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Learning And The 4th R

Our household is made up entirely of teachers and students. The six of us tend to accumulate more than our share of papers, books, and other learning paraphernalia during the work week. It's the weekend, so that means it's time for dad to organize and recycle the week's accumulated reading material. It was during this cleaning process that I came across a book that my wife had brought home from her school, Duct Tape Parenting. The book is part of a joint summer reading program for teachers and parents in an effort to reduce a recent increase in helicopter parenting.

"Well, that's an interesting title.", I said aloud, as I began flipping through the pages. The premise of Duct Tape Parenting, written by Vicki Hoefle, is the emphasis of a new set of 3Rs in preparing kids for life "in the real world". Instead of reading, writing, and arithmetic, the challenge becomes helping young people develop skills in the areas of being more...

Respectful, Responsible, and Resilient



Essentially, Vicki is relieving adults of their "know it all", "do it all", parenting responsibilities. Instead, this big-picture approach encourages parents to help kids develop skills with the new 3Rs (respectful, responsible, and resilient), and then step back and let them work to solve their own problems, while building character and self-confidence along the way. Duct Tape Parenting is recommended reading for parents and educators alike.

I have recently been spending time researching informal, personal learning environments and how these concepts can help schools adapt to a socially networked world. Teachers, along with parents, stand to benefit from the "less is more" team approach to raising children. The message in Duct Tape Parenting parallels the work in two of my other favorites; Mindset by Carol Dweck, and The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by the late Stephen Covey.

I was so excited about Hoefle's framing of these new 3Rs that I tweeted them out to my PLN for some feedback and validation. What I received was a helpful reminder from @poida to not forget "the 4th-R".

Relationships



Relationships stand the test of time, particularly when it comes to learning and growing. Help turn this post into a conversation by sharing your thoughts in the comments section.

Why should relationships be considered the 4th R in schools?

How do relationships in the classroom promote learning and growth?


photo credit: Knight Foundation via photopin cc

Comments

@poida said…
Great article! It underscores the importance of a holistic approach to education for the 21st Century. We all need to step up to promote and advance the agenda of life skills encapsulated in the 4R's beyond basic academic competencies via our PLN's/PLC's.

(PS - thanks for the kind mentions and for your efforts in this important area of education innovation)
Anonymous said…
Great post, Bob. It always comes back to that fourth R, doesn't it? I denied that fact all through high school and college thinking, "It's all about knowledge, not connections." Only after 5 years of living in the real world do I understand how vital professional relationships are to success.
Robert Schuetz said…
Thank you @poida and Dylan for your comments. I have learned that relationships transcend time and place. I appreciate that both of you took time to read and comment on this post.
Unknown said…
Very true. It is all about the understanding of the Relationship between oneself and everything else.and not just the relationship between people, but every single object with another, every single idea with other ideas and so on. I think successful( by this i don't mean people who made a lot of money or are in high positions in their fields, but ones who are truly fruitful)people are the ones with a true grasp of the idea of relationship, acquired either cognitively or through discipline. its an eye opener to all the schema of the world and life's movement itself.

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