All students will achieve their maximum potential by becoming responsible, productive citizens and life-long learners.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Home and School Collaboration Needed to Maximize Student Responsibility and Achievement

The results of a study conducted by three universities that looked at the influence of parents versus schools on academic success were recently released by Education Week.   The salient point that should be shared is that the study revealed how parental influence reigns supreme when it comes to academic achievement.  It arrived at this conclusion by comparing measures of "family social capital" and "school social capital."

As educators and parents, this study may be useful in a few ways.  By looking at the indicators used in the study and turning them into concrete objectives, all stakeholders may see a list of methods by which they are able to improve how they help students.

For example, parents may help students increase their achievement by:

·   checking their homework;
·   attending school meetings and events;
·   displaying trust in their student; and
·   discussing school programs, activities, and classes with their student.

Schools may create a more positive environment for learning by increasing:
·   student participation in extracurricular activities;
·   parental contact;
·   teacher morale; and
·   teacher response to individual student needs.

The level of conflict between teachers and administrators as well as an overall measure of school environment that measured delinquency, absenteeism, and violence was used as well.

While these areas are easy to discuss, the actual work behind them must be thoughtful, collaborative, and focused.  What is not addressed in the study is the underlying message in supportive households that education is good and a necessity, but something you do rather than something done to you.  In short,   Clearly what we do as schools and parents can always improve, but no matter our effort, students ultimately bear responsibility for their education.  Without it, students will not reach their full potential.

The bottom line:
·   Both the parents/guardians and schools need to be more involved and communicate.
·   Schools and parents/guardians must work together as a team rather than competing entities for education to have the greatest effect.
·   Students will achieve greater academic gains if both sides make an effort to support students while expecting them to take responsibility for their learning.

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