Friday, December 26, 2014

Favorite comments of '14: cranberry and Auntie Ann

On If your children are not your children, does that mean they also aren't the schools' children?:

cranberry said...
I pulled out my copy of The Nurture Assumption. Turns out, schools are very influential. They provide the peer groups, which under her theory are more important than parents. Schools provide the groups children use to define their own characteristics.

Thus, switch kids between similar schools, say, good suburban schools in nearby zip codes, and the schools would not make as great a difference. Switch children between a good suburban school and a struggling rural school, and you would notice a difference.

Even in similar suburban schools, though, the types of peer groups available in a particular school would make a difference. If a school has a Goth subgroup, some kids will become Goths. If there are Emos, they might become Emos. So under the theory, as I understand the chapter, schools are more influential than parents, because that's where the peers are.
   
Auntie Ann said...
"Turns out, schools are very influential. They provide the peer groups… children use to define their own characteristics."

That's how lots of private schools, which might not offer any better an education than publics, stay in business. People want to choose their kids' peer groups. When you hear of lots of kids at the publics who don't do their homework, mouth off at the teachers, and are generally disrespectful towards education; parents run for the nearest private or charter, where--they hope--the kids at least value school.

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