PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT IN EDUCATION 2
ParentalInvolvement in Education
Children’seducation involves the engagement of different stakeholders for it tobe successful. The work of teachers should b complemented by parentsthrough an active participatory approach. A research done by Hancockand Starker dubbed “Teacher Initiated Communication: EngagingResponsively in an Urban School Context,” lays insight on the needfor parental involvement in education. The study sought to understandwhether the communication strategies initiated by teachers help toinstigate parents to take part in the educational development oftheir children. The research revealed that the use of diverse methodsto involve parents like creating trust, being culturally sensitiveand empowering them would play a vital role in increasing the levelsof parental participation.
Theidea in the policy of No Child Left Behind instigated the tworesearchers to conduct a study and identify the most effectivemethods of communication that teachers can us to win the trust andengagement of parent. The policy requires schools to establish waysto bring parents on board and involve them in their children’seducation. The rationale behind this policy was the fact that acomprehensive approach to students’ education that brings togetherteachers, parents, and other stakeholders like the national andfederal government results in desirable outcomes. There is a strongconnection between family connection and a student’s outcome(Hancock, & Starker, 2013).
Accordingto the researchers, parental involvement has not received enoughattention. Parents cannot just bump into the educational life oftheir students successfully without the laying of sound mechanisms.The measures will ensure that they engage themselves in fruitfulefforts that are meaningful to their children’s life. The studysought to determine the communicative strategies of an effectiveteacher in the urban context (Hancock, & Starker, 2013).
Ofgreat importance in this study was the realization that the urbancontext is different from other contexts regarding the occupation ofthe parents. Parents in the urban centers have engaging occupationsthat leave them with little time for their children. The time thatthey may engage in a fruitful discussion about the performance oftheir children reduces. The major strength of this form of cultureis the shared practices due to circumstantial dictations. The teachercan, therefore, take this advantage and institute a platform thatreflects the nature of the parents in this setting (Hancock, &Starker, 2013).Although parental involvement is not a mandatoryactivity t be enforced, it has desirable outcomes and learninginstitutions should encourage it.
Thestudy included a second-grade class in a Mid-Western city that had amixed composition of children from different races and a diverseparental status background. The research employed auto-ethnographicand narrative approaches whereby the researchers collected data froman informal conversation with parents, observations and the use ofjournal entries. They achieved validity and reliability of the databy using a narrative protocol to minimize bias in the collection.
Fromthe data collected, the researchers identified various approachesthat could cement parental involvement in children education. First,teachers need to initiate an effective communication process. Someparents live in oblivion of how the small things they do to theirchildren may influence their study behaviors. Teachers have moreacquaintance on the matter than most parents. They should, therefore,inform the parents of the need to participate and the approach theycan use to make the process more successful. In doing so, they shouldtake into consideration the parental views to ensure that theapproaches are culturally sensitive and to avoid conflicts with theparents. Parents would feel disgraced if teachers dictate and orderthem around their children’s education. A consultative and anagreed upon method is necessary (Hancock, & Starker, 2013).
Secondly,both parties should create a relationship of mutuality for thebenefit of the child. The teacher should be concerned about the wellbeing o the child and identify the causes of misbehavior or poorperformance. On this note, the teacher’s effort may not yield muchin the absence of the parent. The parent should also have a concernfor the progress of a student as well as any change in behavior orperformance. The policy of Leave No Child Behind proposed theinstitution of a collaborative platform that brings the teachers andthe parents together for the good of the child. Such platform wouldonly be necessary when each performs his/ her duty effectively(Hancock, & Starker, 2013).
Teachersshould initiate a process of developing trust between them and theparents. Sometimes, the behavior observed in children is a reflectionof what happens at home. Teachers should be keen to identifytransferred behaviors and dig deep o their causes. They may evenvisit the homes and share with the parents and develop a plan on howto change the behavior of a child or improve the performance. Aconsistent communication should follow to enhance the monitoring ofthe learners behavior. However, teachers should be very critical notto play the parenting role. Parents would be unwelcoming to teacherswho take up their roles. Parents should also stick to their rolesand should not dictate to the teachers on what to do. The approachonly seeks a pact of mutuality between the two parties that creates ahigh level of trust.
Conclusively,the study found out that parental involvement in children’seducation is successful when it is teacher-initiated. In doing so,teachers should opt for the means that suit the target populationthrough a consultative process. The result would be a set ofculturally sensitive methods that have the support of both parties.
Hancock,S. D., & Starker, T. V. (2013). Teacher Initiated Communication:Engaging Parents Responsively in an Urban School Context. NHSADialog,16(4).