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Parents' involvement helps pupils

By unknown | Feb 19, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Research shows that pupils with involved parents, no matter what their income or background, are more likely to:

Research shows that pupils with involved parents, no matter what their income or background, are more likely to:

l Earn higher grades and marks and enrol in higher-level programmes;

l Be promoted;

l Attend school regularly;

l Have better social skills, show improved behavior and adapt well to school; and

l Go on to tertiary education.

Studies have also shown that families of all income and education levels, and from all ethnic and cultural groups, support their children's learning at home.

But white, middle-class families tend to be more involved and to be better informed about helping their children. More support from families might be an important strategy for addressing the achievement gap.

Programmes and special efforts to engage families in making a difference and teacher outreach to parents result in strong, consistent gains in pupil performance in reading and maths.

Effective outreach practices include face-to-face meetings, sending learning materials home and keeping in touch about progress.

Schools that succeed in engaging families from diverse backgrounds share key practices:

l Focus on building trusting, collaborative relationships among teachers, families and community members;

l Recognise, respect and address families' needs, as well as class and cultural differences;

l Embrace a philosophy of partnership where power and responsibility are shared;

l When parents talk to their children about school, expect them to do well, help them plan for college and make sure that after-school activities are constructive, their children do better;

l When schools engage families in ways that are linked to improving learning and support parent involvement at home and school, pupils make greater gains;

l When schools build partnerships with families that respond to their concerns, honour their contributions and share power, they are able to sustain connections that are aimed at improving pupils' achievement;

l When families and communities organise to hold poorly performing schools accountable, education departments make positive changes in policy, practice and resources.

How can schools, families and community groups put these findings into action?

l Recognise that all parents, regardless of income, education or culture, are involved in their children's learning and want them to do well;

l Design programmes that will support families to guide their children's learning from preschool through high school;

l Develop the capacity of school staff and families to work together;

l Link activities and programmes for families to improving student learning;

l Focus on developing trusting and respectful relationships among staff and families;

l Build families' social and political connections;

l Embrace a philosophy of partnership and be willing to share power;

l Ensure that parents, school staff and community members understand that the responsibility for children's educational development is a collaborative enterprise;

l Build strong connections between schools and community organisations. - National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education


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