Sunday, February 2, 2014

Is Asia Destroying its Kids' Innocence?

“The French social historian Philippe Aries famously argued that the expansion of formal schooling during the 17th and 18th centuries in Europe had created the modern concept of childhood by removing children from adult society, and drawing attention to their particular needs and abilities,” writes Pankaj Mishra for Bloomberg. “One could argue that the Asia-wide obsession with vocational education and careers has led to the opposite – the early exposure of children to the tasks and responsibilities of adult society, and the destruction of childhood.”

“The freedom and innocence of youth has been cruelly foreshortened by the imperative to train early – through a joyless regime of coaching classes and entrance exams enforced by tiger moms, dragon teachers and other fierce taskmasters. Many among the striving young then find that success is not guaranteed in the scramble for skills and jobs in an unforgiving new world, where whatever comparative advantage one may have always seems to be slipping away.

- More Here

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