After re-reading some of the responses to my posting, Parents protest ‘time out’ cage in classroom, I get a sense that the consensus is for a shift towards more parental involvement at school.
What does this mean? More parent-led activities? Higher attendance at parent-teacher interviews? A combination of the two?
Research shows that a connection between school and family is an indicator of student success, in terms of “academic achievement, attendance, attitude and continued education”.
(from Critical Issue: Creating the School Climate and Structures to Support Parent and Family Involvement)
The USA’s National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education includes the following as a result of school and family partnerships in education:
- Students do better in school and in life.
- Parents become empowered.
- Teacher morale improves.
- Schools get better.
- Communities grow stronger
According to Eddy Dumoulin, a school principal and MELS (Quebec Ministry of Education) education consultant, a child’s educational team is composed primarily of teacher, principal and parent (symposium on special needs, 2007, Montreal). This makes sense, and it seems that this is the direction in which we need to go, though when I speak with friends who are parents many of them aren’t so sure about what is going on in their child’s classroom. And when I speak with other teachers, some of them have never met one or both of a student’s parents.
SO. How can we make this shift? And what kind of involvement is needed?