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T1 Parent Engagement

Page history last edited by Chris Jones 12 years, 2 months ago


What is #EcoSYS?

It's an ongoing conversation on the dynamics of social ecosystems, now focused on K12 Education.more return to front page


T1 Framing:

While education leaders have much to do in education reform, parents have an important voice. We often forget that kids acquire language, behavior, and foundational learning skills before they set foot in a public school. Parents have the first crack at making learning a priority, and must work ever harder to sustain that. Schools, in turn, must understand what the family is experiencing, to effectively participate in an open collaboration.  Many sense that kids today start kindergarten well behind the power curve, leaving parents with few choices and many frustrations, and often no sense of what they could be doing to help.



2011 T1 Takeaways.

Here are some ideas on Parent Engagement for further consideration.


Q0 How is 21st-C Parenting different from 20th-C, in context of school, stress & technology impact?

A0a. Can't know the child's concerns unless we take the time to listen

A0b. Distractions create higher time burdens


Q1 What are Parent Roles in K12? What can parents meaningfully do to help?

A1a. Parents must model target behaviors

1. be realistic, grounded, purposeful

2. supportive of teachers' efforts

3. deal with consequences, ie, be accountable

4. learn from mistakes

5. love of learning, communicate value of education

A1b. Avoid modeling negative ones

1. being over protective (doing students' work)

2. speaking badly about school, teacher or assignment (disrespect) 

A1c. Connect with child

1. let them know they are loved, believed in

2. prepare child to be a good person, a good learner

A1d. Engage at Pre-K (key role, before school age)

1. hug 'em & read to 'em.

A1e. Parent should collaborate w/ teacher, as team member & partner, contributing:

1. insight into how students learn at home

2. insight into events/factors impacting student (changes, traumas)

3. historical perspective; help teacher see beyond current state situation

4. understanding and support of curriculum, methods of instruction

A1f. Would help if parents could support and advocate

1. tech investments, whether 4:1, 1:1, wireless, internet, to better engage kids

2. education funding in general

3. shared goals across school and among teachers

4. commitment to teacher PD (keeping skills current)

5. value of education (influence community, culture)

6. value of teaching profession


Q3 Who helps parents navigate the challenges, and should schools play a role? 

A3a. Parent University programs valuable (esp. in poor, urban areas)

A3b. Social worker

A3c. Counselors (overloaded may be cut)

A3d. Parent Coordinators (NYC precedent; may be cut) - multifaceted roles, interesting

A3e Parents as the Clients/customers/patients of Education Services- schools/edu services to learn from and help parents/families build resilience as families and thus resilience in their kids


Q4 Where will Parents/Teachers find the time required to collaborate? 

A4a. Can be a relative statement, really about time slicing & allocation.

A4b. Reconstitute time wasted.

A4c. Too much focus on content & implementation, not enough on communication

A4d. Evaluate value of every job & task. If low value, switch to higher value.

A4e. Repeal of NCLB & high-stakes pressure & punishment could allow return of collaborative teaching.



What's a Social Ecosystem?

K12 Education today functions like an ‘ecosystem’. Most of the many interdependent stakeholders (teachers, students, parents, administrators, legislators, policy makers, text book companies) work diligently, but not always in tandem. No one entity has full control of the process. Across the diverse stakeholder groups are multiple, often conflicting objectives. Each depends on the others in the food chain for the system to function, but there is little optimization taking place.  Across the education ecosystem, too often it’s become a challenge of survival.


T1 Background:

You may have seen “Waiting for Superman” and learned that across the nation, drop out rates are accelerating. Or maybe you saw “Race to Nowhere” about the pressure schools and parents are together putting on children, and how we must reevaluate how to define success. A more extreme example is the “Parent Trigger” where states allow parent-led coalitions to takeover problem schools.


Open for further Discussion & Input.

Parking Lot for future topics (possibly in other threads, "Bright Spots", "Thought Leaders", "R"s or "T"s

  • TBD
  • TBD


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