The modern day fathers are experiencing major shifts in their traditional roles in the families. For years fathers have been regarded as bread winners and disciplinarian of the family and their roles of caring for the children were dismal. But as the recent statistics would indicate more fathers are turning out as caregiver to the young children in their families. As the picture would depict, the modern economic trends which are largely raising women position have meant that the role of men in family has to undergo change.
For instance, between 1948 and 2001, the rate of women in employment or seeking employment went up to more than 60 per cent and the increased financial power for the women has resulted into women becoming more autonomous leading to increased cases of divorce, childbirth outside marriage and the scenario has led to transition from the traditional to multiple undefined roles for many fathers.
Hence, the contemporary fathers are taking responsibility of some functions that there forefathers regarded as basically and totally reserved for women.
Secondly, the modern society is becoming accommodative to gay fathers whereby more gay men are becoming open in their relationships and even going a notch higher to establish families. Research shows that gay fathers are increasing and such couples have to divide between work and child care in a balanced way. Further, gay parents have the mandate to ensure that children associated with them live in conducive environments.
Lastly, there is growing aspect of stay-at-home fathers an aspect that indicates that a new type of patriarch where the father is charged with the primary role of caregiving to the children. Today many fathers are accepting this position due to factors such as: the fathers’ spouses are becoming strong earners; fathers are showing increased desire to serve as primary caregivers; and lastly most fathers are becoming reluctant to allow other persons to raise their children.
Why it is important for teachers to understand family life
Today, teachers are interacting with students who bring into classrooms specific knowledge that is fashioned by their family, community and even cultural histories. The modern family, as an institution, is experiencing profound dynamism which is impacting on most students who happen to be the products of these families.
In addition, teachers have assumed the role of molding these students; however, any successful act of molding can be productive only when the teacher has adequate and deep understanding of the background of the students.
A question may be asked, why is it important for teachers to understand family experiences of students they teach. First, all families are unique and as a result, they impact and influence students differently. The different family influence on students creates a heterogeneous class where the teacher cannot use the same methods and techniques in teaching.
Moreover, the family knowledge will help the teacher to device effective and appropriate techniques which can accommodate the individual characteristics of every student.
Secondly, students carry emotional stressors and positive experiences with them and in this way the varying experiences that students are exposed to will generally affect how individual student cope up in learning.
From such experience and having the desire to meet the needs of the particular student in satisfactory manner, the teacher has the responsibility to know some useful background information about the family of the student since any form of alteration taking place in the family of the student will adversely affect the behavior and performance of the student in class.
Lastly, understanding of the family by the teacher is recommended whereby, today children and their families are facing huge personal and social pressures which, when understood by the teacher, will be helpful in understanding how well to approach a particular student in a specific situation and offer appropriate help.