Teacher Knows Best
Recently, the Wall Street Journal ran an article about one mother’s experience enrolling her child in a Chinese pre-school in Shanghai. Quickly she came to understand that not only did the teacher “know best,” teachers are some of the most revered members of Chinese society.
While the methods of enforcing classroom compliance and personal accountability might not translate directly into the educational environment in the United States, there are some valuable insights to be learned.
First, as a person of authority (that is not your parent), teachers can entice children to do things they are unwilling to do at home, like try to eat broccoli. Children will respond to a teacher’s consistent guidance and the influence of their peers. For instance,
Second, teachers set a high standard for performance. By clearly setting expectations and assignments, teachers remove any ambiguity around students’ responsibilities. Parents can enjoy the role of reinforces, supporting the expectations set a school by the teacher.
While “teacher knows best” is an old adage, it rings as true today as it did hundreds of years ago.