Introduction

At some point in one’s life, they will be taught about the world surrounding them and the problems that circulate through the society of which they are a part of. But just how are they informed of today’s issues? Are these methods the best approach to enlightening today’s youth on what battles the world faces? Using a standard approach to this question will show different effects across the nation; therefore, a method must be created of which can be altered and perceived in ways that allow variation and success. Parents should undoubtedly be “in charge” of providing their children with an education on the struggles, successes, and issues of today’s society (SSAIOTS). Of course, it isn’t this simple, but through guidance and acknowledgement towards obstacles this approach may entail, a strong-minded child who cares about and understands today’s world will be the end result. The positive societal effects due to children becoming more socially aware will be unparalleled to the knowledge children and teens hold today. 

 

Demographic Influences

Demographics are defined as statistical data of which relates to the human population and, furthermore, the groups that make it up. The effects various demographics have on the way information is spouted and perceived cannot be dismissed. Education has a vast effect on the demographics of our nation, and if this education isn’t secure, then there will be an ever-lasting loop of misconstruities and socioeconomic failure. The education system is so inconsistent throughout the nation that it would be senseless and nearly laughable to give schools yet another responsibility- that being of which incredibly affects the safety and security of the future of America. If a parent themselves is providing a child with discussions and lessons on the issues our world faces, then the quality level can be controlled because they have the ability to determine what information their child should be receiving without the worries of a budget or school rules, whereas in a school or classroom, demographic variables play a much bigger part. Constantly monitoring the ever-changing demographic factors becomes extremely difficult due to the fact that our nation advances daily. Therefore, when schools must tackle the task of not only teaching students something that doesn’t come straight out of a textbook but also altering this information to fit the group of people being taught, it is easy to assume that the quality of this information will continuously deteriorate. This isn’t even including the budgeting and time costs that have gone down significantly and will continue to drop vastly due to Coronavirus. So how can we expect impoverished and struggling schools which are already scrambling to provide students with a sound education to teach something entirely different that is changing every day? If parents take this responsibility, it will be costless, comfortable, and quality information, as they can personalize the way this information is taught to the way it will affect the child/teen. 

 

Effects of Unconscious Bias

Unconscious bias is inevitable, and although people may argue that point, it is simply the way our brains are wired. Unconscious bias, or implicit bias, is essentially how one interacts with others based on the presumptive stereotypes they unconsciously pair with the general group a person falls into. These biases not only affect the way we act and make decisions but how we understand and process information as well. Common consequences of this bias are feelings of inferiority and strong insecurities. Let’s look at implicit bias in a classroom. Say Child A scores a 98% on the first test of the school year, and Child B scores a 54%. The teacher now has higher expectations of Child A and subconsciously favors this student due to their first impression/performance. There is no way to ignore the fact that parents still hold unconscious bias, even with their own children. However, in a household, we don’t see this teacher favoritism as much between a parent and their child. Also, with parental instruction, children will not be in a position where the information they are being taught goes against who they are because the parents themselves are controlling and filtering the information. It is much more difficult to control unconscious bias in a classroom of 25 kids in contrast to a household where a personal conversation can be safely held. It becomes difficult to trust the information being taught to a student when it doesn’t come straight from a certified curriculum. If we compare the negative effects of implicit bias on children in schools and children in a household, the solution that parental teachings are entirely more beneficial is extremely prevalent. Within schools, minority students may receive harsher punishments and grades because of unconscious bias. So how can we expect teachers to dismiss their own personal biases if their unconscious biases are so prevalent? While it doesn’t do any good to reject the point that unconscious biases at home can be extremely damaging, it is also harmful to not acknowledge how traumatizing in-school biases can be and how the information that children receive is enveloped with personal biases- unconscious or not. 

 

Controlled and Individualized Environment

Not only is the quality of education in a personalized environment much more different than in a classroom, but the success rates are too. Studies show that when students are taught through a one-on-one or small group method, the outcomes are much better compared to large group lectures and instruction. Benjamin Herold from Education Weekly reports that a study showed, “11,000 students at 62 schools trying out personalized-learning approaches made greater gains in math and reading than similar students at more traditional schools.” (Herold, P-13) Therefore, if a child is being taught in their home with a personalized and comfortable environment, they will most likely excel and take a higher interest in SSAIOTS. With personalized learning, the child or teen will be taught through methods that utilize their strengths and interests. It is much easier for a parent to personalize their home environment and teaching methods in comparison to a teacher attempting to adhere to every student’s strengths. This is essential within this process because the child must truly be engaged in the information in order to understand and digest it. A social media poll conducted on July 3rd, 2021, asked a small, diverse group of high schoolers if they learn better in a large group or one-on-one. 58 out of 87 people voted that they learn better in a one-on-one situation. Personal engagement is the key to success, and if a student is in a position where they feel comfortable and safe, they will feel open to ask questions and form opinions, which is what the end goal truly entails. 

 

Does a Perfect Approach Exist?

Although a number of reasons back the fact that parental education on SSAIOTS creates various positive and  beneficial effects, the downsides to this solution must be viewed and acknowledged as well. It isn’t uncommon for children to have unsupportive parents or live in an unstable household. In fact, as time continues, this situation becomes more prevalent. Therefore, parental advisory towards SSAIOTS may not be the best solution in every case. Hence, it can be beneficial for guardians and schools to work through this issue together. There will never be a perfect side with no flaws, so in cases where parents or guardians aren’t in a state to provide their child/children with a substantial education on SSAIOTS, there should be ulterior ways for that child to receive this knowledge. Such as, a teacher and parent working together to create a method to teach the child or a family friend creating a space where they could educate the child. There are many other options, and implementing the strategies of this approach will only enhance them. No system is perfect and simply addressing this is a step in the right direction. Another issue more common than it seems is the lack of education that parents themselves hold. Not all parents and guardians wake up at 7 AM and turn on CNN or watch Fox News whilst eating dinner. So what is stopping the path towards more education on SSAIOTS from being a dual process? This goes back to the point that this learning method is personalized towards situations and does not need to be conventional. In today’s world, most children and teenagers are receiving an education on SSAIOTS through social media posts designed for aesthetics. This is unacceptable. Yes, there will be obstacles through a personalized, parent-taught method, but the final outcome will be worth the road it took to get there. 

 

Support Systems and Solutions

Although parents and guardians will take the reins, all of the responsibility does not need to rest solely on their shoulders. Parental education on SSAIOTS isn’t a tunnel-visioned method; it is a way for parents to personalize the way their children are informed on the news circulating the world. Therefore, parents can implement methods that they see will benefit the child the most. This may entail things such as question and answering, trial and error, and other similar devices. But the common goal is for children and teens to have a better understanding of our world through a comfortable and perceptive process. If schools are put solely in charge of this task, the quality of the information and process will not be sufficient for the child/teen to actually gain anything. With the parental approach, unconscious bias can be more easily controlled, and the environment can be personalized and comfortable. There will not be a set or perfect way to approach this, but starting with an individualized method that has been proven to help in the past is a huge step in the right direction towards a world where children and teens have a sufficient understanding and education on SSAIOTS.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and/or student and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of United 4 Social Change Inc., its board members, or officers.
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