KR Final Draft - Anthony Cao Discussion Section: 002...

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Anthony Cao Discussion Section: 002 Kindergarten Redshirting Modernity has brought about vast cultural changes – changes that have even reshaped understandings of childhood and the expectations associated with it. With these changes has come the increasingly prevalent practice of kindergarten redshirting. First, one must consider why this practice has grown more popular in recent years. To understand this, it is essential to first look at the shifts in society’s perception of the purpose of childhood. Before the 1800s, childhood was a time to help support the family economically by working (Lecture, 1/20/11). This view, however, shifted toward one in which “childhood became a time set aside to acquire skills” (Lecture, 1/20/11) necessary to succeed in a future work setting. Because people now viewed childhood in such a light, it becomes more essential that a child is “ready” for schooling (Paragraph 3, Kindergarten Redshirting Assignment, p.1). Many parents feel that children must be “mature” enough to be able to truly benefit from an education. These growing concerns, in conjunction with modern view of childhood have caused more and more parents to refrain from placing their children in kindergarten at the expected time. In addition to this shift in the perceived purpose of childhood, society began seeing children’s identity less as simply unfinished, passive recipients, but rather as social actors with agency (Lecture, 1/13/11). This altered perception is crucial in explaining the increase in kindergarten redshirting. Because children are now viewed as playing their own roles and interacting with those around them as opposed to simply being socialized by adults, more expectations are placed upon children in terms of their social role. They are expected to act at their appropriate age and maturity, particularly in social settings. Keenan provides a humorous, but genuine example of this notion as she explains, “would you like to have your kid’s teacher
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This note was uploaded on 11/28/2011 for the course SOC 102 taught by Professor Mcginn during the Winter '08 term at University of Michigan.

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KR Final Draft - Anthony Cao Discussion Section: 002...

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