MI Monday | On-Going Parental Engagement
Welcome to MI Monday I Week 10
Engaging parents in their children’s education and helping them to understand the benefits of education has a big impact on the amount that their children learn. Each year of additional education that children have increases their earnings more or less proportionately. Often, parents undervalue the importance of primary education. However, when they are given information about the actual returns to education, they value it more highly and their children subsequently perform much better at school.
Explaining to parents how schools work and increasing their involvement with their children’s education can significantly improve behaviour and positively impacts learning.The micro-innovation below demonstrate new approach to positively engage parents, even in the most difficult circumstances (e.g. when parents are illiterate
and children are first-generation learners).
Iram, a teacher in a small community school in east Delhi, noticed that parents were not always engaged in supporting their children’s education or were unaware of how to do so effectively. Many are illiterate day labourers.
To overcome this, Iram put in place a carefully structured, year round parental engagement plan:
• Firstly, the school runs a parent/ guardian Orientation Day each year to show new parents around the school and provide a clear view how the school is run and the expectations of students and parents.
• Secondly, parents are awarded ‘marks’ for being present at parent-teacher meetings.
• Thirdly, a monthly newsletter is given to parents to provide information about the events to be held in school such as special food days, as well as holidays and test schedules. Apart from this the newsletter also has articles on health, nutrition and better parenting.
• Finally, student holiday assignments are designed to involve parents.
This micro-innovation is interesting because it recognises the need for parents and teachers to work together throughout the year and creates alignment between teachers and parents that is crucial to educational success.
Potential implementation challenges
Teachers will need to be committed to the idea of partnership with parents and be willing to spend time developing relationships and communications material. Using parent teacher meetings to provide the most effective feedback possible may require training for teachers.
Impact so far (according to teacher)
Iram reports that parents now feel joint responsibility for their children’s education.
Download the implementation guide for On-going Parental Engagement