I think that the ideas and steps taken in this book are vital to the success of our children, especially those from disadvantaged environments. I strongly agree with the ideal that we have to start early with our children. Knowing that most of what we learn comes before the age of 5 means that we have to instill the values, knowledge and motivation early on. By teaching the children before they reach the age of self doubt will ensure that they will have the tools and skills to move pass those moments when they arise and become successful in whatever path they choose.
I think the most important message is that education is extremley important. Starting young and making sure children get good educations and not sub-par educations is important too. If a child gets poor education when they are younger they will have a harder time later in life.
I believe the first half of the book is about bringing all of society together to change the education issues. We have talked about how important a childs' education is, and what we ALL need to do in order to change the current situation. By changing the environment around the classrooms the kids are in; and changing the way the parents bring up their child are two important factors. We also discussed how making sure the child LEARNS and not just memorizes for tests will be much more benefical to them in the future. The first half of the book is all about how everyone can help these kids have a better future.
Christian Bias said, One of the most important, if not the most important concept of the first half of the book in my opinion is changing the perspective of success in the minds of society. The traditional ways of aiding students to become scholars is essentially becoming obsolete. We have to "change the perspective" by implementing new teaching stragies, changing the students environment, so that can succeed where they are, and also by "changing the perspective" in the minds of parents.This is key because without the help from parents children will learn at school, but lack the basic fundamental principals of how to be successful in the real-world!
The idea of teaching people in poverty stricken communities middle-class values should have more attention brought to it. Cause if you have the values then you will have the work ethic and the passion to be better. I feel like doing this can cause real change. Ex. A lot of people in the Tea Party have upper-class views even though most of them are not upper-class but they have the passion like they are.
Communication is vital to our everyday lives, and one of the aspects the author emphasizes for the parents is that punishing children by physical contact is not the best way to reinforce rules and regulations. In this book, Canada tries to create a better community in establishing relationships with families in devoting time to teach their children by verbal means. This not only causes children to react more respectfully, but also to make them think more logically. By teaching children at a younger age the rules of society and how to treat others correctly is the first step in creating great minds, and this is a great first step.
The first half of the book is about parents willing to take the first step and make positive changes for their children. They challenge them learn middle-class values and change how they discipline their children. These are all just first steps into making a better start for their childrens futures.
Some important lessons we have learned include how important education is for everyone no matter what their background or circumstances may be, as well as how important it is to have high class values. In the beginning of the book, Canada speaks about how he had a great idea to start a program to help the poor children in harlem to succeed in education. He realized however that the program he set up was not accomplishing its goal because he was only helping a select few of those children in need, and that is not what he wanted. Canada wanted to be able to reach out to every child equally so they could all succeed!
We also talked about the different values that parents in the Harlem Zone should have. This was probably the most memorable topic to me. I agreed that parents suffering from poverty should receive help in parenting classes, as well as how to set the appropriate values for theirself as well as their children.
I really enjoyed Canada's overall motivation for early childhood development and education. This book truly opened my eyes to the problems that many families are facing;often lacking direction on how to parent their children. Canada and his staff took a very conservative approach in their attempts to inform parents in the community of positive ways to influence their child's future.
There should be more programs like Canada's throughout the country because I think more parents need to have access to workshops to help guide them during the parenting process. If more Baby College programs were out there, I definitely believe we would start to see a slight change in educational outcomes.
An important lesson that I have learned is that the improvement and advancement of the youth will start at home. A child's success will depend on how they were raised. The idea that better parenting techniques is key to children succeeding in society really stood out to me because I agree one hundred percent. My morals, values, determination, and motivation are results of my mother's teachings. Parents have to invest time into their children at young ages by educating them, discipling them, and leading them by positive example. Parents are key to the success of their children.
This book implies and emphasizes the importance of child development. Parents have to take into account that children are like sponges. They are soaking up any and everything they feel may be needed to define themselves. An interesting part of the book I found was the effect of what kind of vocabulary you use with them while they are little. Talking to them like an adult and explaining big words to them is integral to increasing their brain function as well as fostering inquisitiveness.
Young mothers have responsiblities that may put their wants and needs aside. They must realize that their childs development rest in the hands of themselves and how they deliver life long skills. Disastrous atmospheres, harmful trial and errors, and ignorance (simply lack of knowledge) that are inevitable for many young mothers puts a huge deterrent on the most crucial part of child development-their earliest years! Studies prove 80% of what we learn comes before age 5.
In the first half of the book, a couple of ideas really stood out to me. The first being that one idea and the proper execution of that idea can change an entire neighborhood, on a small scale, and the lives of many on a larger scale. I was also intrigued by the realization that these programs of the parents in Baby College will not only help these children, but it can also help the parents. In particular, this pertains to the disciplining. Not only will they more effectively guide their children, but they will also be able to learn something about their own childhood and upbringing.
I really liked how this book stressed how important it is to teach the parents. Parents are a huge influence on how well kids do in school and out of school. THere are parents out there that do not know what they are doing. So, it is so good to see the book stressing how much parents need to be educated. The classes that the parents were taking seemed really educational and applicable to each parents life.
The most important lesson I have learned is that education is the key to success. What was most interesting was Baby College. People were learning how to properly raise and even educate their children. With the proper techniques, the children will be able to have a more easy time of growing up through their childhood. They will be more likely to succeed in school and perhaps through college.
I think Dougals expressed to us readers that it is imperative that all children are given the equal opportunity when it comes to learning at a young age. The earlier children are taught new ways to comprehend new subjects and information the easier it will become later on in life. I never realized how important it was to learn early because I never thought twice about it. But these kids don't have it as easy as I did growing up.
The more I read this book and listen to some politicians talk about getting rid of the Department of Education, the more I wonder about the future of public education in this country.
Canada has his billionaire backers and the other charter schools have theirs. There was one passage in which these wealthy benefactors where discussing the status of their investments. They were discussing the test scores of the students they were sponsoring, to me, as if they were the owners of professional sport teams. If the only gage of a student’s success are test scores, and their education is dependent upon an individual or corporation that values high test scores, then what? We know what happens to players on sports teams that don’t produce the numbers they are expected to.
Then there was the position that Canada found himself in, this is his life’s work and due to poor test scores he found himself in a position where he may have been compelled to exchange his approach for continued funding. The successes of charter schools are fueling this, again my opinion, stupid conversation about getting rid of the Department of Education.
At this point, because of the book, I curious about two different outcomes. The reading of the book will end soon, the future of public education with its many side stories will continue to play out over the next decade or two.
I agree with Douglass that the book brought to my attention the importance of teaching children and also teaching them early on. But it also brought to my attention the disadvantages that exist in society. A five year old in a wealthy neighborhood has far more advantages over a five year old attending an underfunded school or being raised by low wage parents. So although we touch on teaching children early in life,its more to it than that.
One of the main ideas that stood out to me was the idea of comparing a child's economic status with the way their parents interact with him/her. It was interesting to see how parents in different classes interact with their children.
It shows that it is less about money itself, but more about the habits that households must develop to really help children.
To me one of the great things about this book is that there are people out there that see the inequality when it comes to education, and these children not only need support in the schools but they also need additional support at home. There is a direct correlation between children that don't have the proper guidance or support system at home and a child's performance in the classroom; it shows clearly through their behaviors and their work. It has to be done from the time children come into the world, children not only learn through books but they also learn through their senses. It's never too early to start teaching you children and this is something that all parents need to be educated about from all classes.
I would want to bring more attention to the fact that education is more than just children going to school it is a whole family effort, especially in areas where poverty is high. It is hard to focus on succeeding in life when you have a lot of obstacles in your way. The more obstacles there are the more likely someone is to give up or not try and every person deserves a chance to a successful life regardless of their economic situation.
I think one of the most important lesson in this book is not to be afraid of change. Geoffrey Canada noticed a major problem in his community and took initiative to fix it. He implemented a different model of education in Harlem even though it was difficult to do.
Problems in our education system have plagued our country for many years but when major changes are proposed to solve them, they go heavily contested. Resistance to change imperfect institutions allows problems to continue and escalate in this country. Although Geoffrey Canada's model did not alway work the changes he made greatly improved education in Harlem. More people should take his lead and be encouraged to make big changes when they are necessary.
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