Behind the Headline: Do Rich and Poor Parenting Styles Matter?

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Do Rich and Poor Parenting Styles Matter?
Washington Post | 11/29/2012

Behind the Headline
The Elephant in the Classroom
Education Next | Winter 2013

In the Washington Post, Jay Mathews writes about the different parenting styles of rich and poor parents.

Middle class parents tend to fill their children’s free time with organized activities, while preferring innovative instruction and informal discipline at school, he writes. Working-class and poor parents leave their children to amuse themselves when they are out of school, but prefer schools with traditional teaching styles and strict discipline. Middle class parents tolerate a lot of back-talk and negotiate with their children about what they want to do. Working-class and poor parents set strict behavior rules.

Mathews raises, but does not answer, the question of whether the varying approaches to raising children enrich our country with creative differences or deny some kids their best chances at satisfying lives.

His column is inspired, he notes, by the discussion of parenting practices in Mike Petrilli’s new book, The Diverse Schools Dilemma.

In an article appearing in the latest issue of Ed Next, Jennifer Stillman writes about the way these differences in parenting style and expectations about school are affecting efforts to create integrated schools in gentrifying neighborhoods.

-Education Next

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