Concerted Cultivation VS. Natural Growth

Concerted cultivation and natural growth are two different types of educating a child by his or her parent’s. Each type of educational technique created a “class” individual. Natural growth created a “working class” individual, while concerted cultivation created a “middle class” individual. Concerted cultivation is a middle class child educational technique parent’s use on a child to improve their children’s talents. Middle class parents do this through scheduled activities. Concerted cultivated parents also practice the language of reasoning with their child.

The parents believe that their children have the right to find an agreement with each parent. Middle class parents also take more consideration with authorities that are connected with their children. Children from concerted cultivation households spend much time in after school classes or programmers such as taking dance lessons or being on a football team. Parents in these families are very involved in their children’s free time, transporting them from activity to activity, which, often, some moms are called “soccer moms” for the children who play soccer.

Concerted cultivation parents also emphasize negotiation, encouraging their children to question authority figures, including themselves. As a result, children from concerted cultivation homes tend to be less intimidated by authority, such as teachers, and attain a sense of “power”, believing they are “worthy of adult interest” and can “customize” their environment. Natural growth is used by the working class or poor class. These parents focus on their children’s safety and discipline.

These children usually do not have scheduled activities, but have a wide range of activities to choose from for the entire days-worth. Siblings of the children approached with the natural growth technique have a stronger bond because they are often together and not separated by schedules, which exist in the middle class family and fall under the concerted cultivation. Unlike children who go through concerted cultivation, natural growth children cannot practice their use of reasoning.

Parents usually have the upper hand in arguments and allow no questioning from the children; not to mention that punishment is taken into the hands of the parents, tending to be more severe, beatings are optional. The working and poor class families also view teachers and other authorities as high positions, and do not feel the need to confront them with issues. With concerted cultivation, Lareau gives the example of middle-class ‘Alex’, who is taken to the doctor’s by his mother. In the car, she tells her son that he should not be shy and ask the doctor anything he wants.

Alex interacts in a relaxed way with the doctor, asking him questions and even interrupting him when he gets his age wrong and uses a word Alex does not know. The Doctor notes that he is in the 95th percentile in height, Alex interrupts him. “Alex: I’m in what? Doctor: It means that you’re taller than more than ninety-five out of a hundred young men when they’re, uh, ten years old. Alex: I’m not ten Doctor: well they graphed you at ten. You’re- nine years and ten months. They-they usually take the closest year to get that graph”.

The act of interrupting a person of authority is a display of entitlement. It is also indicative of middle-class child- rearing priorities; the incivility of interrupting a speaker is overlooked in favor of encouraging children’s sense of their individual importance and of affirming their right to air their own thoughts and ideas to adults. (lareau, 2011, p. 124-125) Children from poorer class, natural growth, homes usually spend most of their time playing outside with siblings and other children from their area.

Parents spend little time at home because they are working, waiting for public transportation or waiting in line at social service agencies. They do not “schedule” their children’s time or care much about cultivating, or promoting, their children’s talents and interests. Parenting is usually strict and children are following commands without negotiation. Around authority figures, such as teachers, working-class children and their parents tend to be quiet and inactive, looking at the ground and not asking questions.

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