To gain comparative insights into middle-class Americans’ child-related values and practices, Grove’s How Other Children Learn examines children’s learning and parents’ parenting in five traditional societies. Such societies are those have not been affected by “modern” – urban, industrial – values and ways of life. They are found in small villages and camps where people engage daily with their natural surroundings and have little or no experience of formal classroom instruction.
The five societies are the Aka hunter-gatherers of Africa, the Quechua of highland Peru, the Navajo of the U.S. Southwest, the village Arabs of the Levant, and the Hindu villagers of India. Each society has its own chapter, which overviews that society’s background and context, then probes adults’ mindsets and strategies regarding children’s learning and socialization for adulthood.
The book concludes with two summary chapters that draw broadly on anthropologists’ findings about many traditional societies and offer examples from the five societies discussed earlier. The first reveals why children in traditional societies willingly carry out family responsibilities and suggests how American parents can attain similar outcomes. The second contrasts our middle-class patterns of child-rearing with traditional societies’ ways of enabling children to learn and grow into contributing family and community members.
Cornelius N. Grove is a former classroom teacher, he earned an Ed.D. at Columbia University, then taught Cross-Cultural Problems in Classroom Communication to graduate students there. A charter member of the International Academy of Intercultural Research, he is the author of entries on pedagogy across cultures in two encyclopedias as well as two recent books that reveal the cultural values that equip East Asian students to consistently outperform American students on PISA and other international comparative tests.
1. What Do Anthropologists of Childhood Actually Do?
2. Raising Oneself in the Forest
3. Nothing Special for the Children
4. Parenting by Persuading
5. According to Nomads' Values
6. The Total Immersion Family
7. How Do Other Children Learn Responsibility?
8. How Do Other Children Learn? And How Do Other Parents Parent?
Appendix A. Tables of Anthropological Findings about Children's Learning and Parents' Parenting
Appendix B. Sources of Information for the Five Main Chapters