Papers from the Headmaster: Reflection of a World Fit for Children

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This timely collection of reflections asks some hard questions parents, the education establishment, and the larger society have avoided for too long. What are the consequences, Richard Hawley asks, of having created a commercial and public culture that is demonstrably toxic to children? Hawley challenges readers to consider, in light of what is known about healthy child development, the implications of imposing adult sexuality on children in amounts and in forms that can only overwhelm and terrify them. Drawing ...
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Overview

This timely collection of reflections asks some hard questions parents, the education establishment, and the larger society have avoided for too long. What are the consequences, Richard Hawley asks, of having created a commercial and public culture that is demonstrably toxic to children? Hawley challenges readers to consider, in light of what is known about healthy child development, the implications of imposing adult sexuality on children in amounts and in forms that can only overwhelm and terrify them. Drawing on vivid, personally observed examples and incidents, he carefully examines what children actually "learn" from popular culture in which public and private leaders are exposed as philanderers and frauds, in which athletes and entertainment stars are revealed as addicts and child molesters and murderers. The greatest dangers to this era's children, Hawley says, lie where the remedy ought to be: in the ways we tell our collective stories and in the conveyance of our common history. "Our children are in danger of being educated to believe there are no healing true stories, that history is the invention of the teller, that nothing finally is verifiable, knowable, safe or right. In such a world all preferences and all claims become morally equivalent and thus meaningless."
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this collection of essays, Hawley, the headmaster of the University School in Cleveland, shares a range of reflections on the "impact on children of some of the defining themes of our age." A culture he deems "toxic" to children is the discernible background for the difficulties, fear and disillusion that beset many of the emerging adults that Hawley shepherds with genuine affection. In four parts that address elements of a troubling contemporary social climate for adolescents (who witness on TV the murder trial of a celebrity accused of killing his wife, read of an admired film star arrested for soliciting sex from a prostitute, and the like), we hear the voice of a classics-bred, humane educator celebrating the hope that lies in children. Advocates of trends like political correctness, multiculturalism and coed schools for all will find little comfort here. Mr. Chips-like qualities, a vision of improved public culture and a love for students that "enables one to minister to the young as both judge and counselor" are well displayed in these reflections on a satisfying career. (Nov.)
Booknews
The author, a headmaster at a boys' school, reflects on the consequences of a commercial and public culture that is toxic to children, considering the implications of exposure to a popular culture in which leaders are exposed as frauds, and athletes and entertainment stars are revealed as drug addicts and child molesters. He advocates the telling of healing stories. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780839764885
  • Publisher: Eriksson, Paul S. Publisher
  • Publication date: 10/1/1996
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 9.27 (h) x 1.13 (d)

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