Stephen Nalepa: Second-Grade Victim of Death Ed

By:  Sam Blumenfeld
04/16/2012
       
Stephen Nalepa: Second-Grade Victim of Death Ed

Had eight-year-old Stephen Nalepa not been shown a movie about suicide in his second-grade class on March 23, 1990, he would now be 22 years old and probably enjoying life as a young adult. But, apparently, the educators at his elementary school decided to show the film to these second-graders to see what would happen.

 
 
 
 

Had eight-year-old Stephen Nalepa not been shown a movie about suicide in his second-grade class on March 23, 1990, he would now be 22 years old and probably enjoying life as a young adult. But, apparently, the educators at his elementary school decided to show the film to these second-graders to see what would happen.

 
After all, the school had adopted Professor Benjamin Bloom’s humanist educational objectives as outlined in his book, Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, in which he wrote:
 
By educational objectives, we mean explicit formulations of the ways in which students are expected to be changed by the educative process. That is, the ways in which they will change in their thinking, their feelings, and their actions....
 
The evidence points out convincingly to the fact that age is a factor operating against attempts to effect a complete or thorough-going reorganization of attitudes and values....
 
The evidence collected thus far suggests that a single hour of classroom activity under certain conditions may bring about a major reorganization in cognitive as well as affective behaviors.
 
What an intriguing idea: Just one hour of the right humanist lesson might completely change a child’s behavior forever. Maybe that’s what the educators were thinking when they embarked on their experiment to see what would happen to these eight-year-olds if they were shown this film on suicide. The Detroit News of 3/27/90 described exactly what happened:
 
Click here to read the entire article.
 
Sam Blumenfeld (photo)
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