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Peter Haiman, Ph.D.


Thinking Outside the Box

Organizations such as the National Association for the Education of Young Children, La Leche League, Attachment Parenting International, and the American Academy of Pediatrics can no longer remain politically inactive. These organizations have been primarily educational in purpose and isolated by nature. Yet, current child-rearing practices, influenced by changing values and the media, seriously damage child development.

In 1997 I wrote "Cooperation Will Make It Happen," published in the Journal of Psychohistory, which described the erosion of the extended family and consequences for children and adolescents. I announced a meeting of educational leaders to create The Alliance for Children. Although the meeting was held in Washington DC in 1997, and most in attendance viewed the alliance as critical for children and the future of our democracy, no subsequent meetings occurred.

In the intervening fifteen years, child rearing in this country has become more damaging to children. They are growing up less educated, more violent, with less humane values, and less thoughtful and caring of others. Our leaders behave more violently and cannot cooperate. It is time for the above organizations to join together and form an alliance that will improve social and cultural influences on child rearing so the next generation can continue to enjoy freedom in the United States.

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Program Reaches Out To Average Student Harvey, Lake Erie College, Lubrizol join hands

Education Editor

The Telegraph, Wed., May 23, 1973

"I feel like I really belong here, like I always want to be part of the academic life."

"When, as you seek to develop a young mind to full potential, you begin to see some results, you also find you have something in common, a deep something that has to do with intelligence and interests."

"Adolescents look for and need people to model themselves after...qualities to respect in people older than they are, people to imitate."

"How did you do such a fine job of matching people? I feel like I had known my tutor all my life."

"We are comfortable together."

"I never liked to read. Now I'm enjoying classical novels."

"I liked working with my tutor. She kind of stretched my mind..."

"I liked working with my tutor. She kind of stretched my mind..."

The remarks are typical, the sentiments mutual between the tutors and the tutored in an unusual program conceived by Lake Erie College, Harvey High School, and the Lubrizol Corp., and underwritten by Lubrizol for a two-year period.

How many programs are designed to inspire and give opportunity to the academically talented? How many are designed to help the academically disadvantaged? How many schools and classes are created for the mentally retarded?

The Lake Erie College-Harvey-Lubrizol program is totally different. It reaches out to the average student who is not doing his best, seeks to develop him to full potential. The theory is that some day this student may be in college and, because someone cared enough to open new doors of learning and understanding to him, he will succeed.

By no accident, students who once hated school or who just got by with passing marks, are finding education quite exciting as a result of this program.

Considerable screening was done in advance, both at Harvey High and Lake Erie College. The purpose was to improve reading and study skills and in so doing to increase the motivations of the average students to read and learn.

The college sophomores and seniors selected to teach the high school students were people who had demonstrated competence in reading and who, themselves, were good students and enjoyed reading for pleasure.

The groundwork for the tutoring was laid carefully at Lake Erie College, under the leadership of Dr. Peter E. Haiman, assistant professor of education, and Harvey High, under the direction of Mrs. Carol Fleck, English teacher.

The desire was to seek average students in their early years of high school so the new study habits they hopefully would acquire would help them the rest of the way.

Julie Cope and Tato Oliveras were the only sophomores. The rest were freshmen: Carmen Oliveras, Terry Jarrell, Tim Keough, Ken Fox, Tim Morgan, Nancy Raines, Carol Behrens and Valerie Hall, all of whom have stayed in the program all year.

They will be given a chance to continue next year. Some say they will. A few say they will not, mainly because they feel they need their time and have gained enough in one year to help them in the future.

Some day this student may be in college...because some cared enough to open new doors of learning and understanding to him, he will succeed.

Miss Patty Krammer, Lake Erie Junior, was the student coordinator.

The tutors, all volunteers, were Barb Copley, Betsy Anderson, Heidi Arn, Maureen Kelly, Tim Hadden, Louise Golder, Diane Keys, Lucy Debardelaben, Bill Brigham, Pam Janaskas, Nancy Mickey, and Jane Glidden.

The first big hurdle, and considered one of the most important, was getting acquainted.

"So many times we're so age oriented," Dr. Haiman remarked. "Adolescents look for and need people to model themselves after. They need to find qualities to respect in people older than they are, people to imitate. They seem to have found such qualities in their tutors. The tutors have gained something too."

Thus learning to know each other was part of the total experience. Early in the year a weekend was arranged at Punderson State Park for the tutors and the high schoolers.

"We cooked together. We ate together. We hiked together and we got to know each other," a boy remarked. "I'll never forget it. After that it was easy to sit down and study together."

TALKING THINGS over as a group and in the tutoring on a one-to-one basis is an important part of the Lake Erie-­Lubrizol-Harvey High School program to develop the avenge student to full potential. Sessions like this one in social hall of Lake Erie College are typical.

Other social events and field trips followed, one to Lubrizol with Dr. W.M. LeSuer as host. Dr. LeSuer has had charge of the tutoring program for Lubrizol.

"A program like this takes involvement and commitment," said Mrs. Fleck, who refers to the past year and the tutoring experiment as "a real happening-a happening in education."

Has the program resulted in any significant changes, academically?

There have been some better grades, but the greatest change observed by tutors and teachers involved is in attitudes.

Professional evaluation of the program will be made by Operation Yardstick, according to Russell F. Hobart, superintendent of Painesville City Schools.

Yardstick is an organization for measuring and reporting school performance.

Mr. Hobart viewed the program of the past school year with considerable enthusiasm.

The tutors and the tutored agree that friendships have been made and cemented and that life has been made better for all of them because of the adventure to awaken and inspire the average student.

Peter Ernest Haiman, Ph.D. Copyright ©