The Importance of Developing Attitudes
[00:11.44]Of all the areas of learning the most important
[00:18.12]is the development of attitudes.
[00:19.96]Emotional reactions as well as logical thought processes
[00:24.35]affect the behavior of most people.
[00:26.53]The burnt child fears fire is one instance;
[00:30.02]another is the rise of figures like Hitler.
[00:33.10]Both these examples also point up the fact
[00:37.47]that attitudes come from experience.
[00:39.67]In the one case the experience is direct and impressive,
[00:44.92]in the other it is indirect and gradual.
[00:48.08]The class room teacher in the elementary school
[00:52.57]is in strategic position to influence attitudes.
[00:56.05]This is true partly because children acquire attitudes
[01:00.13]from those adults whose words they respect.
[01:02.40]Another reason why it is true
[01:05.59]is that pupils often search somewhat deeply into a subject in school
[01:10.18]that has only been touched upon at home
[01:12.69]or has possibly never occurred to them before.
[01:15.54]To a child who had previously acquired little knowledge of Mexico,
[01:20.13]his teachers method of handling
[01:22.74]such a unit would greatly affect his attitude toward Mexicans.
[01:26.15]The teacher can develop proper attitudes
[01:31.08]through social studies, science matters,
[01:34.12]the very atmosphere of the classroom, etc.
[01:37.29]However, when children come to school with undesirable attitudes,
[01:42.32]it is unwise to attempt to change their feelings
[01:45.39]by criticizing them.
[01:46.61]The teacher can achieve the proper effect
[01:49.88]by helping them obtain constructive experience.
[01:52.93]To illustrate, first-grade pupils,
[01:57.32]afraid of policemen will probably change their attitudes
[02:00.60]after a classroom talk with the neighborhood officer
[02:03.98]in which he explains how he protects them.
[02:06.73]In the same way, a class of older children
[02:09.89]can develop attitudes through discussion,
[02:12.40]research and all-day trips.
[02:15.03]Finally, a teacher must constantly evaluate his own attitudes,
[02:20.94]because his influence can be harmful
[02:23.61]if he has personal prejudices.
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