Role of parents

How has the (expected) role of parents changed in the past 200 years?

We all know about the legendary transcontinental Silk Route that connected nations into dependent relationships. Similarly, the goods available at market places of major urban centres in Greece included wheat and slaves from Egypt, grains from the Black Sea (especially via Byzantium), salt fish from the Black Sea, wood (especially for shipbuilding) from Macedonia.

Industrialisation took international collaborations through one-way trade of goods to a new plane – multi-way trade of goods at various stages of manufacturing. For instance, Italy is known for designing the best cars in the world and many cars are designed in Italy and manufactured all over the world; iPhones are designed in the USA and assembled in large numbers in China.

In fact, the collaboration of two or many (globally spread) organisations in the achievement of common goals is the norm of business for millennia. However, the collaboration of parents and schools in the education of children has always been quite nebulous, rather undefined and rough. It is in this light that we can better understand the question – the use of the phrase ‘(expected) role of parents’ rather than the ‘role of parents’ – and neatly worded parents’ role in education is conspicuous by its absence.

The tabular representation below compares parents’ role as it existed when schools started to expand across the world (1810s for reference) and the present day.

Urban living, nuclear families, nanny-raised children and poor-quality of parent-child interactions (and peer-pressure calling the shots) leaves much of the value education to schools.

Parent-school collaboration is still weak and parents have to significantly improve in their part of the deal in educating their children.


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