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The Reasons to Teach Children How to Disobey Essay

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Updated: May 21st, 2020

The process of children education has a number of specifications that have to be taken into consideration by any tutor. It is very important to define what virtues have to be admitted at first, what aspects are better to touch upon as soon as possible, and why children have to study different issues from different perspectives. One of the most important aspects concerning children education is the ways of teaching on how to disobey correctly.

On the one hand, it sounds a bit strange that children have to be taught to disobey because the process of disobedience implies some kind of breaking rules, orders, and the already established norms. On the other hand, for its own sake, disobedience is anarchy. And in their turns, our culture and our society depend on authorities being obeyed.

The type of obedience that is desirable but still exclusive of any form of submission. “[When authority] acts in the name of reason, being universal, I can accept without submitting. Irrational authority has to use force or suggestion, because no one would let himself be exploited if he were free to prevent it” (Fromm 359).

This is why it is wrong to believe that disobedience is a rebellion, insubmission, and evil. It is another way to demonstrate person’s own point of view, thought, or idea that may probably improve the situation and lead to positive outcomes. In his works, Doris Lessing believe that children are in a burning need to be taught properly on hot to disobey in order to be able to recognize wrong situations, avoid negative consequences, and provide any type of obedience that is harmful.

In this paper, the ideas of how children may gain knowledge of how to disobey properly will be given alongside with a curriculum and activities offered to children that aim at improving their attitude to their roles in society and understanding of the reasons of why they have to disobey under particular conditions; it is important for children to learn how to disobey in order to become better for the society they live in and be ready to define what is fair/unfair, safe/unsafe, good/bad.

The problem of attempting to educate children in areas of social importance, such as the importance of disobedience, is the fact that there is an element of political correctness that must be challenged without causing too much of a stir. Parents could become quite aggravated, angry, and irate to learn that their children have been studying ways to disobey.

This is why the most fundamental design in the curriculum that could be implemented for teaching children about the importance of rational disobedience would be the aspect parents being interwoven throughout curriculums. Bringing children’s attention to the elements of positive and negative disobedience throughout history, especially, would be of benefit. In his works, Fromm admits that

“Man has continued to evolve by acts of disobedience. Not only was his spiritual development possible only because there were men who dared to say no to the powers that be in the name of their conscience or their faith, but also intellectual development was dependent on the capacity for being disobedient – disobedient to authorities who tried to muzzle new thoughts and to the authority of long-established opinions which declared a change to be nonsense.” (Fromm 356).

How many instances through the course of our evolution has a man or a group of people started a movement against the establishment, disobeying status quo, in the name of what is more right, more good, and more accurate a reflection of humankind’s spirit? Without considering religious implications, a man exemplifies this phenomenon.

He disobeyed and did it righteously. He stood up to a class system that all but ignored the poor and wretched against the powers obtained. In studying every period of growth, from Ancient Greece till Enlightenment, one can find examples of individuals and groups who had the courage to disobey in the name of human perpetual evolution.

The development of the curriculum requires certain efforts, time, and evaluation of the demands. For this project, a specific group of 11-12 years-old children is chosen. The reasons of why this age is used are quite simple: under this age, children are able to define what may be wrong and what may be right, to evaluate the outcomes of their actions, and to comprehend how their participation may influence the current state of affairs.

Boys and girls have to learn the main aspects of disobedience and use the right ideas on how to interpret the situation. Under the curriculum, the main needs of the group are defined: to learn the essence of disobedience, to evaluate the conditions under which disobedience may be obligatory, and to clarify when people have to disobey to avoid negative consequences. The conditions under which the curriculum has to be organized are the following:

  • Parents have to be informed about the lessons and be ready to participate in such process of education;
  • Children have to get a certain amount of theoretical knowledge to be ready for practice;
  • Psychological state of every child has to be checked in order to forecast possible results of disobedient behavior;
  • Proper conditions for education have to be chosen (a separate classroom with proper equipment to use video and audio material).

The expected outcomes of this educational process are students’ awareness of the main cultural and social norms, abilities to identify bad and good situation, readiness to rely on personal knowledge and prove the correctness of the chosen approach.

To succeed in the chosen program, it is necessary to pay much attention to home assignments. At first, it is possible to give some written tasks to check whether children comprehend the material about disobedience. Then, the essay of why people disobey may be prepared. Within some time, it is necessary to give some practical assignments to make sure students can use obtained knowledge properly. The most important point is parents’ awareness about such assignments because their participation is crucial.

Parents have to create situations so that children may demonstrate their attitudes to such situation and disobey the order using effective grounds. In other words, there has to be a degree of openness to the possibilities that parents and tutors may be using force in their methods that is not conducive to the healthy development of people’s capacity to function as “feeling and thinking” individuals (Asch 311).

Class projects are also necessary during this process of education. Children have to demonstrate their skills under tutors’ supervision. For example, it is possible to divide the group into two subgroups and introduce particular functions each group has to complete: one group has to suggest another group missing the next classes in order to get prepared for some work.

The point is that each group is unaware of the functions of each other, this is why it is possible to create proper environment and observe how the event is developed. It is crucially important to control the situation so that no conflicts spoil it. Such projects help to define the weaknesses of students and the means used to achieve the desirable purpose.

Field trips could become an incredible asset to further students’ understanding of the concept and consequences of obedience, disobedience, and courageous. In the chosen curriculum, it is possible to choose the following field trips in order to explain the importance of disobedience:

  • Visits colonies where young people are because of juvenile delinquency (to demonstrate that too much disobedience may lead to negative outcomes, this is why it is necessary to know when disobedience is righteous);
  • Go to the cinema and watch the movies that describe the questions of disobedience and the necessity to obey (e.g. Free Willy or The Problem Child).

“Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has” (Mead 1). These words of Margaret Mead prove that there is always a hope with the help of which people may believe to improve their future and choose the best conditions to live under.

If children get an opportunity to learn deeper the ideas of disobedience, the reasons of why this process may be justified, and the outcomes that may be expected, it is necessary to use this chance and gain better understanding on how to improve this life. The lessons on how to disobey have to be taken serious and regularly so that children are aware of when and how they may disobey properly.

Works Cited

Asch, Solomon E. “Opinions and Social Pressure.” Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum: Ninth Edition. Ed. Virginia L. Blanford. New York: Pearson Longman, 2005. 306-313.

Fromm, Erich. “Disobedience as a Psychological and Moral Problem.” Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum: Ninth Edition. Ed. Virginia L. Blanford. New York: Pearson Longman, 2005. 356-361.

Mead, Margaret. “Quotations.” CreatingMinds.org. 2010. Web.

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