Papers from the Headmaster PDF
by Richard A. Hawley
This timely collection of reflections asks some hard questions parents, the education establishment, and the larger society have avoided for too long. What are the consequences, Richard Hawley asks, of having created a commercial and public culture that is demonstrably toxic to children? Hawley challenges readers to consider, in light of what is known about healthy child development, the implications of imposing adult sexuality on children in amounts and in forms that can only overwhelm and terrify them. Drawing on vivid, personally observed examples and incidents, he carefully examines what children actually "learn" from popular culture in which public and private leaders are exposed as philanderers and frauds, in which athletes and entertainment stars are revealed as addicts and child molesters and murderers. The greatest dangers to this era's children, Hawley says, lie where the remedy ought to be: in the ways we tell our collective stories and in the conveyance of our common history. "Our children are in danger of being educated to believe there are no healing true stories, that history is the invention of the teller, that nothing finally is verifiable, knowable, safe or right. In such a world all preferences and all claims become morally equivalent and thus meaningless."
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