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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Who is the Teacher?

There is always discussion in educational circles about the role of parents in education and the role of homework in that education. The article Homework Hits Home as Schools Outsource Teaching to Parents throws another take on the discussion.

Two related statements in the article stand out to me: "...children learn much more from their parents than their teachers." & "...parents acknowledged as the first teachers." The interpretation(s) of these statements make for an interesting discussion(s).

Although the article does not state age or grade for this 'outsourcing' does in go against Ontario's Early Learning Program & FDK? If parents are the first teachers and children learn more from them than teachers why is there this rush to get them into school? Did Ontario remove Grade 13 so it could add JK? I don't think so but now we have children entering school that may not be ready and ones leaving school that aren't ready. Every child, family, school and situation is different and JK & SK are not mandatory, you are certainly looked upon poorly if you choose not to follow that route. Is this what JK/SK is for Fast Tracking to Kindergarten as a mentioned in a previous post Questions on Engaging/Involving . 

Parents and teachers all have a role in the education of children. Can lines be drawing who is to do what and where? As stated above 'every child, family, school and situation is different' but school has become the place to equalize the imbalances that there maybe. Right or wrong.  (Poor choice of words here) If the parent(s) are lacking or not providing the skills/etc, parenting, the child needs in the first place, how can mandated involvement help? Maybe I am shifting too much to parent being parent as opposed to parent being teacher. The article does state '...schools are being told to consider running training and development courses for parents and to invite then in as guest teachers.' Parents should want to come into the classroom and school. Parents should want to assist and help their children learn. Is it an open sincere invitation? The line of communication between child/parent with the teacher/school is so important. The involvement/engagement is built on trust, "...valuing parents as part of the education process." (I know others can weigh in on this better than me and probably will.) For past thoughts see posts Parent Involvement, Parent Involvement II, Parent Involvement III & Parent Involvement IV

Homework is its own topic by itself. I will reference a few links:  Alfie Kohn Rethinking Homework , Tim Slack The Role of Homework, Mike McNeff Challenging the Core Belief in Homework, Diane Milne 8 Strategies for Homework Success

One cannot put all their thoughts into one post/blog. One's thoughts maybe go in many directions. The directions are what lead to conversations.

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