Portland Press Herald: Esther B. Clenott


The proverb “It Takes a Whole Village to Raise a Child” could not be a better short summary of Esther Clenott’s well written letter to the editor of the Portland Press Herald. Controlling parents just do not recognize the value of having many members of the community involved in helping rear their children.William Buckley, himself, would espouse the latitudinarian upbringing of children advocated by Ms. Clenott!┬áThe people of the great state of Maine certainly have an exemplary child advocate in Esther Clenott.

Children start learning about and being affected by their environment from birth, and soon enough, the tones of sounds they hear become the tones of words. They are beginning to build their individual “box.”
About 20 years ago, I attended an unusual but fantastic presentation on “boxes” that changed the way I think about how we learn. Each of us has a “box” to store what we know about the world. The “box” gets filled with our impressions, influenced much by what other people say or do, beliefs, nonbeliefs.

The theory is that human beings need “boxes” to keep their perceptions and realities. Otherwise their experiences would slip away from them, and they would be bereft of the appropriate responses. “Boxes” hold positive thoughts and actions, but unfortunately, they can also hold antisocial feelings and actions.
At 3 years of age, children are ready for school. This is the time not just to introduce them to the alphabet or the sum of one and one, but to introduce them through talk and play to children with different upbringings, religions and races and to teach We need to consider adjustments to elementary, middle and high school curricula to find time to have class discussions and appropriate activities. We cannot ignore these older students, and we have to give them a chance at developing or changing the negative information in their “boxes.”But our children start to learn at a much earlier age to store the messages that can make their lives more pleasant and can make their contributions to a healthy and forward-moving society(Not sure what Esther means by this). That’s why it’s important for them to start their social education as young as possible.


1 comment on “Portland Press Herald: Esther B. ClenottAdd yours →

  1. One can certainly see that Esther Clenott was greatly influenced by the box theory of socialization, but social compartmentalism is now considered a rather weak description of how we establish our identities and world views.

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