I've just been sorting through some old papers and came across a newspaper cutting from about 1990. I've googled the author and found him to be an American poet/philosopher called Robert Fulghum. If the government is serious about tackling the growing antisocial behaviour of our youth, they could do worse than scrap all the performance targets and indicators they have put in place over the last decade and let teachers get on with what they used to do so well to produce results like these:
All I ever really needed to know I learned in Kindergarten
By Robert Fulghum
Most of what I really need to know about how to live, and what to do, and how to be, I learned in Kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in a sandbox at nursery school.
These are the things that I learned: Share everything. Play fair. Don’t hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Don’t take things that aren’t yours. Say you’re sorry when you hurt someone. Wash your hands before you eat. Flush. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Live a balanced life. Learn some and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
Take a nap every afternoon. When you go out into the world, watch for traffic, hold hands and stick together. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the plastic cup. The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the plastic cup – they all die. So do we.
And then remember the book about Dick and Jane and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all: LOOK. Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and sane living.
Think of what a better world it would be if we all…. the whole world…. had milk and cookies about 3 o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankets for a nap. Or if we had a basic policy in our nation and in the other nations to always put things back where we found them, and cleaned up our own messes. And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.