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Provenzo Chapter 9. Childhood, Adolescents, and the Family. Change: the only constant. Rapidly changing society: reflected in contemporary culture and schooling. Being a child, adolescent today: very different than 50 years ago

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Childhood adolescents and the family l.jpg

Provenzo Chapter 9

Childhood, Adolescents, and the Family


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Change: the only constant

  • Rapidly changing society: reflected in contemporary culture and schooling.

  • Being a child, adolescent today: very different than 50 years ago

  • (When many teachers, policy makers, and influential individuals were children.)

  • Today, most learning: from outside of the formal organization of schools.


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Postmodern, permeable family:

  • Dynamic, many different forms.

  • Changes: liberating, stressful.

  • Mirrors openness, complexity, diversity of contemporary lifestyles.


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Parents: primary educators.

  • Family: setting in which important educational encounters occur.

  • Most important factor in efficacy of education: degree of family support for education.


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Childhood: social construct

  • Mid 1600’s: 50% chance of reaching age 10.

  • 1730: Life expectancy less than 25 years.

  • 1890’s: 7% teens in h.s; 93% worked in labor force.

  • Our concept of childhood and adolescence are relatively new inventions.

  • Childhood: social construct as much as a matter of age.

  • Postmodern forces causing childhood and adolescence to be redefined in profoundly important ways;

  • Work of teachers in schools being redefined.


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Media overexposure

  • Before T.V. became dominant cultural force,

    easier to limit adult knowledge

    children were exposed to.

  • Children, adults:

    same messages, information, exposure.


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From rarity to reality

  • The image of the average US middle class family: increasingly rare.

  • Two out of three mothers now go to work by the time their children have reached age six.

  • Half of all marriages end in separation or divorce.

  • Long time been case for the poor and working class.

  • New: extent to which these conditions spread through entire population.


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Demographics

(Population, social characteristics)

  • Divorce in US:

    1960: 2%; 1998: 8% of population

  • Living with a single parent (usually mother):

    1996: 25%

    Black 58%; Hispanic 26%; White 14%

  • Married mothers with children working outside of the home: 1960: 39%; 1998: 77%

  • Social capital: human resources available to family or community

  • Decrease in parental presence in the household erosion of social capital.

  • Erosion: profound implications for US child rearing and US schools.


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  • Traditional families: playing less of a role in education, socialization of children.

  • Children turning to peers, media, schools for guidance in growth, development.

  • Influence not always positive.

  • Schools being given more responsibility in upbringing of children.

  • Work of teachers, schools more complex as increasing demands placed on them.


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Compulsory education: socialization of children.

  • 2003: 16 years of age in Minnesota

  • 1918: primary 1946: secondary


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  • In many large city high schools across the country, as few as 50% of students attend class on any given day.

  • School attendance serves a custodial function: Keeping adolescents off the streets and out of the job market.

  • On the surface, we compel attendance for good of student, but we may also do so for the good of the economic system


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Home schooling: a family’s right as 50% of students attend class on any given day.

  • Increasingly popular in US.

  • 2 million children currently home schooled.

  • 1972 Supreme Court case: Wisconsin v. Yoder: legally possible for parents to withdraw children from public system and educate them on their own.


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Main points: as 50% of students attend class on any given day.

  • The changing nature of childhood and the family in the postmodern era has altered our traditional understanding of education.

  • Demographic and cultural shifts are changing the work of teachers and schools.

  • We need to understand the rights of parents, students, and the state.

  • The conditions and purposes of schooling are changing—as the nature of the family and our social system are changing.

  • Schools need to take on new roles—ones that will change the meaning and purpose of what we do as educators.


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For jigsaw discussions: as 50% of students attend class on any given day.

  • Former Harvard Graduate School of Education Dean has suggested that the US consider setting up schools where only interested students may attend class, where attendance is not compulsory, and where drop-outs can reenter when they have matured and are ready to learn (214).

  • List merits and liabilities of Sizer’s ideas. Then classify these into individual or societal merits and liabilities.


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In your opinion: as 50% of students attend class on any given day.

  • Should children be shielded or protected from certain types of adult knowledge? Can this be considered a restriction of their personal freedom?

  • Create a site-based policy regarding information.


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As you see it: as 50% of students attend class on any given day.

  • What will students experience that parents and teachers won’t understand?

  • What recommendations do you have for addressing these realities?


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Your thoughts, please: as 50% of students attend class on any given day.

  • Defining traditional and permeable families.

  • What is a permeable family?

  • Please name three or more liberating effects of the permeable family.

  • Please name three or more stressful effects of the permeable family.

  • What do you suspect this means for teaching, learning, and education systems?


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Your responders, please. Notes closed, please. as 50% of students attend class on any given day.

  • Changing nature of childhood and the family in the postmodern era has altered our traditional understanding of education.

  • Most learning: from outside of the formal organization of schools.

  • Permeable family: distinctly postmodern phenomenon.

  • Family as primary educator

  • Compulsory education means students are legally bound to attend school.

  • Mid 1600’s: average child, if she/he survived birth, had a 50% chance of reaching the age 10.

  • 1730: Life expectancy less than 25 years.

  • 1890’s: out of all 14-17 year olds, 93% worked the adult labor force instead of attending high school.

  • Our concept of childhood and adolescence are relatively new inventions.

  • Childhood: social construct as much as a matter of age.


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CPS review of the data as 50% of students attend class on any given day.

  • The image of the average US middle class family so popular during the 1950’s and early 1960’s is increasingly rare.

  • Half of all marriages end in separation or divorce.

  • “Actually, these (decreased social capital) conditions have almost always existed for the poor and working class. What is new is the extent to which these conditions spread through the entire population by the end of the 20th century.

  • Divorce in US: 1960: 1.8%; 1998: 8.2% of population

  • Living with a single parent (usually mother): 1996: 25%

  • Black non-Hispanic 58%; Hispanic 26%; White non-Hispanic 14%

  • Married mothers with children (ages 6-17) working outside of the home: 1960: 39%; 1998: 77%

  • Social capital (James Coleman): human resources available to family or community

  • Above demographic factors represent decrease in parental presence in the household erosion of social capital.

  • Loss of social capital has profound implications for US child rearing and US schools.


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Rethinking mandatory education: as 50% of students attend class on any given day.

  • Compulsory education should stop at age: . . . .

    (Via CPS)

  • Who benefits from compulsory education laws?

  • Are there times when such laws need to be set aside? If yes, when? If no, why not?

  • In pairs, then groups of 4. Debate with other pair.


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Your take on home schooling: as 50% of students attend class on any given day.

  • In pairs, please identify arguments on page 215 for and against home schooling.

  • Rank these in order of importance.

  • Prepare to report to larger group.


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Main points: as 50% of students attend class on any given day.

  • The changing nature of childhood and the family in the postmodern era has altered our traditional understanding of education.

  • Demographic and cultural shifts are changing the work of teachers and schools.

  • We need to understand the rights of parents, students, and the state.

  • The conditions and purposes of schooling are changing—as the nature of the family and our social system are changing.

  • Schools need to take on new roles—ones that will change the meaning and purpose of what we do as educators.


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