What the parents taught me
I started my career in a primary school in the middle of a council estate. Aspirations were low, suspicion of the education system was high and the parents were very vocal.
So, yet again, the debate about curriculum is in the headlines. This debate is one that is always in the news in one form or other and will probably never go away.
There is one fundamental problem with curriculum. How on earth can we decide today what our children will need to know in the future? We have no concept of the technology that will be available to them. We also have no comprehension of the problems they will face. How can we define today the essential knowledge for tomorrow?
Today, our local newspaper has published an article on our company and this has made us stop and reflect on the journey we have been on since setting up Eduscope.
The past few days we have had a conversations with several schools and the discussion has moved on to the same topic. In more affluent areas the children seem to be less resilient and able to cope with the challenges of the world than in areas where deprivation is more widespread. In a strange twist of what we hear in the media, children from low-income families seem, in some ways, more prepared for life in the ‘real world’.
At Eduscope we have had a half term of rest and gathering our ideas. You will hopefully see some of the benefits of us pausing for thought over the next few weeks.
For those of you that need to revisit the reasons that parental engagement is so important, please read this piece of work that was done by a good friend of ours Alwyn Morgan.
Many thanks to Alwyn for his kind permission to use this on our site...
We all recognise the value of good quality extra curricular activities. We know the benefits that children gain in terms of skills, confidence and enjoyment. We understand the social benefits and have seen the research of how these activities improve attainment, and so we enthusiastically sign our children up for every opportunity on offer.
We are currently doing some very 'light touch' research in preparation for a more detailed research project.
If you are a parent of primary school aged pupils and can spare the time to answer 10 quick questions, please help us by going to this link http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/8VGFSPG and completing the questionnaire.
Many thanks for your help
Education professionals constantly refine what goes on in the classroom, testing out initiative after initiative to improve the few hours each day that they have the attention of their students. Despite this, the same groups of children underachieve and schools are still criticised for falling standards (whether this is justified or not – which is a debate in itself). We cannot deny that for some, there is still a cycle of underachievement that we have failed to address.
Research suggests that the more that parents are engaged in a child’s education, the better that child will do in the long term. For many years PTAs have served a fundraising function in schools, but their input into the decision-making and leadership of the school has been limited.
In our last blog post we introduced the concept of ‘progressive empathy’ and asked the question whether empathy could actually be taught. It has been announced today that MP Graham Allen’s government commissioned report will focus on the fact that parents need to understand how to develop the social and emotional capabilities of their children. This makes today’s blog post even more timely.