2 Responses to “Example #4 – Infant Simulators”

  1. 1 Robert June 25, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    My 15 year-old son was required to “parent” a RealCare baby during his 9th grade year at school. I had to sign a waiver that said I would pay the replacement/repair costs if the device was damaged while in his care. If I refused, my son would receive a failing grade for that unit in his health class. I was incensed at the entire idea. It’s bad enough that schools today are straying ever farther afield from their primary mission of academic instruction. To then coerce parents to sign a damage waiver (in the hundreds of Dollars) or else the child receives a F, and for an ethically questionable purpose to boot, is beyond the pale. What’s next? Empathy vests required in school so teens can feel what pregnancy is like? What on Gods earth is education in this country coming to?

    I agree that teen pregnancy is undesirable, but I’m far from sure these technologically persuasive devices are the answer. We raised a healthy, logical son who is more than capable of keeping his business in his pants. To force my son to participate in this exercise because of pregnancy trends forged by poorly educated and poorly parented kids in unaccecptable.

    • 2 rsadesignbehaviour June 26, 2009 at 6:25 am

      Hi Robert – thanks for your comment.

      Of course you’re right that parents raise children rather than schools. I’m not sure what the situation in the US is with regard to compulsory sex education. In the UK I think it comes under personal, social and health education (PSHE), which (as far as I know) is widely taught and accepted as a legitimate part of the curriculum. We do have a problem with teen pregnancy – in fact the levels recently rose slightly in spite of a large amount of public spending. People often make the point that traditional sex education is too biological (which I guess would be an academic approach), but that PSHE can teach about the importance of relationships and give a more rounded approach.

      Your experience sounds incredibly frustrating though. It sounds as if the RealCare babies were used in a rather heavy-handed way.

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