Education for Child Rearing

Education for Child Rearing

Education for Child Rearing

Education for Child Rearing

Excerpt

Over the past sixty-five years this country has witnessed an ever-increasing interest in efforts designed to develop in parents a greater competence in the task of rearing their children. Today millions of parents are reached through such efforts and millions of dollars are spent in developing and maintaining such programs. For thirty years the term "parent education" has been in general use to refer to this work.

Aside from notable beginnings during the 1920's and 1930's supported by the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial and spurred on by the White House Conference on Child Health and Protection, there has been a gross lack of systematic research in the field of parent education. Moreover, in spite of its position in modern American society parent education has no clear status. Claimed by some as a movement, by others as a profession, it is ill defined both as to content and method, and cannot claim a firm basis from which it can proceed in orderly development. It has borrowed liberally from psychiatry, psychology, education, sociology, social work, anthropology, and more lately, from the fields of group dynamics and mass communications. However, from all these disciplines it has taken its materials and procedures often much more from the ill-defined fringe areas than from the solid core of tested scientific knowledge. Hence, there is missing a solid frame of reference with regard both to theory and to practice against which the soundness of these activities could be measured.

From the viewpoint of the sociologist, the effort in the United States to educate parents is seen as a systematic attempt to change . . .

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