This is an approach to restructuring the governance and practices of individual schools, initiated by psychologist James Comer in the mid-1970s. This approach hinges on Comer’s theory of how children develop and learn, and the reasons that disadvantaged, minority children do not learn in schools.
Comer believes that children follow a developmental continuum. They are born, totally dependent, into a family that is part of a social network with beliefs, attitudes, activities, and lifestyles. Parents become mediators who tell children what is important. Children gradually learn to manage their feelings and impulses, in essence, to control themselves. Development occurs in speech and language, cognition, intellectual and academic understanding, and moral, psychological, and social dimensions. To learn, children must imitate and identify with authority figures, in other words, internalize attitudes and values by relating emotionally to others.Read More →