by C.J. Westerberg
As parents, we know we cannot depend entirely on the school for our child's learning, motivation and overall well-being. Educators know that parental involvement is a hugely important factor contributing to student success - study-after-study continue to prove it.
We asked then, why do some schools still do a kabuki dance when it comes to parental/family engagement? There are those who are challenging (Chris Wejr, George Couros, Sheila Stewart, Joe Bower, to name a few notables making a difference - is there something in the Canuck water?) the roadblocks and double-speak found at certain schools, because parental involvement essentially ends up as a term defined and communicated by educators and schools, usually resulting with a parental "to-do" list with volunteering, fund-raising and insuring home-work completion as the main-stays. No wonder why some parents run for the hills - especially those who do not have the job flexibility to participate in those in-school activities often enough to feel a part of that "involved group"of parents.
Why is this so? How can this change?
P.S. A few recommended reads. Let us know about yours - we'd like to know:
"Beyond the Bake Sale: The Essential Guide to Family-School Partnerships" by Anne T. Henderson, Karen L. Mapp, Vivian R. Johnson, and Don Davies
"Unequal Childhoods" Annette Lareau
"Parental Involvement and Academic Success" William H. Jeynes
Originally published The Daily Riff September 24, 2011.
Conversations That Happen in the Middle by Lorna Constantini