That working-class parents seem to favor stricter educational methods is a reflection of their own work experiences, which have demonstrated that submission to authority is an essential ingredient in one's ability to get and hold a steady, well-paying job. That professional and self-employed parents prefer a more open atmosphere and a greater emphasis on motivational control is similarly a reflection of their position in the social division of labor. When given the opportunity, higher-status parents are far more likely than their lower-status neighbors to choose "open classrooms" for their children.
Bowles and Gintis’ argument expanded to include parental involvement in a student’s education. I have always thought that a teacher can only do so much, especially in elementary education. Flash cards, reading at home, doing homework: all falls on the parent to help a child continue learning outside of the classroom. With what the article argues, this makes even more sense now. Typical working class parents do not have the time to take to stress learning, so they do what they can, which is to teach their child how to be successful. Higher up parents, who might have the time or the resources to make sure their child learns out of the classroom, then have the ability to stress learning, and encourage children to be lifelong learners, rather than citizens ready to work. This circle of inequality seems a tough one to break and go beyond. Sure, more and more students are given the opportunity, but without the backing from parents or family, it can fail. Once again it is the age-old tale of upringing and birth playing a huge part in a child’s future. What can a teacher do to help break this cycle? Especially an overworked inner-city teacher?