HDP Objection #2: Why do you expect my child to do chores around school when you already have paid staff to do them?
It could be said that the student jobs program harkens back to a time in America when chores were seen as a good thing, an important life preparation exercise where young people developed some skills and a work ethic. Discovery Process schools believe that these remain important things for young people to learn.
While it seems peculiar, to us anyway, that a school would be asked to defend the idea that its students would contribute (minimally) to the upkeep and cleanliness of the space where they learn for several hours every day, there are other benefits to this aspect of the program. For one, visitors to Discovery Process schools invariably exclaim, “I’ve never been to a school where there is so little graffiti or litter!” Our experience has shown that students are far less likely to litter or deface a space that they spend time helping to keep clean.
Some Discovery Process educators have commented that another positive outcome of the jobs program is an enhanced sense of community across all constituencies. One reason for this is that students develop a heightened appreciation and respect for those who clean the hallways or prepare their lunches. And the feeling is mutual!
At the end of the day, should a parent or student ultimately reject the idea of school-wide jobs, they can take some consolation in the fact that it is an occasional activity, once per week at most.
Onward, Malcolm Gauld