Mishalish Insight

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Workings Of Class -Adrie Kusserow

In this article Kusserow reveals how subtle class styles in parenting and teaching are present in the classroom, with an unconcious predominance towards the middle-upper class. Kusserow states that middle-upper class families/indivuals interact with a "soft indivualism" as compared to the "hard individualism" of the working class. This states that the middle-upper class sees the world as a place of opportunities for a person to flourish like a flower continually identifying with their feelings whereas the working class prepares their children to be strong, disciplined children to survive the harsh enviroments the world has to offer. This article explains how most teachers educate with the "soft individualism" style, therefore putting working class children at a disadvantage. These children are not used to being asked to express their feelings when disciplined or engaging in class discussions or even writing poetry.

I was quite intrigued by this article as I had never really though to deep about this issue. I do think that there are exceptions to families, but in general Kusserow is quite right about these characteristic differences between classes. My question is, How on earth do I respond to this issue as a teacher? Am I to change my discplinary style according to each child, scolding one while therapuetically talking to the other? I believe that we can easliy make a few changes in regards to certain classroom activities and assignments to engage both styles of learning environments. Now is is considered selfish if I view myself as a "soft individual" and am not comfortable changing to a harsh teacher ? And how easy is it to tell what type of class a student comes from? Am I to now find out how wealthy each student's parents are so that I can properly teach them?

Maybe a thought could be to integrate this into the curriculum through class discussions and projects analyzing different students viewpoints on the world, society, and school to create an awareness of these different mindsets?


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