Privileged teenagers at one middle school are learning to empathize this year, whether they like it or not.

A teaser from the New York Times for this article here. From the article:

Many Scarsdale parents praise the empathy focus, but some students complain that the school has no business dictating what they wear or how they act in their personal life.

Hey, good point.

Others say that no matter what is taught in the classroom, there is a different reality in the cafeteria and hallways, where the mean girls are no less mean and the boys will still be boys knocking books out of one another’s hands.

Another good point. I had to put up with teachers for many years. Most of them concentrated on history, math, reading, science, and so on. Some of them were good, not many. But there was one teacher, one special teacher, who stood out. She was my 8th grade social studies teacher and she believed in something called values clarification. It involved listening to her talk and taking part in small-group exercises that resembled checklists from Psychology Today. What I learned from her is that the windier the subject, the less interested a teacher is in results. The point is for the students to create a Potemkin Village where the teacher can be mayor.

Of course one teacher might not be enough to support such a conclusion, but this one made an impression on me.

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