Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Decline of marriage is destroying our pupils, say teachers

Decline of marriage is destroying our pupils, say teachers
• They're too mixed up to learn
• They've more eating disorders
• They're more prone to suicide

The decline of marriage is leading to widespread underachievement and indiscipline in schools, teachers warned yesterday.

Children with "chaotic" home lives turn up at school too troubled to learn, wrecking their prospects of success in exams, they said.

Growing numbers are being brought up in splintered families by mothers with children by different fathers, leading to behaviour and mental health problems including eating disorders and suicidal thoughts, a teachers' conference heard.

They are more likely to lead "dysfunctional" lives themselves, creating a "toxic circle" that no amount of investment or initiatives directed at schools can reverse.

Members of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers demanded a proper recognition of the impact of family breakdown on education and called on ministers to do more to promote marriage.

They said research from around the world showed that lack of stability at home can hamper children's learning.

Secondary school teacher Phil Whalley told the ATL's annual conference in Torquay that 40 to 50 per cent of youngsters born in Britain this year face a greater risk of failing at school because they will be born to unmarried couples or single parents.

Mr Whalley, a teacher at Hardenhuish School in Wiltshire, said: "We all know from professional experience the extent to which chaotic home lives and family breakdowns are damaging the educational prospects of children in this country.

"We know that no matter how brilliant the lesson, or how much has been spent on rebuilding the school, if a child comes in angry and in emotional turmoil because of their family life they will not learn.

"Family stability, or the lack of it, is an important determinant of a child's education outcomes.

"This means that we have a significant problem in Britain because we already have worrying levels of social dysfunction and family breakdown and the situation is getting worse."

He added: "The great sadness is that the consequences of an unstable family background are felt long into adult life.

"Those who under-achieve in their education are more likely to go on and live dysfunctional lives and be unable to support a stable family life for their own children.
"In short, as a society we are in danger of creating an expanding, perpetuating and toxic circle."

Mr Whalley said evidence from 16 countries in Europe and America showed that even cohabiting couples contributed to the problem. They are twice as likely to separate as married couples, he said.

He went on: "Further research shows that even if re-marriage occurs or parents find new partners the damage continues.

"The educational outcomes for all the children in so-called blended families are worse than the achievements of children brought up in traditional nuclear families."

Mr Whalley called for "openness and honesty on this critical issue".

He said: "If we are not careful we could reach that crossover point when no matter how much we invest in education, and no matter how hard schools and teachers try, they will not be able to overcome the negative impact of broken and dysfunctional families."

His call follows a report claiming that three out of four ordinary families are better off living apart under Labour's benefits and tax credits system.

Lesley Ward, the ATL's junior vice-president who has taught for 32 years at Intake Primary School, Doncaster, described the impact of family breakdown. "Every year we have to check out the surnames we are going to call pupils," she said.

"We have some girls who have got babies by six, seven, eight different chaps.

"They don't think they are dysfunctional at all, but look at them from an educational point of view and some of them are very dysfunctional.

"Some manage really well but there's a large minority who are struggling just to survive and that leads to a culture of 'If my mum can't buy it, I will nick it'.

"It's exacerbated by the inflow of economic migrants. They perceive them, falsely or not, as taking the jobs they could have."
This is universal. It is not limited to the UK. It is happening right here in the US. Take blacks for example.

Among the 26.2 million Blacks and the 158.3 million non-Hispanic, but 43 percent of Blacks had never married, compared with 25 percent of non-Hispanic Whites.

In 2002, there were 8.8 million Black families, 43 percent of Black families were maintained by women with no spouse present

53.6 million non- Hispanic White families in the United States. Compared to 82% of non-Hispanic White families.

Furthermore, "According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 1950 family households accounted for 89.4% of all households. By 2000 that figure had dropped to 68.1%."

"Married couples with their own children made up 40.3% of households in 1970 but only 24.1% in 2000."

Meanwhile, "single-parent households and households made up of relatives (such as siblings) who live together or grandparents who live with grandchildren without members of the middle generation being present. This group has grown the most, between 1970 and 2000, growing from 10.6% of all households in 1970 to 16% in 2000.

So what this all boils down to, is 1) No fault divorce and 2) Feminist Liberalism. The: ME, ME, ME attitude of post WW2 generations. THIS, is destroying pupils. I guess they couldn't have it all, huh? Damn feminists.

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