by Educator Kimberly Wise, M. Ed. with
"Have you ever been
away from home to awake in a strange place with a start? My first
experience in a core city school evoked such a feeling. Never had I
witnessed such a deep and broad level of disrespect.
Not only was it considered normal, but it was also expected as a means of
I begged to differ. Then I did."
Education in the Inner City
teachers of young children, and parents and all educators, how to teach the
skills of self-respect and social responsibility.
The best predictor of academic
achievement and social adjustment is emotional intelligence. Most of us were
raised with the belief that punishment enables self-responsibility; a
paradigm which regards humans as innately bad, prone to violence and
destructiveness, and in need of appropriate external control.
But another model, one backed by science and years of experience teaching in the
inner city, understands that human beings make the best choices when in
touch with their hearts and exposed to accurate information.
For thirteen years Kimberly Wise, together
with faculty and staff, taught relationship and affective education skills
to over 1200 students in grades pre K-5, in a neighborhood known for drug
dealing, violence and prostitution. Using her "TEAM Discovery"
curriculum, which she designed to foster self-empowering physical,
emotional, and team skills, the children blossomed. Disciplinary infractions
declined, tests scores rose, and teacher attrition rates reversed.
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