Parenting In International Educational Environment: An Authorial Typology Of The Concept

Abstract

The paper proposes the typology of the concept, topical for modern educational discourse, and represented by binominal constructs with the lexeme representatives parenthood, parenting (in English), ( roditelstvo in Russian). The authors typologize the concept on the base of its cognitive interpretation. Within the scope of comparative pedagogical investigation, they identify similarities and differences in the nomination of the concept, distinguish and characterize the following types – vital, personal, value-normative, aberrational, functional, instrumental. These types express a goal-oriented dominant in the nomination of parenting and social-educational demands in the sphere of family, childhood and upbringing. Being universal, the present concept reflects also national-specific features of the evolution of the conceptual sphere ‘parenting’ in educational environment of English-speaking and Russian-speaking communities. The proposed typology generalizes and structures the perception of contemporary parents, parental roles, functions, practices and styles of upbringing. It facilitates conceptualization of the notion of ‘parenting’ which lacks thorough investigation in comparative pedagogy, that may pose difficulties for effective communication in international educational environment. The typology is of interest to researchers in the sphere of comparative pedagogy and to professional communities whose scientific search is oriented towards studying problems of the support and development of parenting within modern education paradigm.

Keywords: Cognitive interpretationinternational educational environmentparenthoodparentingroditelstvotypology of the concept

Introduction

The investigations of interrelation and interaction of society, language, culture, mentality arouse sustained interest of scientific community in most countries in the world. At every new stage of the development of society and science there emerge notions representing both universal and cultural-specific features in different speech communities. One of such universal notions in investigations on contemporary families and parents conducted in international educational environment is the concept parenthood, parenting (in English), roditelstvo (in Russian). It is widely used by native speakers regardless of their age, social status, place of residence and reflects modern transformations occurring in the sphere of family, childhood and upbringing.

We share Kaufmann’s point of view that notions, like people, have their life cycle during which the knowledge on them is generated, where the birth is the most unclear phase, and adulthood associates with ultimate stabilization and identity verification defined by the community ( Kaufmann, 2004). Now we can state that in modern international educational environment the concept under consideration is still in the initiation stage although, according to lexicographical sources, the lexical unit parenthood dates back to 1856, parenting – to 1959 ( Online ethymology dictionary…, 2019), and the phenomenon they define is accepted by professional communities dealing with the issues of family, childhood and upbringing ( Belsky & Barends, 2002; ; Danilova, Orekhova, & Shaidenko, 2019; Lee, Bristow, Faircloth, & Macvarish, 2014; Report «Helping parents…», 2012). In Russian scientific thesaurus the concept roditelstvo was introduced in the 1990’s, and its interpretation inspired by foreign sociological ideas was formed predominantly within the scope of sociology of the family. We suppose that currently, in Russian educational discourse the boundaries of this concept are still blurred, it doesn’t have precise definition in the sphere of family, childhood and upbringing. There have been practically no comparative pedagogical studies oriented towards the description and comparative examination of means of verbalization of the concepts parenthood, parenting and roditelstvo . Existing inconsistency, fragmentation, resource and information limitations impede intercultural communication between professional communities. The continuous development of various parental practices and upbringing styles leads to the emergence of new lexical items for their nomination and reflects the linguistic picture of parenting modification which like contemporary families can be defined as mosaic. This process promotes semantic change (the broadening or narrowing of meaning) of the lexemes parenthood, parenting (in English), roditelstvo (in Russian), which therefore require conceptualization and typologization in international educational environment for adequate and effective intercultural communication of professional communities. This study attempts to perform an analytical reconstruction of the linguistic picture of parenting in modern educational environment. The present paper is a continuation of scientific search in the framework of the authorial comparative research on lingua-pedagogical evolution of parenting in educational environment ( Danilova, Orekhova, & Shaidenko, 2019) as it is obvious how deep and indissoluble the links between a person, language and society are.

Problem Statement

Problem statement is oriented towards the identification of means of representation of the concepts parenthood, parenting (in English), roditelstvo (in Russian) in international educational environment which express and broaden scientific ideas of contemporary parenting in English-speaking and Russian-speaking professional communities in the sphere of family, childhood and upbringing.

Research Questions

The leading Research Questions ask:

  • how professional communities transmit knowledge of contemporary families, upbringing practices, parental roles in modern educational environment, defining the language phenomenon parenthood, parenting in English, roditelstvo in Russian as a universal concept in the sphere of family, childhood and upbringing;

  • which similarities and differences exist in the nomination of the concept under consideration and express its specificity as an unite of national conceptual sphere.

Purpose of the Study

The Purpose of the Study is to attempt to typologize the concept represented as parenthood, parenting in English and roditelstvo in Russian using the analysis of semantic environment in the sphere of family, childhood and upbringing.

Research Methods

The present research is of integrative nature and uses the following Research Methods :

  • cognitive-semantic analysis of the texts of educational discourse in the sphere of family, childhood and upbringing in the English and Russian languages was performed on the base of contextual analysis; the method of generalization of dictionary definitions enabled the description and comparative examination of means of representation of the concept discussed;

an implicit comparison was oriented towards identifying the degree of similarity/difference in the nomination of parental types in the English and Russian languages and characterizing universal and national-specific features of the concept represented as parenthood, parenting in English and roditelstvo in Russian. Our comparison is based on the method developed by Babushkin and Sternin ( 2018) which shows that the correlation between semantic and cognitive processes give the idea of universal and specific national concepts in the perception of the world around us.

  • the method of critical analysis was chosen to observe diachronic and synchronic aspects of societal development, it facilitated the reconstruction of contemporary social-educational context of verbalization of the concept parenthood, parenting and roditelstvo in professional communities in the sphere of family, childhood and upbringing;

  • analytical method was used to promote the selection, systematization, generalization and typologization of scientific notions representing the conceptual sphere ‘parenting’ in international educational environment as well as the understanding what was and is important for one speech community and still remains invisible for the others;

  • cognitive interpretation within generalization at a higher level of abstraction for the denotation of cognitive attributes of the concept parenthood, parenting in English, and roditelstvo in Russian with the purpose of constructing their ultimate typology.

Findings

In international educational environment the concept parenthood, parenting (in English), roditelstvo (in Russian) characterizes the sphere of family, childhood and upbringing, represents social-educational demands of the society from contemporary families, parents, practices of parental upbringing. The concept discussed concentrates in its semantic meaning the unique features of the sphere it is meant to serve. This provides evidence that the phenomenon ‘parenting’ is perceived as universal and social, expressing various ideas of parents, parental upbringing, their social roles and functions. The examination of 3500 original sources in the English language and 2500 works in Russian, as well as social institutions and professional communities belonging to the sphere of family, childhood and upbringing, enabled the identification of cognitive features of the concept which express the development of the conceptual sphere ‘parenting’ in educational environment of each speech community. We define the conceptual sphere of parenting as the set of concepts which nominate the status of adults determined by certain social roles, functions and activities in their socializing mission and reflect attitude towards the family and relations within the family, towards childhood and upbringing in a particular professional community and society in general. The revelation and understanding of the context in which the concepts representing the phenomenon ‘parenting’ are used is necessary and important for modern pedagogical science, as well as for the development of international scientific discourse and effective intercultural communication between researches and professionals in the sphere of family, childhood and upbringing. This will help to achieve a higher strategic and tactical level in solving problems of the development of parenting within the modern educational paradigm and to create evidence-based models of parental education, demanded by parents and educational systems, on the base of competence-based approach.

Ongoing changes in configuration of families and in private life of parents as individuals determine and promote the development of new categories in scientific knowledge of parenting in international educational environment. It is stated that in the description of parental upbringing activities as well as parents themselves, who has become increasingly engaged in children’s development and education together with different social institutions (schools, recreational centers, associations etc.) over the past decade, the focus has shifted to the characteristics of parental roles and now reflects the models of treating children approved or unapproved in a certain community. This has found expression in the language, namely in binomial constructs as “any word in our consciousness, in memory (exactly like in the speech chain) doesn’t exist separately, with hundreds of ‘threads’ it is stretching towards the other words. Every word requires extension, is looking for its pair, wants to turn into ‘a model of two words’. ( Karaulov, 2006). Figuratively speaking, the words aim to enter into a marital union and its binomial construction expresses the quality of parenting. Cognitive-semantic analysis facilitated the identification of cognitive features of English and Russian binominal constructs in which the lexeme representative parenthood, parenting (in English), roditelstvo (in Russian) combines with certain attributes and in this way begins to denote phenomena of a highly specialized nature and represent them in educational environment. Cognitive interpretation was chosen as a base of the proposed generalized typology of the concept ‘parenting’ in international educational discourse despite the structural differences of the languages.

The types of parenting identified by the authors describe relevant parental states, knowledge and competences denoting a goal-oriented dominant of parenting which transforms parent’s identity.

Type 1, vital (from Latin vitalis – ‘of or belonging to life’, from vita – ‘life’), characterizes the state of kinship with descendants. The most common nominations in the sphere of family, childhood and upbringing are those which denote lineal or non-lineal parenting in relation to descendants, express the way people become parents, readiness for the role of a parent.

In English – planned parenthood, genetic parenthood , natural parenting, empathic parenting, adoptive parenting, foster parenthood, step-parenting, early parenthood, organic parenting = attachment parenting .

In Russian – биологическое родительство (biologicheskoe roditelstvo), естественное родительство (estestvennoe roditelstvo), репродуктивное родительство (reproduktivnoe roditelstvo), приемное родительство (priemnoe roditelstvo), раннее родительство (rannee roditelstvo).

In both languages we find the coinciding nominations of parenting distinguished in this type. This can be explained by the fact that they specify parenting through its legal, medical, biological, psychological aspects which have been studied for centuries in respective scientific domains.

Type 2, personal (from Latin personalis – ‘relating to an individual’), reflects the perception and approval of the variety of family forms and family values, and denotes several status of a parent, including

  • social status:

In English – single parenthood, single parenting, lone parenthood.

In Russian – monoroditelstvo , mul'tiroditelstvo.

  • affiliation to a certain group of people who share similar sociological and demographic characteristics which have informative value for the sphere of family, childhood and upbringing:

In English – work parenthood, teenage parenthood, impending parenthood, delaying parenthood.

In Russian – podrostkovoe roditelstvo

  • parent’s sexual orientation:

In English – LGBT parenting , gay parenting, same-sex parenting .

In Russian we did not find any concepts related to this aspect. We explain this by the priorities of state family policy which proclaims a traditional understanding of family as a national core value preserving socio-cultural heritage, traditions and ethical norms of the nation in general. In contemporary Russian society same-sex marriage didn’t receive approval that is why the speech community didn’t produce any lexical items to characterize sexual orientation of an individual as parent.

Type 3, value-normative, in which a norm has a social and value characteristic for parenting, reflects methods, techniques and practices approved by society and considered compulsory for parents. This type of parenting includes the styles of upbringing characterized by a dual nature of parent’s role. On the one hand, a parent as an individual evolves within social-educational environment prescribing certain social norms and rules and forming general values, and therefore can be seen as a recipient. On the other hand, a parent is able to make a contribution and transform the environment operating as an active agent of change. From this point of view, interaction between an individual and society as well as a reverse influence of an individual on society ensures further technological and cultural progress for the next generations. The styles and practices of upbringing selected for this parenting type enable adults to perform parental role and socializing function, i.e. to promote and support the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development of children and assure the quality of their life and family welfare.

In English – positive parenting, involved parenting, competence parenting, proactive parenting, good parenting, best parenting, peaceful parenting, responsible parenting, conscious parenting, effective parenting, unconditional parenting, safe parenthood, responsible parenthood, new parenthood, normal parenthood.

In Russian – ответственное родительство (otvetstvennoe roditelstvo), позитивное родительство (pozitivnoe roditelstvo), осознанное родительство (osoznannoe roditelstvo), эффективное родительство (effektivnoe roditelstvo), сознательное родительство (soznatel'noe roditelstvo), компетентностное родительство (kompetentnostnoe roditelstvo), хорошее родительство (horoshee roditelstvo), просвещенное родительство (prosveshchennoe roditelstvo).

We stated that this type contains the largest number of coinciding nominations of the concept discussed. It describes a qualitative aspect of parenting and focuses on a target audience – adults in their social role as parents. As agents of upbringing they set a socializing paradigm for children forming and opening the ways for children’s development and personal growth. The support of value-normative type of parenting is an important social and pedagogical task in international educational environment, it unites people, social institutions and professional communities of different socio- and linguacultures and reflects transformations experienced by contemporary families in many countries.

Type 4, aberrational (from Latin aberrare : ab ‘off, away from’ + errare ‘ to wander, stray, roam, rove’ =‘to wander out of the way, lose the way, go astray’, literally and figuratively), expresses parenting in which the styles of parental upbringing are considered by professional communities in the sphere of family, childhood and upbringing to be inappropriate to child’s positive development and, therefore, destructive. This type can be defined as opposite to the value-normative type; it characterizes parenting which deviates from the models of treating children approved in international educational environment and often permits child neglect and abuse. A tinge of appraisal in the nomination of parental behavior has the character of a statement rather than disapproval. This might be explained by the ideology of 21st century parenting which doesn’t suppose stigmatization.

In English – authoritarian parenting, permissive parenting, neglectful parenting, paranoid parenting, tiger parenting, poor parenting, inadequate parenting, indulgent parenting.

In Russian – авторитарное родительство (avtoritarnoe roditelstvo), плохое родительство (plohoe roditelstvo), неэффективное родительство (neeffektivnoe roditelstvo), некомпетентностное родительство (nekompetentnostnoe roditelstvo), девиантное родительство (deviantnoe roditelstvo).

Type 5, functional (from Latin functionalis ), implies a qualitative aspect of parental participation in upbringing and education. This type interprets the essence of the phenomenon of parenting and describes parents’ actions regardless of their marital status, as there is no such thing as ex-children. This means that every parent as a person concerned takes parental responsibility and duties, performs parental functions to create and improve the conditions for peaceful coexistence of parents, children and professionals in child’s best interests. The interaction between parents and professionals in the sphere of family, childhood and upbringing enriches parental experience, broadens parents’ roles and develops their parental competences in different contexts, first of all, in the context of child’s upbringing and education.

In English – co-parenting, shared parenting, involved parenting, uninvolved parenting, equal parenting, parallel parenting.

In Russian – просвещенное родительство (prosveshchennoe roditelstvo), социальное родительство (social'noe roditelstvo), со-родительство (so-roditelstvo ).

Type 6, instrumental, characterizes the means, techniques and methods, as well as the technologies of psychological and pedagogical guidance and support in parental education.

In English – supportive parenting, parenting course, parenting class, parenting support, parenting group, parenting meeting.

In Russian – поддержка родительства (podderzhka roditelstva), школа родительства (shkola roditelstva), программа родительства (programma roditelstva), клуб родительства (klub roditelstva), сайт родительства (sajt roditelstva).

We explain the coinciding nominations of the concept ‘parenting’ detected in this type by the orientation of professional communities towards the main idea of Incheon Declaration and Framework for Action for the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 4 – ‘to transform lives through education’ ( UNESCO, 2016). From this point of view, the instrumental type reflects the support of parenting in international educational environment as the response to structural changes occurring in contemporary families, to socio-cultural transformations of society and educational landscapes and to the challenge of the society for modern parental education ( Bagirova, Shubat, Abdygapparova, & Karaeva, 2017; Report «Helping parents…», 2012; Shustova & Svorotova, 2017; Veraksa & Sheridan, 2018). Its new conceptualization requires the search for prospects of improving family support in order to stimulate positive relationship between parents and children, parents and educators, which helps everyone realize their full potential in contemporary society. Nowadays more than ever this support should guarantee parents the opportunities to obtain and develop parental competences and to change the attitude towards themselves as parents through cooperative efforts with other people in the context which is the most relevant for their family.

Conclusion

It was stated that the concept represented by different lexemes, both existing in language environment for centuries and emerged about 50 years ago – parenthood, parenting (in English), roditelstvo (in Russian), is universal in international educational environment. However, during the past decade the structure of the concept discussed has been undergoing considerable modifications that reflect modern transformations occurring in the sphere of family, childhood and upbringing.

The study revealed means of representation of the concept ‘parenting’. They express the changes in value status of the phenomenon ‘parenting’ itself, which has been transformed throughout the existence of the concept in a certain speech community. This enriched means of its verbalization which characterize parenting in international educational environment, reveal native speakers’ ideas of various characteristics of modern parenting including its forms, relations, values, norms, styles, practices of upbringing and education in a particular linguaculture. In the English and Russian languages, it is expressed through the cognitive features which constitute the concept ‘parenting’.

The study specified cultural features of the verbalization of the concept parenthood, parenting (in English), roditelstvo (in Russian). They reflect the influence of national mentality and are determined by historical and socio-cultural peculiarities of the sphere of family, childhood and upbringing in a certain society. Ideological, social, educational transformations in the English- and Russian-language speech communities cause changes of the conceptual sphere creating new means of representation of the concept in educational environment.

The typology of the concept parenthood, parenting (in English), roditelstvo (in Russian) proposed by the authors has a generalizing character, facilitates the conceptualization of the notion and its structuring in international educational environment. The authorial typology is open to discussion and oriented towards broadening and enriching knowledge of contemporary parenting, promotes intercultural scientific communication and further studies of this phenomenon.

References

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Publisher

European Publisher

First Online

26.08.2020

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2020.08.02.53

Online ISSN

2357-1330