Monday, January 3, 2011

Favorite comments of '10, *Final Installment!!!*: Knowledge Based Science, Anonymous, Anonymous, & Anonymous on parental involvement in schools

Knowledge Based Science (Hainish)

This really confirms my impression that parental involvement pendulum has swung way way WAY up in recent years (maybe the last decade? earlier?).

The thing is, parental involvement isn't just a consequence of those edu-fads you mention. Parental involvement is an edu-fad in and of itself.

I think it started with the findings that greater parental involvement, parents reading to children, etc., correlated with student success.

And yes, they did. But correlation is not causation. Schools were trying to tap into that causal relationship to get better results for their students. It's a way of improving educational outcomes without actually improving education.

(BTW, when studies find that teacher quality is correlated with student success, that is called "blaming the teacher.")


In this economy, companies are trying to get more work out of fewer employees, which will make it really hard for many parents to take time off. Stay-at-home mothers often have younger children at home and may have no one to turn to for childcare while they do volunteer work. 

As for teaching at home, that has become a necessity. When I went to school, I rarely needed help with my homework because I understood what had been taught during the school day. Many kids today have no idea what to do without their parents helping to figure it out. The percentage of grade schoolers who can read independently by 4th grade would plummet if parents (yes, mostly mothers) didn't step in and do so much reading instruction. Unfortunately, I don't see that changing anytime soon. We have to fund the schools with our taxes and do the teaching too.


This is why we decided to forgo my half-day unpaid volunteer efforts and go for full-day, all-inclusive homeschooling.

At least I don't have to attend a bunch of useless meetings to get that job done.


I teach at an inner city high school and we really don't have the parental involvement of which you speak, so the demands upon teachers are very great. It is wearing. 

Students and teachers alike are short changed and it seems like in education there is simply so much change for change sake, rather than truly measured outcomes.

We are so busy meeting the needs of the individual that serious concepts which can and should be taught as "whole group instruction" are neglected (multiplication tables, etc.) and reinforced at an individual level. It does seem to have become backwards, ineffective and burdensome on students, parents and teachers. So much for education reform. I agree with Hainish regarding blaming the teacher. If this trend continues, and it has been on going on for a number of years, I really feel that fewer people will enter or remain in the teaching field.

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