7-21: Critical Years?

I’m two chapters into the A. Lincoln book. It’s interesting, but one of those slow starters. My hope is that every couple of chapters I glean something worthy of the theme. Today’s is the interesting claim by White that Lincoln’s ideas were greatly formed from the seven generations of roaming, successful ancestors that proceeded his ascension to the White house and also that his years in Indiana, from ages 7 to 21, defined the man he would become.

Of course, we don’t know if this is really true – it’s just what White believes. But if it is true for Lincoln, is it true for the rest of us? And if it is, what about our roles as parents towards our own children’s experiences between 7 and 21, or our responsibility to society for all children. This notion casts a brighter light on the competition among television, music, online social networking, advertising, and education.  How are their ideas being shaped in the 21st century between 7 and 21?


About Dana Carmichael

Dana has a professional interest in Authentic Intellectual Work. This means focusing on improving intellectual quality in the classroom and increasing student engagement. By day, she does this work with a passion. By night, she is a thematic reader, examining a random essential question for the year through fiction, nonfiction, film and general random conversations.
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One Response to 7-21: Critical Years?

  1. Elise says:

    It’s a tough issue to ponder as a parent, because so much of my daughter’s experience is outside my influence. Primarily the nature of school and extra-curricular activities. She has a wicked fierce work ethic, but it rarely results in the sorts of accomplishments the girls who are quite talented in sports and music enjoy. I worry that she’s learning to expect little in return for her effort, that the lesson she’s mainly learning is that no matter how hard you work and try, you won’t make the cut. In the world of life after school, things are a bit different…the emphasis isn’t on athletics and hard work goes a very long ways.
    So, as I ramble through this comment I reach a nothing-new conclusion…that our schools squander those critical years between 7 and 21 in many more ways than one. It’s almost as though they are designed to squish the spirits in all but a tiny few of our children.

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