Teachers in the U.K. are concerned that parents are failing their children. In a talk at the annual conference of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, Mary Bousted said that children are arriving at school without being able to dress themselves, use the toilet properly, or eat at the table. Chlidren from various economic backgrounds are beginning school with social and language delays that interfere with classroom learning and behaviour, according to Bousted.
I suppose I supposed this was an American epidemic. How can we improve the support, communications and expectations between parents and teachers in a way that is most supportive to our students?
In this pursuit, I came across some interesting – although not shocking – findings in Harvard Research Publication. Unsurprisingly, parent involvement lessens – and should lessen – when students reach high school age. Further exemplified:
Parent Expectations AchievementExpectation still is the main driver in the fruition of a student’s academic performance. Parental expectation is the forerunner for a multitude of reasons. How are teachers to promote this environment in the home?
The further in school parents believed their adolescents would go, the higher the adolescents' academic achievement.
Parent Expectations -- Perception of Parent Expectations -- Student Expectations Achievement
The further in school parents believed their adolescents would go, the clearer the adolescents' perception of such expectations, the higher their own academic expectations, the higher their academic achievement.
Parent Expectations -- Perception of Parent Expectations -- Time Spent on Homework Achievement
The further in school parents believed their adolescents would go, the clearer the adolescents' perception of such expectations, the more time they spent on homework, the higher their academic achievement.
In agreement with findings from other studies (Catsambis, 2001), high educational expectations constitute a powerful way through which parents can encourage continuously the educational attainments of their adolescents in high school and beyond.
One idea being piloted in Washington, DC is cash for grades:
Is this the incentive we want to promote - that all learning is the means to material success?
On a different note, it also begs the question, with standardized testing overwhelmingly sprawling through current curriculum. What type of expectations are we communicating to our students – and if we only expect them to perform in limited, linear thinking, what will educating children with this endnote produce? Which begs the question: What are we doing?