Don Berg said:
I suspect that most teachers are nurturing, or at least want to be, and that they already make a meaningful difference in the lives of some small proportion of their students despite the nature of the system.
But as wonderful as that is, the system has no mechanism for supporting, let alone encouraging, individual nurturing behaviors. In fact, the system suppresses nurturing behaviors.
In 2009 the peer-reviewed journal Educational Psychologist published a literature review article by Professor Johnmarshall Reeve on why the majority of teachers act in ways that thwart the primary psychological need for autonomy.
He suggests that both the system and the individuals in the situations studied reinforce behaviors that are exactly the opposite of nurturing in a variety of ways, not because of back room conspiracies nor venal depravity, but because of tragic misunderstandings.
The deleterious effects of the system overwhelm the positive effects of nurturing individuals because the system is currently organized in a manner that undermines nurturing, the very foundation upon which education is built.
Ironic, don’t you think?
The system is not all-powerful, so it does not always undermine the foundation completely.
But it does its undermining work relentlessly day after day after day and it does more harm than most people want to acknowledge.