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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Questions on Engaging/Involving

I will apologize if this blog jumps around or repeats thoughts from previous blogs or seems like a rant. I am writing about parent involvement in education, again.

Where do we start? Parents. Teachers. School. Board. Ministry.

Are these the kinds of Parent Involvement (school) we want? Ivy League Minded Mom Sues Preschool & Fast Tracking to Kindergarten . Is Preschool Shouldn't be Like School more to your version. Parent philosophy on schools and learning vary greatly and so do their thoughts on parent involvement.

The first question one should maybe ask is "What role does the parent want to play in their child's learning/education?" Are they supportive or inquisitive? Does the parent trust that the teacher/school is doing their job properly? Does the parent trust that their child is interesting in learning? What drives the child to learn? Depending how these questions are answered is a starting point of engaging involvement. Does the parent have available time?  Does the parent even have enough understanding to assist the child in education/learning. Involving Parents in School - The Family Path highlights and initiative taking to entice parents to participate.

The second question should be "What is the communication between the parent/child and the teacher/school?" Do they know what is being taught? Why is it being taught? How is it being taught? Is the only communication when the report card comes and the parent/teacher interview? Who should initiate this communication, the teacher or the parent? Whether the child is underachieving or overachieving a line of open communication can help to solve problems or potential problems. Timely dialogue about assessment (not testing) is imperative. Is the parent welcome in the classroom? Do they have the time? When one knows what is happening, it makes things easier. Having Parent Support

When one talks about involvement at school or board level it sometimes refers to input on school/board policies and procedures. This is one of the roles of SACs/SCCs. Don't assume all the facts are known. Explain the reasoning or rationale behind why a decision/policy is being made. Do parents feel comfortable with this level of involvement?

As for the Ministry I hope they continue to develop and promote parent involvement. Human Capital

I have posed a lot of question here and I could have asked many more. Like many people I am trying to wrap my head around them to get the answers so that parent involvement is something all can do and want to do.
Parent Involvement - What's Your View

Parent involvement will always be a topic of mine as we try to make the best use of what each of us has to offer.

1 comment:

  1. Great questions and thoughts, Robert! I don't think we realized how complex parent involvement could be. The differing views of what it should look like makes it difficult to proceed as well. Your list of where to start (parents, teachers, school, board, Ministry) is a good consideration. I often wonder about this: Who/what does parent involvement serve? Which way is it to go? Whose agenda is to to serve? Do parents/teachers/school/board/Min each want it to look a certain way? Do any overlap in their expectation/definition?

    And we always come back to communication in this area. Communication implies two-way conversations. How can that be supported at each "level"?