What is the relationship between parenting and education?
- Humans drive their own growth.
But major inputs to that growth are care, instruction, enculturation, curation, mentoring.
My starting point:
- all of this is parenting
- The scope of the parent is total support for a developing human.
- Educating and schools are evolutions of parenting:
- Parents raise a child.
- System and intentionality about this is education.
- Delegating this to experts/institutions is school.
- Education and schooling are, fundamentally, variations on parenting.
- Schools are there for the parents as much as they are there for the children.
Parents are hiring schools to do part of their job. Schools typically resist this fact rather than yielding to it, which is unfortunate.
- Education and parenting should be tightly coupled.
Part of raising a child well is facilitating learning, and even strictly academic education bleeds into issues of character, habits, wellbeing.
- A parent’s job is to help a child live a good life. Schools should be chosen on this basis.
Even if school focuses on specific aspects of the good life (e.g. knowledge), it should help add up to basic life patterns (e.g. character). This is what school choice should enable
- Parents should know the aims and workings of schools, & schools should know the aims and workings of parents. Think of hiring a therapist for a child or a lawyer who advocates for a child. The parent-professional interface is high bandwidth and two way.
- Parents typically have a unique insight into, responsibility for, and love for their children. As Aristotle pointed out in his critique of Plato’s communistic approach to education, makers love what they make. Educators should not just respect but actively leverage this.
- People have children to create a new great human life, out of one’s own matter, shaped by one’s own guidance. It’s unique work that is uniquely joyful. Schools should help with this work and help with this joy.
- The worst thing about the school system, worse than any particular pedagogical failure, is that it erodes parents’ thinking about education. Parents have little choice and even less knowledge. Schools corrupt a parent’s responsibility and incentive to understand education.
- Rarely are independent schools truly ambitious about actively partnering with parents. Alignment, communication, and celebration are ritualised and templatised minimalistically.
- The formerly ubiquitous one room schoolhouse model was better as this. Not primarily because of size and community intimacy (though this helps). Primarily because it was designed to do this. Schools should be designed for this, no matter the size.
- School policy debates about the role of parents is mainly about what parents should be able to do with respect to their children’s schools. An equally interesting and far less explored question is what schools should look to do with respect to their students’ parents.
- Parents should
- consciously choose an education
- evaluate a school like any other expert
- have an ongoing engagement, not delegate and forget
- Schools should:
- respect/leverage parent insight
- be an inviting open kitchen to parents
- share the joy with parents
- Parents can and do go wrong, even very wrong, about their children’s upbringing and education. Historically, educators and developmentalists have led the charge to reform childrearing practices for the better. But this is done with and through parents.
- There’s an underlying biology here of birth, but also of attachment, nurturance. A child’s upbringing is best supported by ultra-invested parental figures. Modern schools are detached both from the bigger picture of human development and the parents who support it.
- Montessori schools, which, fortunately, are typically extremely attuned to the bigger picture of development, and, unfortunately, are typically extremely non-attuned to parents. This dynamic is self-defeating. The former properly implies the latter.
- This is an exciting area for schools and educators, where much innovation is possible. Schools have the potential to be parenting services, not in the sense of day care, but in the sense of invaluable expert partners in education broadly conceived.
There are interesting questions about parenting and education that aren’t even asked because the two are so siloed from one another. The most common parent-school dynamic is carelessly-delegate-and-forget. We can & should do so much better.
Article Source: https://twitter.com/mbateman/status/1571914795473055744