The Great Connections Seminar

The Great Connections Seminar
Discussing ethics

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Risk-Averse Parenting and Entrepreneurialism

Interesting post at The Austrian Economists blog. (Hat-tip to Pat Peterson at the Jefferson Club.)

Author Steve Horowitz said:

"How important is it to a classical liberal order that children be raised in ways that encourage entrepreneur-like independence?  Aside from the more narrow questions of policy, can a liberal order function with risk-averse citizens who are less likely to sieze entrepreneurial opportunities?  Is this part of the broader role that the family has in transmitting the rules and values of the Great Society?  What, if anything, can we do if parents are failing in that task?"

To the first question: the history of culture makes it clear that the way children are raised deeply affects their entrepreneurial independence. Tom Sowell makes this case in Ethnic America, tracing the values and practices of Jewish and Chinese immigrants which so often enable their entrepreneurship. 

Further, 100 years of experience with Montessori education demonstrates that children can learn the skills for a creative, independent, and professionally and socially successful life, if they are educated in the right environment. 

Aside from all the individual children I've seen blossom enormously (often, after extremely inauspicious beginnings), it's interesting to note the honor role of unusually creative, independent people who were Montessori students:

Jeff Bezos, Amazon
Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Google
Julia Child, chef, author, and TV personality
Anne Frank, author
Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia
Will Wright, Sim City

These are but a few. 

Writers and thinkers like Daniel Pink, author of A Whole New Mind, are recognizing the superiority of Montessori education to preparing children for today's global economy. (Hat tip to Mark Berger of Corvallis Montessori.)

Now that the holiday whirlwind is over, I'll take up the discussion I left off in my November 21st post, and report more on why that is the case.

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