Our political world witnesses sharp divsions between Republicans and Democrats, but when it comes to issues of education, there is a remarkable agreement as to how children should be treated. Jerome Kagan, famous psychologist and educator, was recently interviewed by Der Spiegel. Kagan was involved in development of initial research into emotional and cognitive development of children and adolsecents. He has consistently argued that problems encountered by children are not permanent, and can be overcome. He has been an opponent to quick resort to pills in dealing with children having problems.
Kagan noted the tremendous rise in classifying children as “depressed” and deciding that a child who is bored in school needs some pills. Of course, if a child has normal physical energy, they willl be classified as ADHD and doused with Ritlin. Kagan believes psychologists are quick to classify and do not recognize that all normal people can, on occassion, be depressed or upset. A temper tantrum is not a sign of being bipolar, someone just got angry.
Kagan offers a simple solution for children who are not doing well in school–give them tutoring. We are a nation gone pill crazy. I have taught 12,000 students, and encountered numerous bored or hyperactive kids. Physical activity is the best medication for active kids.