Familial Education: the Foundation of School Education
Family is the first learning environment for children, and parents are their first teachers. The whole complicated and systematic school education is actually based on the familial education. However, the significance of the familial education and its great influence over our current school-based education has not yet been fully realized. As a result, inadequate and ineffective communication between school teachers and the parents has remained a common problem in some local Chinese areas (this paper will mainly focus on the circumstances in a few Beijing local primary and junior high schools), which has affected children’s natural growth and sometimes causes dissatisfaction on both sides of the parents and the teachers. The purpose of this paper is first to find out, within possible power, whether Chinese parents and teachers have realized the fundamental function of familial education, and what the current parent-teacher communication and its effects are like here in three Beijing local primary and junior high schools; and then to inform school teachers as well as parents of the significance of familial education, its great influence over school education, and some useful ideas and approaches on how to build and maintain effective parent-teacher communication here in the Chinese context. 2. Literature Review
2.1 The significance of familial education
2.1.1 The traditional views
As a country with an ancient civilization, China has a traditional value on the significance of familial education, especially at an early stage of young children’s development. This can be vividly illustrated by a famous Chinese anecdote: In order to ensure a positive learning environment and a smooth effective familial education, the mother of Mencius had changed their dwelling place three times, and finally settled down near an old-style private school. Without his wise mother and good familial education, Mencius could never have become a great thinker in Chinese history. Chinese familial education in ancient times had an extremely broad range and a remarkable continuity. It concentrated on ethics and the standard behavior, and included the interference in almost every single act of the children (Yan, 1997). The familial education started from one was born, and may exist until he became very old. The West also has a traditional concern over familial education. The British educator John Lurk believes that the familial education, especially at the early stages, has a great impact on one’s later development (Zhao, 1994). He said that the impression one got when he was young-no matter how vague and dim they might be, even undetectable-would leave us an extremely great and lifelong influence…as we change slightly the direction of the flowing at the source of the river, where the water force is still weak, and it can be easily converted; eventually, it will deviate to a completely different destination. In some Western countries, parents will no longer take care of the children when they become a youth of 18 years old; however, their responsibility of education has not come to the end. It is only that they have changed their emphasis and ways of education (Zhao, 1994). 2.1.2 The present ideas and circumstances
In the past 100 years, the educational science has been making great progress. However, there are also some disadvantages, one of which is that people seem to pay special attention to school education, but overlook other important branches, such as social education and familial education (Zhao, 1989). This will certainly do harm to children’s development and a nation’s economic and social progress. Fortunately, a worldwide attention has been paid to this issue late this century. Recent secular trends in the United States and other industrialized countries have given rise to a great deal of speculation and concern about the current status...
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