Thursday, February 4, 2010


The word attitude gets thrown around a lot. Parents and teachers alike use this word on kids all the time. A teacher might include attitude as a component for their report card or a parent might inform their son or daughter to lose the attitude.

But if we were to ask each other to define attitude, we would be hard pressed to find a consensus.

I've heard some define attitude as a kind of pseudo respect that really equates to a kind of 'do-as-your-told compliance'. Or some may define it as a kind of work ethic.

This is scary - seeing as we tend to place so much importance on attitude and yet the adults can't even figure out what it means. How the heck are the kids suppose to get it if we don't?

I can't remember where I read this but here is my favorite definition of attitude:

The most important attitude that can be formed is that of a desire to go on learning.

It's amazing how distracted we can become. We forget the whole reason for sending our kids to school.

No matter what we do as parents and teachers, we must never sabotage our efforts to teach children to learn for the love of learning.

1 comment:

  1. Joe,

    Interesting post. I push my kids to put "attitude" in their work. In other words, I want them to articulate their point of view and come up with enough background to make sure they can "justify" they are right. It's interesting at first because teaching kids to disagree with each other (and me) respectfully is something that most teachers shun. I get the impression most people feel as though everyone should go along and reach "consensus" even if it means jeopardizing values. This isn't how the real world works and forcing kids to comply with each other rather than dig for deeper meaning and understanding is just wrong.

    I know all this just adds to the nebulous feeling of the word "attitude" that you are describing above, but I found this to be a good discussion topic and wanted to add in another perspective.

    Thanks for bringing this topic up for discussion!


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