1 July 2008 10:17 AM


by Dr. Rick
A quick note: I know that typically my posts are longer than some have time to read in one sitting. So, I’ve decided to try a new format to spread my thoughts on certain topics into a few posts each week, starting with today’s topic of Values.

Where do we learn our values? Do books count any more? As an old English teacher I was interested in whether students formed deep personal relationships with the characters in the novels, plays, narrative poems, and short stories they read.

I know this sounds terribly old fashioned today – students emulating literary characters, but it came to mind as I’ve seen untold numbers of young people reading the Harry Potter books. Standing in line at a Paris museum, I counted Harry in three different languages. In church I saw Harry hidden in the hymnal. I’ve seen Harry in the company of young readers in restaurants, at the market and even at the movies. Parents have told me that their youngest children want to learn to read so they can read Harry like their older brothers and sisters.

So, do kids get some of their values from school – from books they read to the people they meet? After all, they spend much of their lives at school. They read about lots of different characters, both fictional and real. And, of course, they’re surrounded by their friends, many of whom are characters in their own rights.

Next, I’ll touch a little more on the sources of values for kids.




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