Parental Involvement In Schools Must Go Beyond Studies
Thursday, 07 June 2012
TODAY (Pg 21)
From Noel Chia Kok Hwee
I refer to the report "A call to relearn how we teach our children" (June 5).
There is a chronosystemic difference between this generation of pupils and their parents when they were students. The chronosystem allows us to understand differences experienced by the two generations during their times in school.
Our lives are interlinked, our families constituted by social interdependence, but personal choice, chance and context affect family members differently over time.
Therefore, it is not totally right to say that parents must relearn how to teach their children.
It suggests that they have forgotten what they had learnt. Rather, they must learn new ways to teach their children, a more accurate description of the current situation of parental involvement in their children's learning.
Parental involvement may take various forms and levels of participation, both inside and outside school, including activities that schools provide to empower parents working on behalf of their children's learning and development.
It is heartening to learn what Changkat and Edgefield primary schools are doing to promote school-parent partnerships. However, such involvement should focus not only on academic performance but also the social, emotional and moral growth of our children.
To this end, parents, schools and the community ought to realise the importance of their inter-connectedness. There must be a shared vision and understanding of individual roles in relation to the roles of others.
Such cooperation is essential to ensure that every pupil receives the support and services he needs to succeed in school.
Parental involvement makes parents more confident in their parenting and decision-making skills, through use of affection and positive reinforcement, as well as more sensitive to their children's socio-emotional and cognitive development.
It increases their awareness of what their children are learning and they are better informed of the school and education policies that would affect their children.
Studies have shown that children whose parents are actively involved in their schools tend to achieve better grades, better self-esteem, positive attitudes about school and better transitions from one educational level to the next.
Studies have also confirmed that the most accurate predictor of a pupil's performance in school is not family income or socio-economic status.
It is the extent to which his family creates a conducive home environment for learning, expresses realistic expectations for his achievement and future career and becomes involved in his school education and his community contributions.
[Noel Chia is Assistant Professor from the Early Childhood and Special Education Academic Group, NIE]
Source: TODAY (Pg 21), mediacorp