Early learning is easier, more enriching and developmentally more efficient when experienced live, interactively, in real time and space, and with real people  — . Beginning at about 2 years, quality TV—well-designed, age-appropriate programs with specific educational goals—can provide an additional route to early language and literacy for children . Quality programming also fosters aspects of cognitive development, including positive racial attitudes and imaginative play .
Early evidence suggests that interactive media, specifically applications that involve contingent responses from an adult i. This responsiveness, when coupled with age-appropriate content, timing and intensity of action, can teach new words to month-olds   . However, while screens may help with language learning when quality content is co-viewed and discussed with a parent or caregiver  , preschoolers learn best i.
Evidence of an association between screen time and attentional difficulties is mixed, with negative effects only clearly apparent when exposure is extremely high i. High exposure to background TV has been found to negatively affect language use and acquisition, attention, cognitive development and executive function in children younger than 5 years.
It also reduces the amount and quality of parent—child interaction and distracts from play    . Further, e-book sound effects and animation can interfere with story comprehension and event sequencing in preschoolers, when compared with paper books   — . Some studies associate prolonged TV viewing with lower cognitive abilities, especially related to short-term memory, early reading and math skills and language development    — . Fast-paced or violent content can negatively impact executive function   , and these effects may be cumulative.
The inability of young children especially those younger than 2 years to distinguish everyday reality from what happens on screen, along with their efforts to make sense of competing experiential realms, may interfere with and impede executive function  . Minimizing screen time leaves more time for face-to-face interactions, which is how young children learn best. When children watch educational, age-appropriate content with an engaged adult, screen time can be a positive learning experience.
When adults mitigate screen time, they:. In , the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission pledged to provide Internet access as a basic service for all Canadians . However, even as screen-based educational content becomes increasingly accessible to all families, a new gap may be opening. Children whose parents have the ability to mentor and curate screen encounters may reap benefits that are less accessible in families with fewer financial resources or parents who cannot be as involved.
Health providers should be alert to this gap, which may be reflected in other parent—child interactions . Television research shows that socioeconomic factors can shape the content and mediation of screen use. Further, TV viewing has been found to be negatively associated with school readiness skills, especially as family income decreases .
However, the time spent viewing—across diverse middle-income households, for example—is stable   . In fact, socioeconomic status appears to have little bearing on the degree to which families comply with current screen guidelines . Raising awareness around how children learn best and their need for screen time limits is important for all families, regardless of economic circumstances.
See also the discussion of effective use of technology in instruction in Chapter 6. Children are better prepared to comprehend narrative texts they encounter in school if their early language environments provide more exposure to and opportunities to participate in extended discourse. Apr 1, Issue. Decision Memorandum. When a young child is unable to make friends it can be frustrating or even painful. Helmets and mouth guards reduce the risk of overall head and dental injuries, but neither has demonstrated a clear reduction in concussion incidence in most sports.
Quality content can enhance social and language skills for all children aged 2 years and older, particularly for children living in poverty or who are otherwise disadvantaged  . Educational TV reaches children in lower-income homes almost as much as higher-income homes, and among children whose families own a laptop or mobile device, barriers to accessing and using educational content have almost disappeared .
Well-designed, age-appropriate educational programs and screen activities can be powerfully pro-social, helping children to learn antiviolence attitudes, empathy, tolerance and respect  . Appropriately used, screen time can calm a child who is overexcited or distressed e. But screen learning can affect behaviour both positively and negatively, so ensuring quality content is crucial . Ideally, planning begins prenatally; accounts for the health, education and entertainment needs of each child and family member; includes screen-based activities in child care; and is reviewed periodically.
Setting meaningful limits when children are young and sharing them as a family is far easier than cutting back screen time when children are older. For children—and parents—off-screen time is critical for developing essential life skills such as self-regulation  , creativity and learning through physical and imaginative play. A recent study of smartphone use in fast-food restaurants observed that as time spent by parents on their phones increased, so too did the likelihood of children acting out to gain attention, often leading to negative interactions  .
Another study found that parents who allow 1- to 4-year-old children to use their smartphones frequently also report offering the phone to reward or distract more often. Consequently, their children ask for the phone—and become upset if refused—more often . GM Hummer Truck Humor, satire, etc.
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Deer hunting , Hunting trophies. How To Raise A Hunter. Beyond Hunter Ed. What the Kids Are Saying. To proclaim or to offer is not to impose, however; the latter suggests a moral violence which is strictly forbidden, both by the Gospel and by Church law. The Council provided a realistic analysis of the religious condition in the world today, 9 and paid explicit attention to the special situation of young people; 10 educators must do the same. Whatever methods they employ to do this, they should be attentive to the results of research with youth done at the local level, and they should be mindful of the fact that the young today are, in some respects, different from those that the Council had in mind.
Many Catholic schools are located in countries which are undergoing radical changes in outlook and in life-style: these countries are becoming urbanized and industrialized, and are moving into the so-called "tertiary" economy, characterized by a high standard of living, a wide choice of educational opportunities, and complex communication systems. Young people in these countries are familiar with the media from their infancy; they have been exposed to a wide variety of opinions on every possible topic, and are surprisingly well-informed even when they are still very young. These young people absorb a wide and varied assortment of knowledge from all kinds of sources, including the school.
But they are not yet capable of ordering or prioritizing what they have learned. Often enough, they do not yet have the critical ability needed to distinguish the true and good from their opposites; they have not yet acquired the necessary religious and moral criteria that will enable them to remain objective and independent when faced with the prevailing attitudes and habits of society.
Concepts such as truth, beauty and goodness have become so vague today that young people do not know where to turn to find help; even when they are able to hold on to certain values, they do not yet have the capacity to develop these values into a way of life; all too often they are more inclined simply to go their own way, accepting whatever is popular at the moment. Changes occur in different ways and at different rates. Each school will have to look carefully at the religious behaviour of the young people "in loco" in order to discover their thought processes, their life-style, their reaction to change.
Depending on the situation, the change may be profound, it may be only beginning, or the local culture may be resistant to change. Even a culture resistant to change is being influenced by the all-pervasive mass media! Some common characteristics of the young. Although local situations create great diversity, there are characteristics that today's young people have in common, and educators need to be aware of them.
Many young people find themselves in a condition of radical instability. On the one hand they live in a onedimensional universe in which the only criterion is practical utility and the only value is economic and technological progress. On the other hand, these same young people seem to be progressing to a stage beyond this narrow universe; nearly everywhere, evidence can be found of a desire to be released from it.
Others live in an environment devoid of truly human relationships; as a result, they suffer from loneliness and a lack of affection.
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This is a widespread phenomenon that seems to be independent of life-style: it is found in oppressive regimes, among the homeless, and in the cold and impersonal dwellings of the rich. Young people today are notably more depressed than in the past; this is surely a sign of the poverty of human relationships in families and in society today. They have been influenced by a world in which human values are in chaos because these values are no longer rooted in God; the result is that these young people are very much afraid when they think about the appalling problems in the world: the threat of nuclear annihilation, vast unemployment, the high number of marriages that end in separation or divorce, widespread poverty, etc.
Their worry and insecurity become an almost irresistible urge to focus in on themselves, and this can lead to violence when young people are together - a violence that is not always limited to words. Christian education is faced with the huge challenge of helping these young people discover something of value in their lives. Their decisions are not solidly based: today's "yes" easily becomes tomorrow's "no". Finally, a vague sort of generosity is characteristic of many young people. Filled with enthusiasm, they are eager to join in popular causes. Too often, however, these movements are without any specific orientation or inner coherence.
It is important to channel this potential for good and, when possible, give it the orientation that comes from the light of faith. Often enough, this begins by giving up religious practices. As time goes on, it can develop into a hostility toward Church structures and a crisis of conscience regarding the truths of faith and their accompanying moral values. This can be especially true in those countries where education in general is secular or even imbued with atheism. The crisis seems to occur more frequently in places where there is high economic development and rapid social and cultural change.
Sometimes the phenomenon is not recent; it is something that the parents went through, and they are now passing their own attitudes along to the new generation. When this is the case, it is no longer a personal crisis, but one that has become religious and social. It has been called a "split between the Gospel and culture". Experts suggest that certain patterns of behaviour found among young people are actually attempts to fill the religious void with some sort of a substitute: the pagan cult of the body, drug escape, or even those massive "youth events" which sometimes deteriorate into fanaticism and total alienation from reality.
It may be some lack at the start, some problem in the family background. Or it may be that parish and Church organizations are deficient. Christian formation given in childhood and early adolescence is not always proof against the influence of the environment. Perhaps there are cases in which the fault lies with the Catholic school itself.
In a Catholic school, as in any school, one can find young people who are outstanding in every way - in religious attitude, moral behaviour, and academic achievement. When we look for the cause, we often discover an excellent family background reinforced by both Church and school. There is always a combination of factors, open to the interior workings of grace. Some young people are searching for a deeper understanding of their religion; as they reflect on the real meaning of life they begin to find answers to their questions in the Gospel.
Others have already passed through the crisis of indifference and doubt, and are now ready to commit themselves - or recommit themselves - to a Christian way of life. These positive signs give us reason to hope that a sense of religion can develop in more of today's young people, and that it can be more deeply rooted in them.
They seem to have a negative attitude toward all the various ways in which a Christian life is expressed - prayer, participation in the Mass, or frequenting of the Sacraments. Some even reject these expressions outright, especially those associated with an institutional Church. If a school is excellent as an academic institution, but does not witness to authentic values, then both good pedagogy and a concern for pastoral care make it obvious that renewal is called for - not only in the content and methodology of religious instruction, but in the overall school planning which governs the whole process of formation of the students.
The religious questioning of young people today needs to be better understood. Many of them are asking about the value of science and technology when everything could end in a nuclear holocaust; they look at how modern civilization floods the world with material goods, beautiful and useful as these may be, and they wonder whether the purpose of life is really to possess many "things" or whether there may not be something far more valuable; they are deeply disturbed by the injustice which divides the free and the rich from the poor and the oppressed.
They ask whether religion can provide any answers to the pressing problems afflicting humanity. Large numbers of them sincerely want to know how to deepen their faith and live a meaningful life. Then there is the further practical question of how to translate responsible commitment into effective action. Future historians will have to evaluate the "youth group" phenomenon, along with the movements founded for spiritual growth, apostolic work, or service of others. But these are signs that words are not enough for the young people of today. They want to be active - to do something worthwhile for themselves and for others.
They are also the children of our age. Each student has a distinct origin and is a unique individual. A Catholic school is not simply a place where lessons are taught; it is a centre that has an operative educational philosophy, attentive to the needs of today's youth and illumined by the Gospel message. A thorough and exact knowledge of the real situation will suggest the best educational methods.
We need to integrate what has already been learned, and respond to the questions which come from the restless and critical minds of the young. We need to break through the wall of indifference, and at the same time be ready to help those who are doing well to discover a "better way", offering them a knowledge that also embraces Christian wisdom. In pedagogical circles, today as in the past, great stress is put on the climate of a school: the sum total of the different components at work in the school which interact with one another in such a way as to create favourable conditions for a formation process.
Education always takes place within certain specific conditions of space and time, through the activities of a group of individuals who are active and also interactive among themselves. They follow a programme of studies which is logically ordered and freely accepted. Therefore, the elements to be considered in developing an organic vision of a school climate are: persons, space, time, relationships, teaching, study, and various other activities. From the first moment that a student sets foot in a Catholic school, he or she ought to have the impression of entering a new environment, one illumined by the light of faith, and having its own unique characteristics.
The Council summed this up by speaking of an environment permeated with the Gospel spirit of love and freedom. The inspiration of Jesus must be translated from the ideal into the real. The Gospel spirit should be evident in a Christian way of thought and life which permeates all facets of the educational climate. Having crucifixes in the school will remind everyone, teachers and students alike, of this familiar and moving presence of Jesus, the "Master" who gave his most complete and sublime teaching from the cross.
Prime responsibility for creating this unique Christian school climate rests with the teachers, as individuals and as a community. The religious dimension of the school climate is expressed through the celebration of Christian values in Word and Sacrament, in individual behaviour, in friendly and harmonious interpersonal relationships, and in a ready availability.
Through this daily witness, the students will come to appreciate the uniqueness of the environment to which their youth has been entrusted. If it is not present, then there is little left which can make the school Catholic. It is only natural that they should come to think of the school as an extension of their own homes, and therefore a "school- home" ought to have some of the amenities which can create a pleasant and happy family atmosphere. When this is missing from the home, the school can often do a great deal to make up for it.
The possibilities for this vary from place to place; we have to be honest enough to admit that some school buildings are unsuitable and unpleasant. But students can be made to feel "at home" even when the surroundings are modest, if the climate is humanly and spiritually rich.
Because of rapid technological progress, a school today must have access to equipment that, at times, is complex and expensive. This is not a luxury; it is simply what a school needs to carry out its role as an educational institution. Catholic schools, therefore, have a right to expect the help from others that will make the purchase of modern educational materials possible. Concern for the environment is part of a formation in ecological awareness, the need for which is becoming increasingly apparent.
An awareness of Mary's presence can be a great help toward making the school into a "home". Mary, Mother and Teacher of the Church, accompanied her Son as he grew in wisdom and grace; from its earliest days, she has accompanied the Church in its mission of salvation. A church should not be seen as something extraneous, but as a familiar and intimate place where those young people who are believers can find the presence of the Lord: " Behold, I am with you all days" 17 Liturgy planning should be especially careful to bring the school community and the local Church together.
The ecclesial and educational climate of the school. This community dimension is, perhaps, one result of the new awareness of the Church's nature as developed by the Council. In the Council texts, the community dimension is primarily a theological concept rather than a sociological category; this is the sense in which it is used in the second chapter of Lumen gentium , where the Church is described as the People of God.
As it reflects on the mission entrusted to it by the Lord, the Church gradually develops its pastoral instruments so that they may become ever more effective in proclaiming the Gospel and promoting total human formation. The Catholic school is one of these pastoral instruments; its specific pastoral service consists in mediating between faith and culture: being faithful to the newness of the Gospel while at the same time respecting the autonomy and the methods proper to human knowledge.
Parents are central figures, since they are the natural and irreplaceable agents in the education of their children. And the community also includes the students, since they must be active agents in their own education. The words of the present Holy Father make this abundantly clear: "the Catholic school is not a marginal or secondary element in the pastoral mission of the bishop.
Its function is not merely to be an instrument with which to combat the education given in a State school" Through it, the local Church evangelizes, educates, and contributes to the formation of a healthy and morally sound life-style among its members. The Holy Father affirms that "the need for the Catholic school becomes evidently clear when we consider what it contributes to the development of the mission of the People of God, to the dialogue between Church and the human community, to the safeguarding of freedom of conscience Above all, according to the Holy Father, the Catholic school helps in achieving a double objective: "of its natute it guides men and women to human and Christian perfection, and at the same time helps them to become mature in their faith.
For those who believe in Christ, these are two facets of a single reality" These men and women have dedicated themselves to the service of the students without thought of personal gain, because they are convinced that it is really the Lord whom they are serving. Through the prayer, work and love that make up their life in community, they express in a visible way the life of the Church.
Each Congregation brings the richness of its own educational tradition to the school, found in its original charism; its members each bring the careful professional preparation that is required by the call to be an educator.
The strength and gentleness of their total dedication to God enlightens their work, and students gradually come to appreciate the value of this witness. They come to love these educators who seem to have the gift of eternal spiritual youth, and it is an affection which endures long after students leave the school. In fact, the Church hopes that many others will be called to this special vocation.
When afflicted by doubts and uncertainty, when difficulties are multiplied, these Religious men and women should recall the nature of their consecration, which is a type of holocaust 24 - a holocaust which is offered "in the perfection of love, which is the scope of the consecrated life". Ideally, this lay witness is a concrete example of the lay vocation that most of the students will be called to.
The Congregation has devoted a specific document to lay teachers, 26 meant to remind lay people of their apostolic responsibility in the field of education and to summon them to participate in a common mission, whose point of convergence is found in the unity of the Church.
For all are active members of one Church and cooperate in its one mission, even though the fields of labour and the states of life are different because of the personal call each one receives from God. The recognition of the school as a Catholic school is, however, always reserved to the competent ecclesiastical authority 27 When lay people do establish schools, they should be especially concerned with the creation of a community climate permeated by the Gospel spirit of freedom and love, and they should witness to this in their own lives.
Achieving the educational aims of the school should be an equal priority for teachers, students and families alike, each one according to his or her own role, always in the Gospel spirit of freedom and love. Therefore channels of communication should be open among all those concerned with the school. Frequent meetings will help to make this possible, and a willingness to discuss common problems candidly will enrich this communication. The daily problems of school life are sometimes aggravated by misunderstandings and various tensions. A determination to collaborate in achieving common educational goals can help to overcome these difficulties and reconcile different points of view.
A willingness to collaborate helps to facilitate decisions that need to be made about the ways to achieve these goals and, while preserving proper respect for school authorities, even makes it possible to conduct a critical evaluation of the school - a process in which teachers, students and families can all take part because of their common concern to work for the good of all. Those responsible for these schools will, therefore, do everything they can to promote a common spirit of trust and spontaneity.
In addition, they will take great care to promote close and constant collaboration with the parents of these pupils. An integration of school and home is an essential condition for the birth and development of all of the potential which these children manifest in one or the other of these two situations - including their openness to religion with all that this implies.
It also wishes to thank the Religious Congregations helping to sustain these primary schools, often at great sacrifice. Moreover, the Congregation offers enthusiastic encouragement to those dioceses and Religious Congregations who wish to establish new schools. Such things as film clubs and sports groups are not enough; not even classes in catechism instruction are sufficient. What is needed is a school.
This is a goal which, in some countries, was the starting point. There are countries in which the Church began with schools and only later was able to construct Churches and to establish a new Christian community Close cooperation with the family is especially important when treating sensitive issues such as religious, moral, or sexual education, orientation toward a profession, or a choice of one's vocation in life. It is not a question of convenience, but a partnership based on faith. Catholic tradition teaches that God has bestowed on the family its own specific and unique educational mission.
It often happens that a meeting called to talk about the children becomes an opportunity to raise the consciousness of the parents. In addition, the school should try to involve the family as much as possible in the educational aims of the school - both in helping to plan these goals and in helping to achieve them.
Experience shows that parents who were once totally unaware of their role can be transformed into excellent partners. Church schools first appeared centuries ago, growing up alongside monasteries, cathedrals and parish churches. The Church has always had a love for its schools, because this is where its children receive their formation. These schools have continued to flourish with the help of bishops, countless Religious Congregations, and laity; the Church has never ceased to support the schools in their difficulties and to defend them against governments seeking to close or confiscate them.
Just as the Church is present in the school, so the school is present in the Church; this is a logical consequence of their reciprocal commitment. The Church, through which the Redemption of Christ is revealed and made operative, is where the Catholic school receives its spirit. It recognizes the Holy Father as the centre and the measure of unity in the entire Christian community. Love for and fidelity to the Church is the organizing principle and the source of strength of a Catholic school.
Teachers find the light and the courage for authentic Religious education in their unity among themselves and their generous and humble communion with the Holy Father. Concretely, the educational goals of the school include a concern for the life and the problems of the Church, both local and universal. These goals are attentive to the Magisterium, and include cooperation with Church authorities.
Catholic students are helped to become active members of the parish and diocesan communities. They have opportunities to join Church associations and Church youth groups, and they are taught to collaborate in local Church projects. Mutual esteem and reciprocal collaboration will be established between the Catholic school and the bishop and other Church authorities through direct contacts. We are pleased to note that a concern for Catholic schools is becoming more of a priority of local Churches in many parts of the world.
Therefore, traditional civic values such as freedom, justice, the nobility of work and the need to pursue social progress are all included among the school goals, and the life of the school gives witness to them. The national anniversaries and other important civic events are commemorated and celebrated in appropriate ways in the schools of each country.
The school life should also reflect an awareness of international society. Christian education sees all of humanity as one large family, divided perhaps by historical and political events, but always one in God who is Father of all. Therefore a Catholic school should be sensitive to and help to promulgate Church appeals for peace, justice, freedom, progress for all peoples and assistance for countries in need.
Both government policy and public opinion should, therefore, recognize the work these schools do as a real service to society. It is unjust to accept the service and ignore or fight against its source. Fortunately, a good number of countries seem to have a growing understanding of and sympathy for the Catholic school. Along with the lessons that a teacher gives, there is the active participat i on of the students individually or as a group: study, research, exercises, para-curricular activities, examinations, relationships with teachers and with one another, group activities, class meetings, school assemblies.
While the Catholic school is like any other school in this complex variety of events that make up the life of the school, there is one essential difference: it draws its inspiration and its strength from the Gospel in which it is rooted. The principle that no human act is morally indifferent to one's conscience or before God has clear applications to school life: examples of it are school work accepted as a duty and done with good will; courage and perseverance when difficulties come; respect for teachers; loyalty toward and love for fellow students; sincerity, tolerance, and goodness in all relationships.
Students who are sensitive to the religious dimension of life realize that the will of God is found in the work and the human relationships of each day. They learn to follow the example of the Master, who spent his youth working and who did good to all. Although Christian life consists in loving God and doing his will, intellectual work is intimately involved. The light of Christian faith stimulates a desire to know the universe as God's creation.
It enkindles a love for the truth that will not be satisfied with superficiality in knowledge or judgment. It awakens a critical sense which examines statements rather than accepting them blindly. It impels the mind to learn with careful order and precise methods, and to work with a sense of responsibility. It provides the strength needed to accept the sacrifices and the perseverance required by intellectual labour. When fatigued, the Christian student remembers the command of Genesis 34 and the invitation of the Lord.
How sad it would be if the young people in Catholic schools were to have no knowledge of this reality in the midst of all the difficult and tiring work they have to do! The religious dimension of the school culture. As students move up from one class into the next it becomes increasingly imperative that a Catholic school help them become aware that a relationship exists between faith and human culture.
But the lessons of the teacher and the reception of those students who are believers will not divorce faith from this culture; 37 this would be a major spiritual loss. The world of human culture and the world of religion are not like two parallel lines that never meet; points of contact are established within the human person. For a believer is both human and a person of faith, the protagonist of culture and the subject of religion.
Anyone who searches for the contact points will be able to find them. Everyone should work together, each one developing his or her own subject area with professional competence, but sensitive to those opportunities in which they can help students to see beyond the limited horizon of human reality. In a Catholic school, and analogously in every school, God cannot be the Great Absent One or the unwelcome intruder. The Creator does not put obstacles in the path of someone trying to learn more about the universe he created, a universe which is given new significance when seen with the eyes of faith.