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Hi, The term high risk kids implies that the problem is with these kids and not all kids are high risk kids. High risk kids imho are those who are not resilient enough or lack the skills to succeed despite the system , our schools and parenting. They are a reflection of the system , and the system needs to be examined. In any case there are those who see kids challenges more in terms of a learning disability , so the answer is chinuch and relationships , aquiring thinking and other cognitive skills. All kids need relationships and thinking skills. We need to define our educational goals and ask ourselves the questions Alfie Kohn is asking parents and teachers - are our schools and homes helping to make our children more caring , prosocial and thinkers - reflecting on a deeper level of understanding , a love for learning - the process and a commitment to others. Rabbi Horowitz imho gets it wrong when he calls for accomodations for the high risks kids and does not examine whether all kids are being provided with the environment that promote the realization of the goals. Maybe the Rabbi believes schools are great , but not for all. The research - see Dr Sorotzkin's site , shows that competition and rewards , preoccupation with grades and not the process of learning leads to kids that are less caring and shallow thinkers , becoming more alienated from yiddishkeit. What we see is chitziyonis , the external manifestations , but what is really happening inside the kid , is he doing the actions with feelings , that he fully self determined and autonomous or just fullfilling the expectations of his parents or teachers. Chazal teach us that everyone should see himself at risk , all kids need a caring , non competitive , and unconditional environment. When we talk about high risk kids we are in danger of segregating and seperating kids , one from another , instead of the stronger kids coming forward and as peer mentors giving support to their struggling friends. Don't we dovern every day - to learn in order to teach ! ( not to become no one , beat the other kid , see others as obstacles to your success) academic success imho is helping others , not getting onto the honors roll , or getting the top awards at the awards ceremonies )
Rabbi Horowitz - Am I getting you right when I say Rabbi Horowitz imho gets it wrong when he calls for accomodations for the high risks kids and does not examine whether all kids are being provided with the environment that promote the realization of the goals. Maybe the Rabbi believes schools are great , but not for all.
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