Callum Jones has posted has blog defining his ideas and responses to Prime Minister Camerons call for a Society Debate. and I believe his (Callum's) whole argument falls apart on the basis of one sentence contained in his post and it was, " The art of respect should be taught from the moment a child enters a school at the age of four."
Why is your argument wrong, simple. Because respect should be taught in the home even before they go to school and learning it at school should be reinforcing what they are taught at home.
In addition to that there is the argument that sending them to school at 4, for pre school is just ridiculous. For other European countries starting ages see School Starting Age and most reports suggest that, this does not enhance or improve the learning abilities of the children starting at such a young age
David Elkind argues against early literacy teaching, on the grounds that it is developmentally inappropriate: ‘Those calling for academic instruction of the young don’t seem to appreciate that math and reading are complex skills acquired in stages related to age. Children will acquire these skills more easily and more soundly if their lessons accord with the developmental sequence that parallels their cognitive development.’ (Elkind and Whitehurst, 2001, p.14).
Elkind cites two studies of children attending different types of pre-school programmes. These studies found that children introduced to formal learning earlier in their lives (around age four or five) did not display any lasting academic advantage. On the other hand, earlier exposure to academic skills appeared to be associated with higher anxiety, lower self-esteem and less motivation towards learning.
So there you have it in regard to 'learning' however your comments about the Art of Respect being taught by teachers is also off the mark. Teachers in school are there in the first instance, to teach our children academic subjects. Respect should already have been taught by parents before the child even got near the school gates, and sadly therein lies the problem, Parents, Adults who should know better , do not know any better and do not want to know simply because they are treated with no or little respect by a society that has discarded them on to the scrap heap of uselessness and a 10 page speech by our Prime Minister is not going to change that.
Cameron became leader of his party in 2005. He became Prime Minister on 11th May 2010. He is on the record as stating quite forcibly that he was going to make changes and while we all recognise that changes can not happen overnight, I see no concrete evidence of him even scratching the surface of the underlying issues that have caused the problems. And this is not an attack on him personally, but of all politicians since time began.
I wish fervently that it were not true, but all I see is an unequal society both in terms of financial security and personal motivation built on by successive politicians around the world who have benefited themselves (look no further than ex Prime Minister Blair and his millions since leaving office) and their multinational corporation friends while the underclass are ground into the earth. I posed a question on twitter last night. I asked, " is 2011 the new 1789-1799 (French Revolution to save you looking it up) and are European and American politicians the ruling Aristocrats that do need a revolution to sort them out?"
I am not advocating riots in the street, or even that guillotines be set up in the capital cities across the world, but some are beginning to think that is maybe what it will take, and a long drawn out debate that is going to, I fear, take us right back to the iniquitous status quo that we currently exist in and the longer it goes on with its inevitable and ultimate probable wishy washy conclusions will then be the precursor to further and unstoppable civil disorder!