James P. Comer

James P. Comer, MD. MPH., has been internationally famous for his contribution in child development. As a psychiatrist and a member of the Maurice Folk Professor of Child Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine’s Child Study Center, he was able to support the promotion and program on the said field. In this regard, he was able to put up the Comer School Development Program in 1968. This program aims to build the mutual cooperation and bonding of parents, academicians and society to develop the emotional and mental aspects of a child, which in turn could help children in attaining their educational success. Aside from these programs, he was able to write several books and articles about the development of children as a whole. In fact several groups have recognized his success. In addition to the awards he had previously received, again, he was awarded two of the most coveted awards, the Heinz Award and Healthrac Foundation Prize in 1996.

One of his well known and acclaimed work is the book entitled ‘Waiting for a Miracle: Why Schools Can’t Solve our Problems and How We Can”, which was published in 1997.

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In the said book, Comer thrashed out the roots of school troubles and offers a feasible approach to settle them — he recommended a method that concentrates on the critical responsibilities of young individuals, family unit, and society.

His narration includes several accounts of his life as an African-American teenager living poorly. He hauled also experiences from his long years of community participation and educational undertakings to demonstrate how the educational institutions can be a main and significant tool of transformation. By utilizing illustrations from his victorious approaches for troubled schools, he was able to present a thorough design of how a considerately planned course of action can create a vivid change in the classroom.

The most important hypothesis of Waiting for a Miracle is the idea that while educational institutions could not resolve the troubles of America, the professors, supervisors, and parents can start the extensive and laborious course of undertaking to impute a change in the life American population.

On the other hand, Comer also made a point, which destroys the illusion that individual’s achievements in life are the consequence of person’s hard work. According to him, success is a result of a sequence of concentric set-up that have an effect on and which establishes the worth of our existence. These comprise the biological, physical, and value laden uniqueness obtained from kin relations as the first set up. The second phase is the self identification, peer influencing and value laden manipulation obtained in the development of the educational institutions, occupations and association; and the third network is that where programs and custom disseminated by political, commerce have the capacity to superficially influence the existence of persons. (McFadden)

Another main sub-thesis of this book is that nearly all Americans have profited from the developed and hi-tech revolutions that have enhanced the condition of life. A good number Americans have been wedged in the surge of richness, as African Americans have always been in fixed in the hardship their economic life.

Furthermore, he also stated that country’s administration ought as well to obligate themselves to improving the schools by directing on the seminar, workshops, and training which the professors, teachers and alike should undertake.

In relation to the contemporary education, the book implies that improved schools may be an essential component of the resolution to our American problems. However, it is important to note that the Author also contends persuasively that a change in the educational policy, devoid of trivial cultural transformation, is neither a possible solution that could help the American problems. Thus, Comer stated, “Expecting schools to do so is like waiting for a miracle.”

My view of Waiting for a Miracle reveals that the book is a sympathetic narration of lesson and a lucid plea made by a famous psychologist, with an established reputation in leading schools.

In analyzing this work, it is important to note that the Author’s flaw is on his act of admiring the support, which he has received from his kins, little did he realize how complex it could be for others to obtain such support. In the search on how to give emphasis to society’s obligation, the act of biased account over the obligations persons and organizations concerned is also noted. Nevertheless, his enormous knowledge in the school modification progress was his driving force to appeal for a far-reaching modification that everyone must earnestly give a thought.

Comer’s recitation of the harmful consequences of labeling the relics of racial discrimination is outstanding. The truth of the matter is that Waiting for a Miracle is an accurate printed tale with the purpose of delivering the troubled African American society.

In sum, I concur with Comer’s examination of our American educational predicament. Our teenager’s prospect necessitates that Americans assists the mounting, multiracial association which presently being undertaken to hunt comprehensive, family-involved and child-oriented resolution to our country’s societal tribulations.

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