Should Tolerance be taught in Schools Sunday, September 5, 2010 Tolerance is expected to be taught in the home; however, this is not always the case. Family communication is not what it once was and this makes it hard for parents to teach their children appropriate survival skills. Many families leave this to the school system, expecting the school to educate their students to be successful members of society.
Even though Tolerance is supposed to be taught at home, it’s important to teach in school as well, because School is where student have one on one interaction, where they can learn about each other on a personal level and dedicated teachers can help students overcome negative attitudes. Tolerance allows people to appreciate and coexist with each other no matter how different they may be. It give people the ability to give fair and an objective attitudes toward others religion, practices, opinions, nationality, or in anything different from their own.
Tolerance is showing respect for all human being not matter how diverse they are. Intolerance contributes to inter-group violence, by people not being able to respect one another’s opinions, practices, and beliefs (Peterson,2003). Violence can be physical, verbal, or psychological aggression, which can impede on a person’s rights to work and learn in a safe learning environment. “The 14th Amendment to the constitution holds that no state shall “drive any person of life, liberty or property, with due process of law. (School Violence Prevention, 2004). The 14th Amendment stands for schools as well, making it unconstitutional to exclude anyone from a free, safe, and appropriate public education (School Violence Prevention, 2004). Tolerance will help groups and communities ease hostilities and move past intractable conflicts. In communities with deep roots of violent conflicts, tolerance will allow groups affected by this violence to deal with the pain of the past and resolve their differences to move forward (Peterson,2003).
The Physical aggression of violence is believed to be a demonstration of a lack of problem solving and anger management skills (School Violence Prevention, 2004). Economically depressed communities and politically charged people or groups may find being tolerant of people who have done them harm or are unlike themselves difficult, which can lead to dehumanization, repression, discrimination and violence (Peterson,2003). Tolerance is important for the improvement of our nation’s society (Ganly, 2007) . It is believed that tolerance needs to be modeled in the home by the people who care for and are nearest to a child.
Some student may have been brought up in a home with parents which are intolerant themselves (Johnson, 2005) . Children are perceptive to gender and racial differences, while at a very young, and can form stereotypes by age 12 (Strategy: Diversity and Tolerance Education in Schools, 2010). Babies can sense when an adult is acting odd and has a change in attitude, which can make the infant feel cautious about people who are different. In this type of situation a student may not know how to be tolerant (Johnson, 2005).
In today’s society there is a large amount of single parent families and families that have to work more than one job to support their family, which leads to the lack of family communication. The environments that past generations were raised in, have made it difficult for them to be tolerant. Adults and peers tell racial jokes or make humorous references to ethnic stereotypes, which may have been made innocently, but are still comments that lead to intolerance. Another reason there is no guarantee that children will learn tolerance in the home is that not all communities are as diverse as others, making it difficult to teach diversity.
Children are usually not used to diversity and don’t understand how to be tolerant when placed in a diverse environment. In school, students are in a diverse environment with dedicated teachers to help them to interact and respect one another, which makes teaching tolerance in school, more effective on a larger scale (Ganly, 2007). “ In 1986, Boston Public health physician, Deborah Prothrow-Stith, introduced the nation’s first dedicated violence prevention curriculum, violence prevention for adolescence, into the Boston school system. (School Violence Prevention, 2004). Since that time school violence has decreased by 46%, with the help of its curricular, counseling and parent training efforts to address the increase of school violence (School Violence Prevention, 2004). If tolerance was successfully taught in all homes, there would be no need for it to be taught within schools because there would be no hate crimes or violence, but unfortunately tolerance is not taught in all homes, which makes teaching tolerance in schools a necessity (Ganly, 2007).
The United States has largest diverse society in the world, which can been seen within many of its schools with the cultural patterns, values and attitudes, family roles, attire, and the interaction of students. Students from different races, sexes, cultures, ages, and religion are brought together in school every day and this can be a beautiful opportunity to teach students how to be tolerant. Unfortunately with how common diversity is in the United States, the same cannot be said about tolerance.
Tolerance should be taught from infancy and a constant figure to teach them about tolerance, should be present throughout their childhood. Schools are a great place to continue to teach students tolerance because they are surrounded with diversity and all aspects of diversity should be used to teach tolerance. Diversity can be a wonderful tool to create confidence, learning, and respect between students and faculty. Classrooms are full of students from all different backgrounds, which make it the ideal place to teach students to be tolerant of their peer’s differences.
By 2020, experts predict that Caucasian population in schools will decrease to half of the school population as the minority population increases (Ganly, 2007). Students need to learn to appreciate each other’s rights as human beings and promulgate charity and respect toward others. The only way to reduce violence or aggression in our society is to teach our children mutual respect and tolerance, which will also eliminate name calling, bullying, and fighting in and out of school (Rattray, n. d. ).
Intolerance can be dealt with by long period of personal inter-group contact, such as in a school where students will be able to make opinions on one another by personal experiences, which could help to reduce prejudices. Another way is with increased socialization and communication, such as with problem-solving workshops and dialogue group, where people are able to express their interests and needs on a more personal level (Peterson,2003). Becoming victim of mean-spirited teasing or to be threatened or punched by a bully in school is commom for children these days.
In schools today, 30% of student will be involved in school bullying incident, whether they are the victim, perpetrator, or both (School Violence Prevention, 2004). It is our duty to ensure that our children learn that all life is sacred, teach then phrases and songs at a young age that focus on peace and love, and employ to stand up against crime and violence (Rattray, n. d. ). The best way for individuals to deal with intolerance is to lead by example and remember to be tolerant of others (Peterson,2003).
In our society our children are bombarded with negative images in the media and see intolerance turn to alienation that turns to animosity, which will then lead into violence. When teaching tolerance, we need to focus on psychological and semi-economical issues, which lead to violence and crime and investing time into our children, so they may influence adults in positive ways. By instilling tolerance in our young children as well as understanding and respect, we can hope to pass these positive concepts on to older generations (Rattray, n. d. ).
Some people believe that the opportunity to teach our children tolerance is lowered by the time they enter school, but this is false. Children start school at a young age, while they are still very impressionable and open to learn (Ganly, 2007). Studies have shown that children between the ages of four and nine are affected most by being taught tolerance in schools (Strategy: Diversity and Tolerance Education in Schools, 2010). Our children can only learn about culture variation through direct contact as in within a school, with people different from themselves.
Students should be taught to find value in their differences at a young age, instead of discriminating each other. This would help to greatly increase tolerance in our society. The classroom is a learning environment, which makes it the best place to teach tolerance, by learning about one another’s differences and how to respect them. This will allow students to learn more from each other and value each other’s knowledge, instead of discriminating on each other’s differences.
This makes a diverse classroom a steppingstone and positive factor in teaching students how to be tolerant. Students spend approximately seven hours a day in school with a majority of that time being spent with school faculty and students from different nationalities. These teachers have a huge impact of students because of all the time they spend together and it is the teacher’s job to ensure that time leaves a positive and beneficial impact on students.
Teachers will be able to take over teaching tolerance where the student’s social environment may lack (Ganly, 2007). School faculty need to have a “profound respect for and encouragement of diversity where important differences between children and adults are celebrated rather than seen as a problem to remedy. ” (Ganly, 2007). Teachers, councilors, and administrators have a large impact on students, which can affect how they will think and act as well as in how they will view the world around them.
To teach tolerance successfully, schools need to create an empowering structure in schools, by providing learning environments where students of all races, ethnic backgrounds, and social groups feel respected, valued, heard, encouraged, and have a sense of belonging. By teaching tolerance, teachers will help student feel more comfortable and confident, giving students the ability to give their opinions, express themselves, and talk about their cultures and beliefs. This will allow students to explore their differences and express themselves, without being criticized.
Teaching tolerance will establish respect with the students and faculty, which will increase the student’s level of educations (Ganly, 2007) and maintain a supportive and safe learning environment for children and adults (Rattray, n. d. ). If schools succeed in teaching tolerance, it will give their students the basic ideas to live a positive, healthy, and intolerant free life. School is the only place where teaching tolerance is guaranteed to be promoted and maintained (Ganly, 2007). Avoiding Discrimination is impossible in today’s society, but it is possible to dispel it (Ganly, 2007).
By teaching our children tolerance in schools, incidents of hate crimes, bigotry, and discrimination will drastically decrease (Strategy: Diversity and Tolerance Education in Schools, 2010) and help to impact our society at large. Students will be able to lead by example and show what a difference being tolerance can make. This can influence adults to respect one another and put past disputes behind them. By teaching tolerance in schools, we will be able to ensure that tolerance is taught in the homes of the future, providing schools more time to focus on other subjects (Ganly, 2007).
Resources Ganly, S.. (October 3, 2007). Tolerance Should Be Taught in the Classroom. In associated content from Yahoo. Retrieved August 12, 2010, from http://www. associatedcontent. com/article/392186/tolerance_should_be_taught_in_the_classroom. html? cat=4. Johnson, J. A. , Musial, D. , Halle, G. E. , Gollnick, D. M. , & Dupuis, V. L. (2005). Introduction to the foundations of American education (13th ed. ). Boston: Pearson. Peterson, S.. (July 2003). Tolerance. In Beyond Intractability. org. Retrieved July 29,