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Discuss Ways In Which Schools Encourage A Partnership With Parents And How This Can Help A Child Develop Positive Attitudes To Learning.

3620 words - 14 pages

In recent years, an array of legislation and guidance has emerged under the present new Labour government to bring together a co-ordinated framework of services to address the care and educational needs of children. The government has expressed its intention, DfES (1997) and DfES (2003) to place schools at the heart of a new multidisciplinary approach to children's services with improved communication and consultation between schools, together with other service providers, and parents, as one of its principle aims. Many commentators such as Nind et al (2003); Williams (2004) and Berk (2004) have noted the importance of parents as the prime educators of their children and the issue of establishing successful partnerships between schools and parents has been addressed through a number of different perspectives. It seems that the strategies employed to overcome barriers and build constructive relationships must be situated within a school ethos of genuine inclusion which values parents' views and contribution which, in turn, can only enhance children's attitudes to learning. Effective Home-School collaborative education stimulates and imbues children with a positive culture of learning.Brooker (2002) and Mayall (2002) have noted the ways in which children, and parents, are effectively socialised into the pedagogical ethos of their child's school and suggest that parents' conformity to this ethos has commonly underpinned many models of parental involvement. As Brooker (2002) argues, an "open door" policy which ostensibly invites parents in to see classroom practice and consult with staff does not necessarily constitute a climate conducive to genuine collaboration in the educative process. The research presented by Brooker (2002), whilst focusing primarily upon early years learning cultures, has provided some useful insights into the ways schools conceptualise their relationships with families and, conversely, how parents experience schools. She found that, from early on children's schooling, school staff attitudes towards parents were highly influenced by their own perceptions of the extent to which parents expressed their interest in, and became involved with their children's education.Brooker (2002) identifies a wide gulf between the beliefs and values of formal educators and what she calls the "mountain of invisible investment made by parents". She cites the work of Vincent (1996), for example, highlighting the negative perceptions of parents by teachers and suggests that, essentially, teachers tend only to welcome the involvement of those parents who do not contest school policies and practices or undermine their authority. In similar vein, Beveridge (2004) asserts that teachers' attitudes can often be negative and stereotypical regarding parental motivation, competence and skills in the educative domain and furthermore, parents are often aware of this and are adversely affected. She suggests that parents experiences of schools and school staff...

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