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The Best Resources On Parent Engagement In Countries Other Than The U.S.

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I’ve written quite a few posts about parent engagement in countries other than the United States, and decided to bring together the best resources into one list.You can see all my parent engagement-related “The Best” lists here.

Here are my choices for The Best Resources On Parent Engagement In Countries Other Than The U.S.:

Parents Get Stuck In is the headline of an article in the Irish Times about parent involvement in that country.

Education must spread beyond school is the headline of a Financial Times article discussing a New Zealand study on the topic, an international survey, and parent involvement efforts in the Middle East. If you click on the link, you may or may not be prompted to register on the site for free in order to access the article. If that happens, you can either access it or just search for the article on the Web. Clicking on it via search results will gain you immediate access.

Improving Parental Involvement in Children’s Education is the title of a series of online presentations and discussions among Jamaican educators and parents. It seems pretty interesting, and you can see a list of the topics they’ve been covering on the right of the page (along with links).

“Engagement must not stop at the gate” is the title of an op-ed published in the Sydney Morning Herald. Its author is the president of the “Australian Council of State School Organisations.” I’m not sure if that’s the Australian equivalent of the PTA or the national association of School Boards. Perhaps a reader can enlighten me.

It sounds like they’re trying to do a decent job setting-up parent academies in Toronto, unlike in many other places (see Some Of These “Parent Academies” Just Don’t Get It….). Here’s a quote from the Toronto article:

“For parent academies to be successful they really have to function based on parent voice, so parents tell us what they want to learn and we invent an adult learning model to support that request,” Jim Spyropoulos, a TDSB superintendent overseeing the academies, says.

I just wish it didn’t sound so “social worky” and they were thinking in terms of parents having more of a voice in running the academies, too. That may be the case, but it is not the impression given by the article.

Here’s an excerpt from a report on a new British study titled “Parents’ Effort Key to Child’s Educational Performance.”

A new study by researchers at the University of Leicester and University of Leeds has concluded that parents’ efforts towards their child’s educational achievement is crucial — playing a more significant role than that of the school or child.

This research by Professor Gianni De Fraja and Tania Oliveira, both in the Economics Department at the University of Leicester and Luisa Zanchi, at the Leeds University Business School, has been published in the latest issue of the MIT based Review of Economics and Statistics.

The researchers found that parents’ effort is more important for a child’s educational attainment than the school’s effort, which in turn is more important than the child’s own effort.

The study found that the socio-economic background of a family not only affected the child’s educational attainment — it also affected the school’s effort.

You can read more at the above link.

Lorna Constantini from Parents as Partners and Dorothy Gossling have created a Parent Tool Kit and accompanying Planning Parent Engagement Guidebook that is being distributed to all school boards and schools in Ontario. It’s a great piece of work and useful to anybody, anywhere. You can get free copies — in English or in French — here.

Beyond the school gate: How schools and families can work better together looks like an important report from two organizations in the United Kingdom, Parentline Plus and the Teacher Support Network.

One of many findings
include:

62 per cent of parents said they had been patronised, sidelined or ignored when trying to deal with an issue in their child’s school.

An extensive paper titled Parent Involvement in Inclusive Primary Schools in New Zealand: Implications for Improving Practice and for Teacher Education was recently published. I don’t necessarily think it’s particularly insightful, but it is interesting to see what’s going on there.

Here are a series of 21 videos demonstrating how schools are connecting to parents in the United Kingdom.

Engaging Families In School By Valuing Their Dreams is a neat story of parents in a South African school working together to create a quilt. Here’s a quote from the story:

“How many families in our schools have dreams no one is asking about? How many are eager to help their children reach those dreams, but they don’t know what to do? We need family engagement outreach strategies that respect their personal experiences, their culture, their knowledge. Then we can build true partnerships with families that help out students be successful and our schools thrive.”

Feedback is welcome.

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You might also want to explore the 780 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

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