The relationship between the school and parents mutually complementary relationship, House is the source of the most important components of the school (students). School dealing with students with education, parents are responsible for the level grades for their children, because they enrich the lives of their children cultural, by means of various knowledge and contributing to the development of intelligent child, and family encourage the child and increase the motivation to teach, and responsible for providing the appropriate conditions.
Parent and school’s each bring unique strengths to education of children. They are a team. They each have strengths, weaknesses-neither of our can do the job alone. Respect must be the basis of our relationship.
The role of parents in school life is a vital issue, there for requires schools to engage and collaborate with parents to improve on school success.
In this article I explain about:-
- Why I choose this subject?
- The important of it.
- How do schools engage parents?
- How school can do to build parent involvement?
- How we want to improve our school links?
- The important of involved parents.
- The benefits of parental involvement.
- Level of home-school communication.
- Barriers to effective parental involvement.
- Overcoming Barriers to Parental Involvement.
Why I choose this subject?
Many studies parental involvement assert that when parents become involved, academic achievement increase, school satisfaction increase, and there is a successful school setting. The weakness of the relationship between the parents and schools in Palestine, and the important effects on the level of learning in schools.
Broadened the relation between the schools and community.
The important of this study:
- To enhance parental involvement.
- To increase student’s satisfaction.
- To success in the school setting.
- As a way to improve educational success.
- Under achieving student’s.
How do schools engage parents?
(Hanke, 2006) Pointed out that lack of parent involvement is due to lack of helpful information to parents. Email, phone, letters, newsletters, personal contacts and informational fliers can be made by schools to reach out to parents. If schools communicate with parents regularly and consistently using the various means, the gap between school and parental involvement will be reduced. Student’s expectations andachievement will increase if families show high levels of interest (National PTA, 1998). Six different areas of parental involvement are identified by Epstein and associate(1997): parenting, communicating, volunteering, learning at home, decision making, and collaborating with the community.
Two types of communication exist(Tracy, 2000, cited in The Pacific Resources for Education and Learning, 2006). Thesetwo types include one-way(transmittal) and two-way communication. In one-way communication, the school disseminates information to parents on how they can help their children at home. Examples of this type of communication are newsletters and informational fliers. The two-way communication is considered much more interactive and perceived as a partnership between the school and families.
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Examples include surveys and questionnaires structured to collect: information data pertaining to students (The National Center for Family Literacy, 2003; The Pacific Resources for Education and Learning, 2006; Lordeman, 1977). (Reenay and Vivian, 2007) explained that even thought the invention of new technologies has made it easier for schools to reach out to parents through (emails, cell phones and internet websites), the use of traditional methods in communication has been found to be an effective way for schools to communicate with parents, but this has been limited in use by schools because of time constraints. In addition, it has been assessed that the frequent use of mass communications (newsletters, calendars, letters and handbooks) by schools educators has not been effective in changing student behaviors.
However, as Jonson(1999) reported, many parents do not communicate with their children’s schools due to a vast number of reasons. Despite the fact that technology is a tool providing new channels for communication, studies have shown that & parents and teachers find difficulty in using them or lack access to them (Weifeng .J, 2007; Blanchard, 1997).
Preparing teachers to work with families. (New skills fornew schools, 1997).
How school can do to build parent involvement?
- Give parents specific things they can do to help their children.
- Help parents understand why they are so important to their children’s school success.
- Work to win parents endorsement of your school’s educational program.
- Give parents the specific information they want.
- Know how to get parents to read what you send home.
- Provide training and support for parents.
- Provide staff training and support for parent involvement.
- Recognize and reward exemplary parent involvement practice.
- Ensure your success by making a plan.
- Adapt ideas that have worked for others.
Send home frequent note and newsletters about school activities every week, send news about parent meeting and family events. Visit parents at home and help solve problems, arrange “parent-friendly” meetings.The schools must hold parent meetings on evenings and weekends so working parents can attend, also provide child care/or food at meetings. Hold family learning events at school.
Offer parenting classes specially teach them how to communicate with their child at home, create special parent conferences, create a district-wide parent center, which trains parents to participate in their children’s education, learn how to listen to their children and how to talk to teachers about sensitive issues, such as tension between students outside school, and build parent-to-parent bond. Encourage parents to mentor others use the internet to create ways for parents to communicate.
How we want to improve our school links?
We want to have good relationships with new parents, carers and families, provide parents with regular, accessible information about the life and work of the school, build a sense of shared identity and common purpose, report pupil progress-discussing future targets, identifying ways in which parents can help, have a program of event and activities, dovetail home-school activities into the school’s overall efforts, deal with acute personal, family and social problems, provide training, professional development and support for all staff, act as a focus for contact with other agencies, link the school with its wider communities via families, help pupils through transition and provide parents with opportunities to learn in school (Lewis, K, Chamberlain, T, Riggall, A, Gagg, K. and Rudd, P. (2007).
The important of involved parents
Extensive research has shown that student achievement increase when parents get involved (Harris et al, 1987). Increased achievement in test result, decrease in dropout rate, improved attendance and student behavior, improved parent teacher (Gillum, 1977; Rich, Vandien & Mallox, 1980).
Increase in academic a achievement, better classroom behavior and conduct, greater self-esteem, increased motivation and attitude towards school, low rate of absenteeism, increased school satisfaction, and increased school climate (Balli, Wedman & Demo, 1997; Bryan & Sullivan-Burnstein, 1998; Griffith, 1996; Russel& Reece, 2000). Epstein and her colleagues also emphasized the duty of the school in helping families establish home environments that will support children, design effective forms of home-school communication about student’s progress and school programs, and provide training and schedules that allow parents to get involved. Parents must be involved in the school decision-making process, governance, and advocacy through PTA/PTO, school councils committees, and other parent organizations. Schools have the responsibilities to work in partnership with businesses, agencies and other groups to coordinate resources, and provide services to the school and the community (Epstein, Coates, Salinas, Sanders & Simon, 1997; US Department of Education, 1997).
The benefits of parental involvement
Parental involvement leads to greater self-satisfaction, self-direction and control, social adjustment, and competence, more supportive relationship, positive peer relations to clearance, successful marriages, and less delinquent behaviors (Desforges & Abouchaar, 2003 & Gillum, 1977; Rich, Vandien & Mallox, 1979; Comer, 1980).
Level of home-school communication
In their research on school, family and community partnership, Epstein and Associates (1997) developed six types of parental involvement frameworks to help educators develop more comprehensive programs for school, family, and community partnership. Although this framework may be used by schools as a guide, it is important to note that each school must choose practices that will help achieve its goals and meet the needs of its students and families. The six types of parental involvement framework include parenting, communication, volunteering, learning at home, decision making, and collaborating with the community(National Network of Partnership school, 2000; Michigan Department of Education, 2001: NMSA Research Summary, 2006).
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Barriers to effective parental involvement
It is believed by Lazar and Slostad (1999) that parents are willing to get involved in the education of their children, but the negative perceptions of parents persist because teacher education programs do not educate teachers to work with parents. Foster and Loven (1992) shared that the major explanation of this, according to researchers, is the fact that “very little attention is given to preparing teachers to work with parents and other adults” (Lazar, 1999, p.207).
Despite the importance attached to parental involvement, it is still being ignored in schools (The New Skills for Schools, 1997). According to (Lazar and Slostad, 1999) the way parents viewed their roles was shaped by the circumstances and norms of particular cultures and their beliefs about their own effectiveness as teachers or tutors, major barriers to parental involvement in schools include the school environment, school culture, time constraint, changing demographics and employment patterns, and the lack of teacher preparation in involving parents in their children’s schooling (New Skills for Schools, 1997; National PTA, 1997). Epstein found out that teachers had doubts whether they could motivate parents to become more involved even though they thought that parental involvement would improve student’s achievement. Teachers lack the attitudes, knowledge, skills, and strategies needed to collaborate with families leading & to a weak school-family partnership (De Acosta, 1996; Epstein & Dauber, 1992; Williams, 1992). A report by the U.S. Department of education (1997) indicated that 48 percent of principals who participated in a study believed lack of preparation by teachers to involve parents in the education of their children remains a weakness in teacher education programs (Bredekamp, 1996).
Overcoming Barriers to Parental Involvement
The U.S. Department of Education, 2004) illustrated that when school, family, or community-related barriers limit parents from becoming involved, the consequences might affect student’s academic achievement. Strategies for overcoming barriers to parental involvement in school include overcoming time and resource constraints, providing information and training to parents and school staff, restructuring schools to support family involvement, bridging school-family differences getting external supports for partnership, meeting families basic needs, providing flexible times and places for parents involvement, and helping staff communication with parents (The U.S. Department of education, 2004; Family Involvement in Children’s Education-October, 1997).
(NSPRA, 2004) suggested ideas include creating a formal policy including specific goals for parents and teachers working together, identifying barriers that are specific to the school and its culture, assessing, evaluating and improving the current programs, and involving community at large. Schools must encourage parents to support their children’s learning by making them feel welcome in the school.
School should also involve parents in the process of attaining the goals related to student’s success (Jesse, 2009).
By bringing parents into the educational process schools provide the opportunity to enrich school programs. Effective approaches to parental involvement will build positive relationships and trust between the school and families, healthy child development, and safe school environment. Parental involvement programs should be developed to meet the unique needs of the school and the community (Russell & Reece, 2000). Regardless of ethnicity or minority group status, parents are concerned about their children’s education and are willing to take an active role in the educational process (Chavkin& Williams, 1993). However, parents need to be informed and guided by the school on parental involvement activities. Many professionals agree that it is the responsibility of the school to make the first move in reaching out to families to involve them in education (Harris, Kagay, & Ross, 1987; NCATE, 1994). Therefore, it is important that parents and guardians become aware of the significant contributions they can make to their children’s success by providing a stimulating environment and also supporting them at home during their early years, as well as secondary and tertiary years of schooling (Chavkin& Williams, 1993).
I see that it can be in Palestine do several things in order to strengthen the role of parents in school
life, encourage parents to visit the school and make it through meetings evening outside the scope of their work, educational opportunities for parents, such as how to use information technology, telecommunications, literacy, numeracy…. etc.
Work newsletters for parents, and communicate with parents via the Internet on the school site and the views of parents on various educational issues, and provide them with information about educational attainment for their children and the use of metouhods of appealing to parents and involve them in the development of educational plans.
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