Promoting Parental Involvement in Education
The Chief Education Officer for the Ministry of Education in Barbados was quoted in a recent edition of Barbados TODAY saying, “Studies reveal that parental involvement in education is one of the most significant determinants of student accomplishment… The child’s behavior and capacity to fit in with peers can benefit from this.
Scientific studies back up this claim, and they also suggest that there are additional advantages to parental participation. Teachers have reported feeling more optimistic about their jobs, students, and the school environment when parents are actively involved.
Parents’ engagement has been shown to have a positive effect on children’s mental health, as well as on their attitudes, behavior, and school attendance. Parents actively involved in their children’s schooling report higher levels of self-esteem, life satisfaction, and motivation to further their education.
Educational Institutions and Parental Participation
Schools, instructors, and administrators should encourage and facilitate parental participation in their students’ academic lives at home and in the classroom. Schools need to support instructors by focusing on the needs of parents for guidance and on how those parents can contribute to their children’s education.
The following recommendations are meant to aid educators and schools in facilitating parental involvement: parents helping their children’s teachers and children helping their children’s instructors.
Who are There for Parent Communication? Every parent should feel comfortable talking to their child’s teachers. Any time a parent has a concern about their child, they should feel free to reach out to the school. Some parents feel more comfortable talking to their child’s instructor over the phone, while others prefer one-on-one interaction.
Teachers must be able to effectively communicate in various formats, both verbally and in writing, so that they can provide parents with a wide range of alternatives for how they can get in touch with them.
Parents are naturally curious about their children’s progress in school, Both academically and behaviorally, hoping to get insight into their children’s successes and challenges. Parents see educators as vital participants in their children’s education and view them as the primary source of information about their academic progress.
Teachers can help by meeting with parents regularly, calling them, making home visits, sending letters home with the kid, and holding conferences at school. Student-led parent-teacher meetings are proven to improve communication and build positive relationships with families. (Hornby and Greaves, 2022) Teachers, students, and parents meet as a group to discuss and plot out the next steps in the educational journey.
To help their children succeed academically and behaviorally, many parents are interested in attending parent education courses. Workshops provided by teachers are most beneficial when they provide both information and time for parents to voice their concerns regarding their children’s educational and social development.
By interacting with both other parents and educators, participants in this format can acquire knowledge and boost their self-assurance.
It is essential to recognize that some parents, at various points in their lives, will want counselling or helpful assistance even if they do not specifically ask for it. When parents have questions or concerns about their children, many go to the school their kids attend for advice.
Teachers must be empathetic listeners to assist parents with day-to-day issues and confident enough to refer parents to other counselling services when problems arise beyond their expertise (Hornby & Greaves, 2022).
Support From Families for Educators
Teachers can benefit from hearing from all parents about their children’s personalities and development, including their children’s strengths and areas for improvement, as well as any pertinent medical or other personal data that parents may like to share.
When teachers offer good use of the information from parents at parent-teacher conferences, the parents report feeling heard and like their children’s education is a priority at school.
Most parents are eager and able to work with educators to reinforce classroom instruction at home through activities like home-school reading or behavior management programmed. However, there are situations when parents cannot do this because they are already stretched too thin.
It is reasonable to assume that some parents will not be able to comply with requests to do assignments with their children at home, even though the option should always be made available to them. Therefore, educators must form adaptable partnerships in which parental preferences are considered.
Some parents are eager and able to help out in the classroom as unpaid aides, while others prefer to help out behind the scenes with things like material prep and fundraising. Others may be able to assist in the preparation of newsletters, craft activities, or curricular areas in which they excel because of their unique set of skills.
Additionally, some parents may be able to offer informal or official support to other parents through self-help or support groups.
The ability to share knowledge is enhanced for confident parents who are members of parent or professional groups. Two examples of this are joining a parent support group or advocating for children’s causes. Others can do in-house training by leading seminars or publishing anecdotes online. Teachers receive insight and expertise from parents who participate in various ways.
Help From the School System to Encourage Parental Involvement
When children attend schools in their home communities, parents are considerably more likely to be involved in their children’s education. However, this is far more challenging for many pupils in Barbados who must travel to distant schools.
By sending their children to schools in the area where they live, parents and other community members are more likely to get involved in their children’s education.
Consequently, it would greatly benefit the implementation of effective parental involvement in Barbados if selective secondary education using the Common Entrance Examination (CEE) were abandoned. This would allow all children to attend the primary school in their neighborhood and then transfer to the secondary school.
The Ministry of Education
Perpetuating the problem of inadequate parental involvement in the ways outlined above by allowing the current transfer to the secondary school system to remain in place. As was mentioned at the outset of this piece, this is preventing the academic, social, and behavioral benefits from parental involvement that the Ministry of Education advocates.
As a result, for parental engagement to flourish in Barbadian schools, it is crucial to abandon selecting students for a secondary school based on CEE scores.
For more details click here,