Two indian boys fighting for life

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I was like in a déjà vu as I watched the video clip of two Indian boys fighting for life. The scenes were not new to me. These were just among the many faces of poverty that I'd seen back in my home country. As the night falls, children aging 10 and below began to pop out from the streets and parking areas, crossing the streets from corner to corner and jumping from one passerby to another just to have their homemade Sampaguita (Jasmine) necklaces sold and have something to buy food. And these kids were also trying their best to attend school during the weekdays. Indeed poverty had stripped them to almost nothing but they still managed to play, run around and laugh in between work. A reality far from how other children from well-off families enjoyed their childhood. Though it is a common practice in our country (especially from the strata of middle-class families down to the lowest) to help parents by the time children are capable enough of doing so however, most economically-deprived families will send even the youngest child to any kind of work imaginable just to get the most financial support thus, making a child too soon an adult. Should we blame the culture? How about the parents? Most parents will end up doing so because of having no other choice as what most documentaries that depict child labour would show. These made me contemplate on the statement "In reality, many children do work and are expected to be economically useful, contributing substantially to the household economy from an early age" (Montgomery, 2009:67). If so, where will the childhood of the third world countries go? If we are in the current trend of globalisation, are there any possibilities of globalising the experience, concept and reality of childhood?

And speaking of globalisation, the development of technology and media had shorten the distance between countries and delivered information of various forms in an instant. However, children of today were continuously enticed by media and pleasurably stuck to it (Kenway and Bullen, 2007:38). Off course, there is business in this culture (Kenway and Bullen, 2007:37). Its profitability relies on marketing tactics and these might include fore-fronting of contents in a "flashy, fast, frenetic, fantastic, and fun" presentation while hiding the unpleasant truth in order to lure prospect consumers, the vulnerable children (Kenway and Bullen, 2007:36). Business as usual! But isn't that parents should be in full control? Isn't that responsible parenting should anchor the child's identity formation? I still believe that positive and healthy management at home could facilitate media consumption of children, in a way that children are still be able to detach from the mesmerising effect of the false world produced by media, no matter how it shapes the society and culture. Anyway, is children's media consumption possibly relevant or similar to media consuming children? Indeed, it is quite difficult to move away from what is already considered a part of today's culture and sometimes, a necessity.

Reference List:

Montgomery H. (2009) What is a Child? Chapter 2, An Introduction to Childhood: Anthropological Perspectives on Children's Lives, Chichester UK: Wiley-Blackwell, pp.50-78.

Kenway, J. & Bullen, E. (2007) Globalizing the young in the age of desire: Some educational policy issues. In M. Apple, J. Kenway & M. Singh, M. (Eds.) Globalizing Education: Policies, Pedagogies and Politics, New York: Peter Lang, pp.31-44.

MODULE 1 Response Posting

(A reply to: didnt Socrates say that? by Tracey Ind - Saturday, 11

September 2010, 02:27 PM

An excerpt from Ecclesiastes stating that "All human toil is for the mouth, and yet the appetite is not satisfied" (Genn, et al, n.d.) undeniably parallels to the natural tendency of dissatisfaction among humans. Humans had always thrived to be better and pursued excellence and yet not contented with the outcome and continued to crave for the best. This is one feasible factor why technology and media is an ever-changing and fast-pacing trend.

Everybody's eyes are locked on technology and media when it comes to shaping the society especially the culture and identity of the younger generation. But were the media and technology really the culprits in creating the 5D generation? Partly yes because truly technology had fed the world with huge amount of information and vastly influenced people's lives at an astonishing rate, and partly no because of how homes, society, politics and even some educational institutions might have mishandled these kind of advancements. It might be inappropriate to discourage children from utilising technology - it is the trend, it is convenient and helpful, it is there and everywhere and almost everybody is into it - however it is the comportment of how adults should appropriately introduce children to media and make aware of its content thus, creating a homogenised identity among themselves.

On the other hand, technology and media that caters to young audiences tend to project "flashy, fast, frenetic, fantastic, and fun" presentation (Kenway and Bullen, 2007:36). Can we say that today's advertising aimed at children were responsible enough? Not all circumstances parents are available to guide their children while watching TV or surfing the net. Children may not be able to distinguish media contents (e.g. images, videos) ethically. Hence, they may consider the act as something acceptable or a norm to the society. Moreover, in most cases peers tend to influence each other more than parents do.

However, I've noticed among the young generation from my country that many traditional gestures of high respect to parents, elders, superiors, teachers, and so on are still being practised notwithstanding the immersion of technology and consumer-media. From my viewpoint, this is a fairly different impact of media-consumerism, distant from the "5D" culture articulated by Kenway and Bullen (2007:31). Nevertheless, most kids tend to soak in front of game consoles, computers and TV sets but other than that, manifestation of disruptiveness and the likes are very isolate. But is it because not all children from our country are exposed to the kind of media and technology that better-off kids are enjoying? Considering the fact that there are more families belong to below-average threshold. Aside from that, is there any difference in the impact of technology and media consumerism between conservative and liberated cultures? I've noticed a very big difference in the media contents presented in Australian TV compared to our country (Philippines). Is there a significant difference in the impact of media between eastern and western cultures? Do liberated cultures produce more "5D" children than conservative cultures?

(Word Count: 495)

Reference List:

Kenway, J. & Bullen, E. (2007) Globalizing the young in the age of desire: Some educational policy issues. In M. Apple, J. Kenway & M. Singh, M. (Eds.) Globalizing Education: Policies, Pedagogies and Politics, New York: Peter Lang, pp.31-44.

Genn, R. (n.d.). The painter's keys. Retrieved September 21, 2010 from

MODULE 2 Provocation

Could we consider play as an obsolete or a declining approach to child development? As opposed to Piaget's notion that "play is merely diverting fun or fantasy" in which he stipulated that it redirects the child from becoming rational, I definitely believe that "play" plays an integral part of child development (Jenks, 2009:p98). It develops basic sensor-motor, social and interaction skills necessary for later stages in life. From my own experience for example, my childhood was full of physical activities and plays. However, I haven't fully enjoyed my childhood being with toys and video games. This resulted to deep craving, though manageable, for toy figures and either video, computer or console games at my present age. Nevertheless, childhood play had contributed greatly to my current social interaction skills. I still consider play as a natural tendency and distinct characteristic of children and mustn't be deprived to them. Exploiting their natural inclinations in a constructive approach will surely produce a positive impact on a child's holistic development.

Is being poor and economically deprived a moral issue? (Walkerdine, 2009:p114) Up to what extent? Let us take into account the educational system in the Philippines. The country is developing and faces of poverty are in every corner, which is common among Third world countries. The government is exerting much of its efforts and finances to education believing that it is the key to eradicate these "political threats" (Walkerdine, 2009:p114). Being the country's public agency that enjoys a large portion of the national budget, the department of education is one of the most corrupt agencies in the country. The funding supposedly planned for education projects goes directly to the pockets of crooked officials or if not, ends up being poorly managed or misused. This had resulted to the prevalence of deficiencies in classrooms, teachers, books and learning materials. Nobody wants to live a miserable life. Everybody wants a decent type of living. The poor has been craving for so long to escape an impoverished life. It is just that the government and the economy keeps on pushing the poor to the edge thus, making the poor much poorer and provoking the deprived do anything they could just to have something to eat. As much as they wanted to, poor families wished to send their children to school, but parents cannot sustain the financing. For this reason, children (even the youngest) will give up education and end up working with their parents in order to meet their daily basic needs. With this representation, it is also perceptible how the environment of a third world country could prohibit the "naturalness" of the child's full development (Walkerdine, 2009:p115). How could the government produce rational and civilized citizens that will eventually contribute to its stability if their means are not justifiable by the ends? I am not trying to go political here; I am just trying to present one of the many issues that had greatly taken part in the construction of a huge gap in the concept and reality of the child's development between First world and Third world countries.

Word Count: 513

Reference List:

Walkerdine, V. (2009). Developmental Psychology and the Study of Childhood. In Kehily, M. J. (Ed). Introduction to childhood studies. Second Edition. Maidenhead, New York: Open University Press.

Jenks, C. (2009). Constructing Childhood Sociologically. Kehily, M. J (Ed). Introduction to Childhood Studies . Second edition. Maidenhead and New York: Open university press. p. 94-100

MODULE 2 Response Posting

(A reply to: Have I become concerned with the DAP process, rather than an individual child's cultural, social and emotional needs? by Teela Franco - Monday, 4 October 2010, 03:53 PM

Philippines is a former colony of USA and its education system was patterned after the approaches, curriculum and pedagogies used in the learning process its colonizer. Even at present, colonial mentally is still a shared commonality among its citizens. Anything that comes from the west is considered as something good or even best (e.g. education theories and perspectives, material goods and commodities). Ironically, it is the only Asian country that still adopts the 10-year structure for preparatory education, a framework that hasn't improved after several presidents that have taken turns in reign. Undergoing preschool and kindergarten are currently considered by the majority as unnecessary and hailed only as early education for the wealthy. It was just recently announced that in about 2012 0r 2013 K-12 education system will commence. In this proposal, preschool will become a mandate for public education. However, many were sceptical (skeptical) about the implementation. Majority were from the below-poverty line. Off course, financial issues were on the top FAQs. How lagged are we compared to the education offered in other countries? With this proposal, is the government could address the root problem of the country? Most children don't have a good head start in life. At worst, some don't even have the privilege to go to school. Only those from the middle class families and above are capable of sending their children to preschool.

Basically, a child enters grade 1 at the average age of 6 or 7 with no prior skills and knowledge in reading and writing at all. Some others would only admit those who can read and write. Could this be considered as acceptable? Developmentally lacking, how would this brand of children performs compared to those who have been to preschool prior to primary? How about those who have been taught only at home by their mothers prior to formal schooling? Majority might speak of a big difference. But this has been the educational structure of the country ever since. Could this mean that graduates of the previous and of today might be partially prepared for the real challenges of life? Or maybe other important skills might have been unconsciously developed and addressed somewhere in a child's life stages? Or have they?

With the proposal of the K-12 structure of education, I am hopeful that this could extensively prepare our children. Eventually, this would equally and properly spread the key learning areas in each level thus, giving time for each learner to focus in each learning area. Our country might still be in the stage in coping up with other educational issues, nonetheless, we are moving forward now. Other important contexts of development might not be the top priority at the moment, but educators will soon come to a realization that sticking to conventional perspectives and theories of teaching and learning will be proved insignificant; that there are other contexts that influence child development.

Word Count: 481

MODULE 3 Provocation

With the proliferation of portable music players and the likes, musical experience has been radically brought upon from amphitheatres into each individual's hands and pockets. Its usage is so engaging that most individual have their ears plugged with earphones most of the times and hardly do a task without it. Even children are captivated into this craze. This particular human-gadget "assemblage" had become an important set up in every person's life and activities (Prout, 2005). When walking/running, jogging, relaxing and etc, people have their music gadgets dangling from their ears. In relation, how could such "assemblage" nurture the "child's knowledge" and "sense of the world"? (Taylor, 2010). Will this pose a threat to child's development of personal values?

As what I've noticed, individuals enclosed in this "assemblage" focusing on and enjoying the audio information projected by the gadget tend to show a decrease in responsiveness to his/her surroundings. Thus, isolating himself/herself from the social world/interaction and environment. Could this be also true to children?

Children as they grow, they usually seek their parents to respect their privacy. This could make parents lose a grasp of their children's ethical maturity and development. And despite the efforts of many advocates in filtering information content, songs with coarse, explicit and foul lyrics seem to seep through. The influence of this information is so powerful and could be amplified when shared with and approved by peers. Children might be generating their own identities beyond the guidance of adults.

I also tried remembering what my younger sibling quoting on an online networking site. She declared that people online frequently exchange hi's and hello's with each other and utter their feelings and expressions clearly but ironically, seldom in the real world. Is this some sort of a virtual identity crisis existing in the reality? Will children be likely to create an online identity completely opposite from their offline?

On the other hand, 21st century learners were viewed to at their best when learning with technologies. The use of technology has been maximized in 21st century education through constructive design and integration in many pedagogies and curriculums instead of criticizing its negative aspects. Educators have been foreseeing the potential positive outcome of using technologies, in which today's children are adept and keen to, as an avenue for 21st century education. Could this be considered an example of intra-active pedagogy that could serve as an alternative approach to learning and becoming? (Taguchi, 2010:p20) Where in this set up, a material (technology) has been included in the process and a sort of intra personal relationship between a human and a non-human organism exists (Taguchi, 2010:p20). Taguchi (2010) also stipulated that in this thinking, there is a faint boundary "between the learner and what is being learned..." Can we philosophically say that either of the two could induce change on both of each other? Can we simply articulate that today's learners who use complex tools have greater agency in their "becomings" compared to learners from the past who use simple tools? Or is it the other way around? Neither? Or both?

Word Count: 511

Reference List:

Prout, A. (2005). The future of childhood. In the future of childhood (pp113-141). RoutledgeFalmer.

Taguchi, H. (2010). Rethinking pedagogical practices in early childhood education: A multicultural approach to learning and inclusion. In Yelland, H. (Ed.), Contemporary perspectives in early childhood education (pp.14-30). New York: Open University Press.

Taylor, A. (2010). Reading notes. Prout (2005) the future of childhood.

MODULE 3 Response Posting


Hi Shirley,

I highly appreciated the reflections and thoughts that you have raised on your posting. I find them juxtaposing with my own provocation and understanding of how ICT and context of child development exuded a push-and-pull effect on each other.

In my own consideration, purposely, applications of science and technology were designed and created to provide convenience and improvement in the quality of everyday living. However, as such technologies become deeply embedded in the regular human life and society, hazy perceptions of how might these extensively affect the development and identity formation of children also came into view (Prout, 2005). ICT and other forms of technologies are ever-changing, trendy, and sometimes difficult to resist, as most of these have always been a necessity for most individuals. With this, I might say, our better option is to cope with this "cyber" tradition and positively moderate the consumption if we are to aim for a desirable consequence. In question to your notion that "friendships are maintained through technologies", yes indeed that the world had become smaller and distance become shorter due to technologies yet, up to what extent and what kind of friendship and communication does virtual reality has to offer? There is no online interface that I believe could supplement the intimacy social face-to-face interaction will provide. An integration of the former and the latter well might do mediate the issue.

Today's learners are very skilful and familiar when it comes to handling technology. Also, "cyber-utopians" have been supporting several advocacies that promote positive usage of technologies in the classroom. I would argue that moderating technology could be a better alternative than limiting. Changing our perspective "to be inclusive of the performative agency of matters and artefacts" could greatly help us determine the "intra-active processes in between materials" (Taguchi 2010:26-27). This is an uneasy challenge. How could we see "in-between materials" in a situation wherein children are vastly consuming media and technology (Taguchi, 2010:27)?

In our country, this kind of realization has never been into a peak of discussion such as this one; in a country where technology is hailed only as an effective tool in teaching and delivery and not as a medium for collaboration among learners; in a country where learners never use technology in order to learn important aspects of life and areas of education but only learn the technology itself; in a country where a very small portion of the school's population have access to the computer and internet; in a country where traditional and old-aged educators still dominantly rule the schools, had difficulties in embracing innovations and find it hard to get out from their comfort zones; in a country where resources for computerization among educational institutions don't get much attention. How could we view pedagogies in a new perspective when there are some other impeding factors that need to be resolved? However, in a place where technology is only considered as a medium for communication, play and social interaction is never an issue among child learners.

Word Count: 502