- Slides: 32
Highlighting Parent Involvement in Education
Family Involvement • Research demonstrates that parent/ family involvement significantly contributes to improved student outcomes. • Everyone -- students, parents, teachers, administrators, and communities -- benefits from family involvement.
What are the Benefits? • More positive attitudes toward school; • Higher achievement, better attendance, and more homework completed consistently; • Higher graduation rates and enrollment rates in post-secondary education; • Better schools to attend.
Benefits for Parents • Greater knowledge of education programs and how schools work; • Knowledge of how to be more supportive of children; • Greater confidence about ways to help children learn; • More positive view of teachers; and, • Greater empowerment.
Benefits for School Staff • Greater teaching effectiveness; • Higher expectations of students; • Increased ability to understand family views and cultures; • Greater appreciation of parent volunteers; and, • Improved morale.
Benefits for Communities: • Greater strength; • Greater impact of services through comprehensive, integrated approach; • Increased access to services for families.
Research on Involvement • Effective parent/family involvement improves student outcomes throughout the school years. • While parent/family involvement improves student outcomes, variations in culture, ethnicity, and/ or socioeconomic background affect how families are involved.
• Parent/family involvement at home has more impact on children than parent/family involvement in school activities. • The nature of effective parent/family involvement changes as children reach adolescence.
• Parent/family involvement in early childhood workshops help children succeed in their transition from EYFS to KS 1. • Parent/families may need guidance and assistance in how to effectively help their children with homework.
• Parent/family involvement will differ for ethnic and cultural groups. These differences should be considered when planning parent/ family involvement programs. • Improved student outcomes have been documented in math and reading when families are involved.
• The most promising opportunity for student achievement occurs when families, schools, and community organisations work together. • To be effective, school programs must be individualised to fit the needs of the students, parents, and community.
• Effective programs assist parents in creating a home environment that fosters learning and provides support and encouragement for their children’s success. • Teachers must be trained to promote effective parent/family involvement.
Outdated Thinking on Parent Involvement • Parents should come to school only when invited; • Stay-at-home mothers serve as “homeroom mothers”; • Parents visit school mainly for children’s performances and open houses; • Parents help raise money for school.
• Schools that have been the most successful in involving families look beyond traditional definitions to a broader view that considers parents/families as full partners in the education of their children.
• These schools view children’s learning as a shared responsibility among everyone involved in the child’s education.
What is a Family? • • • Traditional? Blended? Extended? Multi-generational? Migrant? Minority? Single-parent? Divorced? Other?
A Personal Definition • For the purpose of today’s conversation, “Parent” or “Family” refers to anyone actively involved in raising and educating a child.
Factors in Involvement • Parents are a child’s first teachers. • The typical family has changed dramatically over the last 50 years. • Schools aren’t always knowledgeable in how to encourage involvement. • Parents don’t always recognise the importance of becoming involved or know where to begin.
Ten Truths of Parent Involvement • All parents have hopes and goals for their children. They differ in how they support their children’s efforts to achieve those goals. • The home is one of several areas that simultaneously influence a child. The school must work with people in the other areas for the child’s benefit.
• The parent is the central contributor to a child’s education. Schools can either ignore this fact or recognize the potential of the parent. • Parent involvement must be a legitimate element of education. It deserves equal emphasis with elements such as program improvement and evaluation.
• Parent involvement is a process, not a program of activities. It requires ongoing energy and effort. • Parent involvement requires a vision, policy, and framework. A consensus of understanding is important.
• Parents’ interaction with their own children is the cornerstone of parent involvement. A program must recognize the value, diversity, and difficulty of this role. • Most barriers to parent involvement are found within school practices. They are not found with parents.
• Any parent can be “hard to reach. ” Parents must be identified and approached individually; they are not defined by gender, ethnicity, family situation, education, or income. • Successful parent involvement nurtures relationships and partnerships. It strengthens bonds between home and school, parent and teacher, parent and school, school and community.
Barriers to Involvement • Lack of a school environment that supports parent/family involvement; • School practices that do not accommodate the diversity of family needs; • Child care constraints; • Families’ past negative experiences with schools and/or feelings of uncertainty about “treading on school territory. ”
• Cultural differences (language barriers, attitudes toward professionals, lack of knowledge of the American education system); • Primacy of basic needs (food, clothing, and shelter take precedence over educational needs);
• Feelings of inadequacy associated with difference in income or education; • Safety, especially in inner-city school neighborhoods; • Uncertainty about what to do; and, • Lack of time.
100 Ways • The brochure, “ 100 Ways for Parents to be Involved in Their Child’s Education” is available from the National PTA; – http: //www. pta. org/ – Based on the National Standards for Parent/Family Involvement Programs.
Remember These 10 Guiding Principles • Family members are equal partners in a child’s education. • The home environment is the “primary” educational environment. • Schools must respect the diversity o families and their varied needs. • All families care about their children.
• Family involvement is important through all years of a child’s education. • Family involvement takes many forms and may not require a family’s presence at school. • Families, schools, and communities are closely interconnected and must collaborate in educating children.
• School leaders and staff need to focus upon how to encourage family involvement. • One size does not fit all when developing school-family partnerships. • Change takes time and building successful partnerships requires much effort over time.
• Become involved in your local school by joining our PTA or AAG.