If a student’s academic performance is low, who to blame – educators, parents, or children?
Usually parents send their children to schools and are not engaged in the schooling process of their children. Later students get low grades which is not only the children’s faults, but teachers’ and parents’ as well. There are several barriers parents can not overcome to get involved in studies of their children. First, these days adults are busy with their jobs, and children are under less control and attention (Caplan, 2000, as cited in Project Appleseed). Second, teachers do not try to attract parents to schooling process, because they are already overloaded and working with parents of their students seems to become extra work for them (Caplan, 2000, as cited in Project Appleseed). Moreover, educators misperceive parents’ abilities and think that parents are unable to help their children with their homework, for instance, because they have limited educational backgrounds (Caplan, 2000, as cited in Project Appleseed). Next, some parents, because of their own unpleasant experience t school, have negative attitude towards schools and feel themselves unwelcome and uncomfortable at schools (Jones, 2001; Caplan, 2000; Liontos, 1992, as cited in Project Appleseed). All these barriers result in tension in relationships between parents and teachers; and when children are in upper grades, it becomes more difficult to involve parents.
Nevertheless, what could we gain, if children’s parents were involved in the schooling process? According to Caplan (2000, as cited in Project Appleseed), students’ success at school is directly connected to family involvement in their studies, because if a parent shows interest in his or her child’s studies, the child gets motivated and gets interested in his or her studies as well. Moreover, students who experienced family involvement in their schooling process tend to get higher test scores and are more likely to be enrolled to Higher Education Institutions (Riggins-Newby, 2004; Norton, 2003; Caplan, 2000; Binkley et al., 1998; Funkhouse and Gonzalez, 1997, as cited in Project Appleseed). Undoubtedly, when parents are involved strongly, they get to understand what is being taught and learnt, which overcomes tension between parents and teachers and leads to a strong cooperation between them.
The USA has a non – profit organization which seeks to engage parents in schooling of their children. It is worth mentioning that all parents supporting the project are volunteers and there is no mandatory work done. The project named Project Appleseed focuses on low – income and undersaved families of public schools of America. They attract parents in the schooling process through cooperating, communicating, providing opportunities for parents to formalize their commitment to working with their children, or in other words, Project Appleseed provides parents with needed resources to help their children with their schooling.
So, do you think that this kind of project is applicable to Kazakhstan? Could we organize some special project for the parents of Kazakhstan to get them involved in the schooling process?
Project Appleseed Parental Involvement in Public Schools. (2014, January 1). Retrieved February 15, 2015, from http://www.projectappleseed.org