Friday, December 26, 2014

Favorite comments of '14, cont: cranberry

On Further thoughts on The Nurture Assumption:

cranberry said...
Harris does point out that children build their identities through peer-group identification. My (not Asian) daughter has relayed Asian friends' concerns that anything less than the highest grades and test scores count as an "Asian F." So at some point, do the parents need to push? If the child has internalized that anything less than 100 is failing for someone like her, the child's peer-group identification drives motivation, especially if all the other children have the same expectations for members of that group.

All my children have changed schools. We do believe in peer group influence, because we've seen it. The kids really notice whether or not the other students tolerate fooling around. The public school's fondness for pairing successful students with recalcitrant students was also a factor in our decision. Even though the academic work was much harder at her new school, not being responsible for somehow motivating cynical, obstreperous group members (that teachers couldn't motivate) was a great relief for our oldest.

There's also the reinforcement factor from people who know very little about our children's schools. To people who know only that we've sent our children to private schools, we count as more interested in education and more moral. For others, we count as really foolish about money and more snobby.

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