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“Teaching is so WEIRD”

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 June 2015

David F. Lancy*
Department of Sociology, Social Work and Anthropology, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322.


Direct active teaching by parents is largely absent in children's lives until the rise of WEIRD (Western, educated, industrialized rich, democratic) society. However, as mothers become schooled and missionized – like Kline's Fijian subjects – they adopt “modern” parenting practices, including teaching. There is great variability, even within WEIRD society, of parental teaching, suggesting that teaching itself must be culturally transmitted.

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