Archive for hunter gatherers

Beyond Attachment to Parents: Children Need Community

In hunter-gatherer cultures, such as that of the Efe, infants and children develop close relationships with, and are cared for by, the entire band, not just parents. Today, too, both children and parents need the support of a caring community. The nuclear family is not enough.

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The Educative Value of Teasing

Teasing gets a bad rap, especially in educational circles, because of its association with bullying. But not all teasing is bullying. In fact, in most settings (maybe not in our typical schools), teasing serves positive ends far more often than negative ones.

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How Hunter-Gatherers Maintained Their Egalitarian Ways: Three Complementary Theories

If we truly believe in the values of equality and peace and want them to reign once again as the norm for human beings, then we need to (a) find ways to deflate the egos, rather than support the egos, of the despots, bullies, and braggarts among us; (b) make our ways of life more playful; and (c) raise our children in kindly, trusting ways.

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The Human Nature of Teaching II: What Can We Learn from Hunter-Gatherers?

Hunter-gatherers did not teach by coercion and generally did not attempt to direct their children's learning. Yet they did teach, in ways that preserved children's feelings of security, trust, trustworthiness, and personal autonomy. Here is how they did it.

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Why Have Trustful Parenting and Children’s Freedom Declined in Recent Decades?

Why is trustful parenting so much more difficult than in decades past? Why are today's children afforded less freedom than we were when we were children? In this essay I suggest the following reasons: (1) the decline of neighborhoods; (2) the decline in adults' firsthand knowledge of child development and the worldwide sharing of fears; (3) the increased uncertainty about the future; (4) the increased intrusiveness of school systems into children's and families' lives; and (5) the rise of a pedagogical model of child development that has its origins in the increased power of schools.

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