Sunday, 10 November 2013

Replacing Parents with Computers

An article published in the Express  27 October 2013 informs us that teachers throughout Britain are using a software screening programme called Thrive which enables them to compensate for the children`s inadequate parents by helping to teach the children life skills. We are informed that so far 70 000 primary school pupils have been screened using Thrive.

Diana Dewing is the managing director of Thrive and amongst her claims are:

Babies should have developed a sense of being by the age of six months, which comes from direct eye contact with their main carer. 
By the age of two a child should be able to think and reason for themselves. If the eye contact learning experience is missing,  "A child might go to school at five and lash out at another child with genuinely no idea as to why...
The games and puzzles used by the Thrive programme build the right neural pathways by repeat, repeat, repeat activities."
One example of the programme’s success involves a child called "Anthony", A teacher using questions in the Thrive programme was able to work out that Anthony’s development had been affected by having little or no eye-to-eye contact with his main carer.

Well if the programme is designed to screen for pupils who have poor eye contact with their carers it is sure to find them. But how do we know the questions are screening reliably for poor eye contact and that the underlying theory is correct?  Is it not strange that games and puzzles on a  computer are expected to replace human contact and is it not more likely that the child examiners have something wrong with their neural pathways?

Diana Dewing is managing director of Thrive, but apart from that, who is she?

Examining the Thrive website we find this:
Diana started in accountancy and business management before becoming a Chartered Marketer. Her specialist field is strategic marketing with more than 20 years experience at senior manager and board level.
Yes, thought so.

In other words she hasn`t a clue what she`s doing, but she`s very good at selling it.

Is it not also interesting the number of challenges that Thrive has to meet?
The rise of anti-social behaviour; truancy, exclusions, bullying, classroom disruption; drug and alcohol dependency in young people; sexualisation and the sexual exploitation of children, are issues...

Apart from the absurdity of a computer screening programme being able to detect all these future social problems, Diana Dewing misses the point that the sexualisation of children begins in school these days, sometimes from age five and one of the justifications for that is how reluctant parents are to raise these matters with their children.

Who`s going to be devising computer screening programmes to detect the effects of harsh criticism of parents, early childhood sexualisation and bullying in schools ? 

1 comment:

  1. Please see this. A DVD has been banned in England in regard to sex education for children, but is still being used in Scotland. There is a war over the sexualisation of children. But it is not being presented as it is.Parents do not want it. How come the so-called experts who always blame parents, do?