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ERIC Number: EJ868719
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1253
Program Integrity, Controlled Growth Spell Success for Roots of Empathy
Gordon, Mary; Letchford, Donna
Education Canada, v49 n5 spec iss p52-54, 56 2009
Childhood is a universal aspect of the human condition. Yet the landscape of childhood is changing rapidly. On playgrounds young children carry cell phones, and in classrooms children are more sophisticated in their use of computers and digital media than the adults in their lives. Most young adolescents are prolific communicators via text and instant message. They assemble rich and complex interrelationships with peers through social networking. This changing landscape is what author and innovation theorist Clayton Christensen is alerting people to with his theory of disruptive innovation applied to the field of education. A disruptive innovation is one that improves or supplants a product or service in ways the market does not expect. Applying this idea to education, Christensen suggests that by 2019 half of class time in all schools will involve children doing customized learning on computers. It is certainly a possibility that children will be taught differently a decade from now in a way that makes greater use of the tools and possibilities that technology offers. Should it be the case that Christensen's theory comes to fruition, people need to remember that children's developmental needs are not going to change. They are still going to require the same level of emotional support they have always required. The authors feel that their program, Roots of Empathy (ROE), is a disruptive innovation in its own right because it challenges the norm that educating for success means educating the intellect. In today's education system, people have paid scant attention to the role of social and emotional learning (SEL). They know now that the biggest predictor of later success in life is social and emotional competency. Adults who do not possess these skills are more likely to face mental illness and addiction, incarceration, unemployment or underemployment, and other negative life consequences. ROE addresses the great need for SEL in the classroom--using babies as teachers, another disruptive innovation, certainly--and improves upon the idea of education in a way no one expected. In this article, the authors describe the ROE program and discuss the reasons for its success.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A