Is a parent substitutable by a teacher?

Essay by jiggahamburgUniversity, Bachelor's January 2007

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In recent times, there has been a lively discussion about whether good teachers or good parents are more important to a child's development. Teachers could contribute to an appropriate development as they are trained to educate children and also possess a remarkable amount of social proficiency. However, even the best teacher won't be able to substitute a parent for two reasons.

First, good parents are likely to spend more time together with their kids and could, therefore, influence them significantly. With holidays, weekends and evenings spent together as a family, parents could observe a child's leisure time and habits more properly than teachers could. As the choice of hobbies, friends and subjects of interests plays a key role for the development of a child, parents and not teachers are responsible for a crucial period of time in the life of an adolescent. Further, teachers could only influence a child for a limited period of time, whereas parents are likely to observe the whole process of growing up.

Psychologically speaking, children tend to adapt to certain parental ways of thinking and behavior more likely, than to those from a teacher, which makes parents more important to a child.

Second, a child is emotionally bond to his parents and will therefore regard them as superior to a teacher. For example, children might not take a teacher's opinion exactly seriously, whereas they tend to take their parents' words for granted, as they are often acting as role models. Most importantly, teachers could not share love and affection with a pupil which makes them less important to a child since trustworthiness and the feeling of safety is crucial for a formative influence. On the contrary, a teacher's relation to a pupil tends to be more superficial because...