Family Education

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On the Differences between Chinese and American Family Education

I. Introduction
Nowadays, family education has become the most important part in the whole education. It will not only effect one’s character, value, but also the development of the society. Family, as the cell of society, is the first place where children receive education and the first unit where the children get in touch with the society. Education is a highly complicated process connected with families, schools and society throughout one’s whole life. In modern society, family education contents become various, and include many aspects. In this paper, we will discuss the education of the children. By comparison, the problems in Chinese family education will be pointed out and be solved.

II. The Definition of Family Education
People have different opinions on the definition of family education in different periods. At first, some educationists explain it in this way, “family education is only the action of family, and the way that parents or elder generation educate the youngers. Different families have different family educations, different value orientations.” (骆风,2005:50)“Harry Chester’s Schools for Children and Institutes for Adults says, ‘Education is the development and training of the human being in all his capacities, spiritual, intellectual and physical…’”(Xue Lian,2005:48) As the society developed, some people explain it in another way: “Education is a society used to educate new generation with aims and systems... ”(叶立群,1995:6-7) Family education is that parents educate their children, and it is an important part of the whole education system. For the sake of the changing situation, in Luo Feng’s work, the definition of family education should be extended :“Family education is not only the action of family but concerns the whole society; family education’s aims are not only studying the family relation and living skills, but also the physiology and psychology of every family member and family member’s all-round development; family education is not only the way that parents or elder generation educate the child or teenage in family, but all the family members educate each other; family education is not only the education of the pre-school education, but also all life education.” (骆风,2005:52)

III. The Differences between Chinese and American Family Education In the process of family education, although it is not a kind of systematic education, like the schools, it still has its educational aims, contents and methods, which play an important role in the educational system. The aims of education are the most important which determine family education’s contents and methods. 3.1 Different Aims of Family Education

The most important thing in education is to educate what kind of people, how to educate. Different cultural value orientations determine different aims and methods of family education, and the aims are the main reasons of the different family educations between China and America. Family education’s aim is to train a child with some characteristics through family education. Once the aim is determined, education contents and methods should be chosen according to the aims. American family education’s aims are to train the child into a social man, who can deal with all kinds of events and own independent ability. “Social man” is not a high expectation, but a requirement which is practical. Most of American parents believe that the children’s growth must rely on themselves, but not others. So American parents pay more attention to their children’s all-round study, which includes physical strength, cognition, social ability, emotion and so on. They have a relaxed attitude to educate their children and they are also good at finding out the active parts from their children. The children can find their value from family education. In fact, this kind of family education can achieve good results....
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