Eroded values ‘reflected in classroom behaviour’

NZPA 1 November 2007
A new report on student behaviour suggests deteriorating classroom conduct reflects the rising number of dysfunctional homes. The report, commissioned by the New Zealand Foundation for Character Education, said the family unit was not as strong, cohesive and functioning as it once was and the focus on raising children had weakened. Foundation chairman Rod Galloway said too many teachers were, on a daily basis, dealing with students who were disruptive to learning processes and had no regard for the rights of others.While living standards seemed to be improving, there was now evidence that significant changes in the values systems of the community had come at a social cost and affected children. “Nowhere is this more dramatic than in the change to family life,” Mr Galloway said. “The number of New Zealand parents who share an evening meal and spend time talking to their children is among the lowest in developed countries.” Declining marriage rates and increasing divorce rates now meant half of all New Zealand families were a blended unit.