Today, our children think they are not enough and they let society decide who they are (Westenberg, 2019). The current educational zeitgeist[1]sows seeds of moral, ethical and  emotional confusion.  This is worrisome because if your Truth is not biblical you will not be sustained and you will always be let down. Education at the youngest level, through reading, can help empower those that listen and encourage those who read. I am passionate about this because it is a platform so rarely used to empower young ones to know who they are. I work in a school setting and I am able to see the lies, nomenclature, social constructivism, moral relativism, post-modern, progressive perspectives teens believe and I feel that if they were spoken truth to at a younger age they would have a better foundation of who they are. Knowing who you are, your confidence, your self-esteem is important because it heavily influences people’s choices and decisions. It serves a motivational function by making it more or less likely that people will take care of themselves and explore their full potential (Oswalt, 2019).

And that my friends is why I am writing a children’s book to address youth suicide. As simple as a children’s book may be it provides a platform for parents to check in and ask tough questions like suicide. 

My goal with this book (book series) is to take complex issues and an ethically confused world and influencing social change and public opinion through an intergenerational children’s book series that aims to empower listeners and lead readers through the spirit of the truths of the Lord. 

From ages zero to five children learn the basic virtue of hope, will, and purpose” (McLeod, 2018).

In my opinion, children’s books have long shelf-life and legacy and are less likely to go out of style. This provides a platform to speak truth’s into the lives of generations to come and provide words the readers that guides conversation. Mixed methodology will allow me to use meta-data analysis to inform my etic (deductive) analysis and community praxis (action learning) to inform the emic (inductive) analysis and the narrative will be the written book narrative that expresses both the etic and emic. My books are intended to bridge the gap between believes and truths and formulate a discussion on epistemology. I plan on diving into a disciplined inquiry of children and trends from ages 5-15 and frameworks and systems that are flawed. This field is so tempted by the false and socially constructed narratives that my goal is to educate around tough subjects with biblical Truths. “That is the paradox of the epidemic: that in order to create one contagious movement, you often have to create many small movements first” (Gladwell, 2002). 

“A majority of the general population reads five books or less every year (67%). Broken down a little more, one-quarter of all adults don’t read any books at all (25%), while two out of five read anywhere between one and five books a year (42%). One-third of adults read five or more books a year (34%). Among the generations, Elders are the true bookworms—with about one-quarter reading more than 15 books a year (23%) (Kinnaman, 2015). 

Figure 1. Pie chart of statistics of why each demographic reads 2015. Adapted from ‘). The state of books and reading in a digital world’ (Kinnaman, 2015).

Figure 2. Bar graph of statistics of number of books each demographic reads per year in 2015. Adapted from ‘). The state of books and reading in a digital world’ (Kinnaman, 2015).

Thus the idea that children are soaking up their environment and are a byproduct of their society stems from the same concept organizational theorists.  As example, organizational theorists relate non-profit organizations as a direct reflection of the pressures and constraints presented by their environments. Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development states, “children constructs a mental model of the world. He disagreed with the idea that intelligence was a fixed trait, and regarded cognitive development as a process which occurs due to biological maturation and interaction with the environment (McLeod, 2018). Researcher Lev Vygotsky’s social development theory states that social interaction precedes development; consciousness and cognition are the end product of socialization and social behavior (Vygotsky, 1980). Erik Erikson’s stage theory articulates the importance of the formidable mind at a young age. “Erickson maintained that personality develops in a predetermined order through eight stages of psychosocial development, from infancy to adulthood.

We must be purposeful with words, actions, and truths we let our children hear at a young age. “A person’s words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook” (Proverbs 18:4). Their behavior reflects their resource dependency, and risk of goal displacement and loss of autonomy if they are too dependent on one item (Worth, 2017, p. 68). 

This is my second masters and fourth degree from CCU and I am most excited to see where this thesis goes. I am currently working with a book editor and in the process of choosing an illustrator. My book, You are You, is expected to hit shelves and be available online in 2020.

Cheers,

Cassidy Burke


[1]spirit of time


 

References

Gladwell, M. (2002). The tipping point: how little things can make a big difference.Back Bay Books, 

Kinnaman, D. (2015). The state of books and reading in a digital world.Barna. Retrieved from https://www.barna.com/research/the-state-of-books-and-reading-in-a-digital-world/

McLeod, S. (2018). Erik Erickson’s stages of psychosocial development.  Simply Psychology. Retrieved from https://www.simplypsychology.org/Erik-Erikson.html

Oswalt, A. (2019). Why self-esteem is important and its dimensions. Mental Help. Retrieved from https://www.mentalhelp.net/articles/why-self-esteem-is-important-and-its-dimensions/

Westenberg, K. (2019). Identity crisis: how to help your children know their worth. I Choose Brave. Retrieved from http://www.ichoosebrave.com/identity-crisis-how-to-help-your-children-know-their-worth/

Worth, M.  (2017).  Nonprofit Management:  Principles and Practices.  Los Angeles, California: Sage.  

Vygotsky, L. S. (1980). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Harvard University Press.

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