The essay is a reaction to an article titled “Improving Parent Involvement in Schools: A Cultural Perspective” written by Keane Theresa published in 2007.
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The article contends that parent involvement is of paramount significance to students’ success in academic just like teachers are. Additionally, the barrier to parent involvement and what can be done to curb them are also discussed in the article.
Despite the significance attached to parent involvement, the article notes that although standards for students are on the rise, parent involvement is on the decline. Being able to point out the factors leading to the decline will help address the problem.
When considering the link between parent involvement and achievement, the author notes that involvement means different things to different people. There are indeed benefits when all the factors deemed to be parent involvement are considered.
It has been shown that parent involvement to issues relating to their children helps them achieve more. In situations where parents actively monitor the progress of their student, they will be able to know their areas of weakness and try to help them.
Additionally, when parents are involved, they create a learning environment back at home. This has been seen when they help their children do homework and encourage a culture of learning. Similarly, parents do encourage their children by making them know they are unique and are capable of achieving academic excellence.
In terms of social behavior, parent involvement help in shaping the manner of student and will try to avoid being in trouble.
Lastly and more importantly, student whose parent are actively involved in their learning develop positive attitude hence have lower chances of dropping out of schools. All these help teachers to concentrate in imparting knowledge rather than doing what parent opt to have done back home.
However, there are barriers that block or hinder parent involvement in the academic lives of their children. The author acknowledges the woks of other scholars such as Lazar & Slostad, 1999 who held that parent do care very much about the academic lives of their children.
However, parents hold a negative perception about involvement since there are no frameworks in place that make teachers and parents to understand each others as well as network. Inadequate preparation of teachers to work with other adults or parent is the main challenge in parent involvement.
Other barriers include cultural different; institutions where teachers are highly respected parent activities might be seen as an interruption and hence unwelcome. Additionally race, language barrier, lack of transportation and economical status of an individual also acts as a barrier to active involvement of parents in school activities.
Lastly decline in family which has seen to it that there is a rise in single parents also contributes to the problem. It is true that single parents are not able to divide their time appropriately to indulge in all activities that will foster the academic lives of their children.
With this barriers, there is need to have in place mechanisms that will help reverse the trend. One approach can entail having conferences per semester where thorough consultation are made before decision are arrived at.
Additionally, having in place an initiative in which parents will be educated on various issues regarding leadership, communication as well as importance of actively taking part in school activities is called for.
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Similarly creation of policies and guidelines that will clearly outline the goals and expectations for parents and teachers will help in overcoming the barriers previously mentioned.
Training teachers on how best to work and network with other adults (parents) will go an extra mile in creating an environment where parents will feel welcomed and give their best in terms of involvement. In my view encouraging parents to volunteer in issues such as school building will encourage a culture of parent involvement.
Keane, T. (2007). “Improving parent involvement in schools: A Cultural Perspective” River Academic Journal, 3(2): 1-4.
Lazar, A. & Slostad, F. (1999). “How to overcome obstacles to parent-teacher partnerships” Clearing House, 72(4): 206-210.