Education as Cultural Transmission

According to Anthropology & Education

Education is cultural transmission. "A calculated intervention in the learning process." (Anthropology and Education, George & Louise Spindler)

Why does anthropology take this stance?

Research has shown…

That most of what we term as learning takes place during play.
Children in many societies learn solely through observing, playing and occasionally asking.

As far as Formal Schooling…

For groups of similarly treated individuals schooling works well for the purpose of creating national identification or grooming individuals to occupy critical positions in government, church, economic, military and diplomatic spheres –things that were needed in state formation; a period long past.

For teaching life, culture, creativity, schools are weak tools.

In the Long Term….

`Modern Schools’ need to better serve our children in the modern world and what goes on in school…."needs to be redesigned to enhance, rather than inhibit learning." (Anthropology and Education, Lundy Dobbert & Betty Cooke)

Pariah-Host Organizations

Most modern nations harbor one or more pariah groups that are condemned by most host groups.

"Host standards can be violated by an absurd collection of traits ranging from skin color and occupation to culinary and sexual preferences."

Some Chracteristics of Pariah Groups as seen by Host Groups

Deprived environments
Inadequate behavior
Brain Damaged
Learning Disabled

Types of Pariah Groups

U.S.: African, Native and Hispanic Peoples
Japan: Koreans and Burakamin
Northern Ireland: Catholics
India: the Outcasts
Israel: Oriental Jews

In each generation, the children will renew their lifestyles regardless of the resultant oppression from the Host Group. Why?

Once the Host Teacher treats a student as inadequate, they will see them as oppressive and behave inadequately

Relations between teacher and student regress, even more quickly with interethnic code differences

As a Result…..

The child works even more ardently to be visible, which further sets them up to be more condemned

As the teacher’s role of condemnation becomes more prevalent, the rebellion grows

School work is caught in the middle of this daily battle

In the End…

Teachers do not enter this battle consciously ascribing failure to certain groups

Nor do pariah students "drag failure along, either genetically or socially, from the previous generation.

"Rather it is worked out in every classroom, every day, by every teacher and every child in their own peculiar ways." (Anthropology and Education, Ray Mc Dermott)

What helps?

One on one communications and interactions
Re-think notions of how intelligence is assigned (reading scores, verbalization etc…)
Awareness of interethnic code differences
Do not ascribe negativity to difference
Validate self-determination