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The Confucian Cure For Tiger Parenting
American education has become misguided in its goals even as it has grown increasingly competitive. Confucian teaching offers a solution.
Last week, we published Peter Wei’s excellent discussion of tiger parenting vs Confucian education—The Confucian Cure For Tiger Parenting. The stereotypical “push kids to study hard to get into good schools” tiger mom act articulated in Amy Chua’s Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother is often identified with a Confucian ethic towards study.
While it’s true that the Confucian tradition stresses the importance of study, Peter Wei makes an important point: serious students of Confucian wisdom (which should be all of us) are supposed to take a much more critical lens on the institutions they would enter than modern university strivers are in any habit of doing, and the tradition explicitly rejects tying study too closely to trying to gain entrance to institutions. That is at best a necessary evil. True study was done for self cultivation and preparation for work as a statesman:
Learning in the Confucian sense differs markedly from “education” as our own schools practice it. It was values-laden and driven by practice, valuing life experience and role models over book learning. The very first line of the Analects places this ethos front and center: “To learn and then apply what you have learned, is this not a pleasure?” (Analects 1:1). Advanced students were exhorted: “The official, having discharged his duties, should devote his leisure to learning. The student, having completed his learning, should apply himself to becoming an official.” (Analects 13:19).
The overarching ethos of the Confucian tradition is about becoming the kind of person who is capable of governing well. It’s no surprise then that we feature it often in Palladium, which has a similar mission. Peter Wei’s analyses are always worth reading, and this one is no exception.
Here’s what’s been on the front page lately:
The Confucian Cure For Tiger Parenting by Peter Wei. American education has become misguided in its goals even as it has grown increasingly competitive. Confucian teaching offers a solution.
Why I Built Zuzalu by Vitalik Buterin. Can online networks become viable communities and further their goals in the real world? I brought two hundred people together in Montenegro to find out.
The Wagnerization of Political Order by Alexander Gelland. Wagner Group arose out of Russia’s landscape of corruption, factionalism, and political fiefdoms. If similar conditions intensify in the West, powerful individuals will exploit the same opportunities.
PALLADIUM 11: Social Apocalypse. PALLADIUM 11: Social Apocalypse is now available to all Palladium members. Subscribe today to receive your copy of our fall 2023 print edition.
It’s Time For Greater San Francisco by Evan Zimmerman. The Bay Area is a regional economy hindered by fragmented local governments. The answer is consolidation into Greater San Francisco.
That’s all for now.