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Philosopher Stephen Law says children need to be able to criticise authority in order to grow emotionally and intellectually.
In his Sydney Ideas lecture, to be held at the University of Sydney next Tuesday night, Law, the author of The War For Children’s Minds, will contend that children need to learn about right and wrong and respect for others, but they also need to think for themselves – something that’s lacking in many authoritarian-based schools.
According to Law, “liberal attitudes” to religious and moral education have been blamed for “everything wrong with modern societies”. This has encouraged a move back to more traditional, authoritarian schools, as seen by recent Australian Bureau of Statistics figures that show a significant student shift from NSW State schools to faith-based ones.
He says that rather than fostering positive “values”, traditional schools stifle emotional and intellectual growth and do not encourage children to take responsibility for their own actions.
In his lecture, titled “The War For Children’s Minds”, Law, a senior lecturer at the University of London, will point to “growing empirical evidence” that suggests schools that encourage collective philosophical discussion and critical thinking not only increases pupils’ IQs but also foster emotional and social growth.
Source: University of Sydney
Tens of thousands of people across Australia are likely to be caught up in a major new epidemic of viral gastroenteritis, UNSW and Prince of Wales Hospital researchers have warned. Scores of outbreaks caused by the highly infectious norovirus have already occurred in eastern Australia, in some cases forcing hospitals to close their doors to visitors.
People in large families and in group settings – including nursing homes, hospitals and childcare centres – are most at risk. The infection causes vomiting and diarrhoea, usually lasting for about three days. No cure is available.
Source: The University of New South Wales