How do we get reluctant parents involved in their children's education?
1. How do we get reluctant parents involved in their children's education?
Epstein (1995) expands upon the traditional kinds of involvement by identifying six types of parent involvement in schools: parenting, communicating, volunteering, learning at home, decision making, and collaborating with the community. Each type of involvement is valuable, and each has an impact on students, teachers, and the parents themselves. (http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/envrnmnt/famncomm/pa100.htm)
Reluctant parents are often those who have negative school experiences themselves or other negative experiences with teachers in the past. Perhaps they hated every minute of their time at secondary school to volunteer to listen to pupils practice reading, come along to help on a school trip, or just have a chat about a problem with a teacher, and suddenly the concept of promoting parental involvement in their child's educational journey becomes more problematic (Tickle, 2009, http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2009/apr/07/parents-secondary-schools).
However, the Family and Parenting Institute researched this topics and reported results in its report, School-Parent Partnerships. They drew on two years of research to find ways to involve parents, and found that that parents, teachers and children experience different kinds of home/school interactions. Based on these results, the FPI suggests five models for building effective partnerships. It also sets out recommendations to help senior managers sustain parental commitment to the school community (as cited in Tickle, 2009, http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2009/apr/07/parents-secondary-schools).
The following excerpt explains how to attract and involve the reluctant parent:
(1) Dedicated worker
Employing a dedicated link worker to ease the communication between parents and school is one model the FPI says has been shown to work. In some catchments, that worker will be engaged in something more akin to social work.
"If the child's stomach is empty, if the child is shaking with fear because of what happened with the police in the night, then they can't learn," explains Michael Jackson, head of Seagrave primary school in Nottingham. His is the first school in the Midlands to have a home-school support worker, employed by a charity but based on the school site, liaising between parents and teachers.
Her job, Claire Bingley explains, is primarily concerned with improving family welfare so that children arrive in school in a fit state to engage. For the parents ...
This solution responds to the question: How do we get reluctant parents involved in their children's education? Specific strategies are discussed.