Partnerships Between Families And Teachers Research Paper

Length: 5 pages Sources: 4 Subject: Film Type: Research Paper Paper: #26359717 Related Topics: Family Assessment, Informative, Curriculum Development, Classroom Management
Excerpt from Research Paper :

Collaborating With Families

Teachers of special needs children have historically worked in isolation as these children are taught in separate classrooms. However, the situation has changed in the past few decades since these children have gradually moved into regular classrooms. As these children have moved into regular classrooms, teachers have faced several challenges that relate to meeting the needs of these children (Ripley, n.d.). This need has been enhanced by the fact that schools and parents in the modern education environment are faced with increased economic pressures, expectations, and time limitations. Given the changes in today's society, there is an increased need for effective partnerships between teachers and parents to meet the needs of the children. Such partnerships are established through effective strategies that support collaboration with families including strategies for effective communication and collaboration.

Specific Needs for Families in Supporting Children at Home and School

Given the changes in the modern education environment, incorporating families in the education process is crucial towards enhancing children's achievement and meeting their needs in the special education setting. Parents and family members are the most important individuals in the early lives of their children since they act as their children's first educators (National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, n.d.). Apart from their role in educating children in their homes, parents and family members can also support their children's learning in the education setting and other out-of-home settings. Therefore, families improve the learning and development of children through working together with educators and other practitioners in the specialized education setting.

There are several specific needs for families for supporting their child in their home and in the specialized education setting. One of the needs for families is to ensure and promote their child's learning and development. This is primarily because parents and other family members have the role of care, educating, and providing necessary attention to their children to promote their growth and development. Learning and development not only happens in the home setting but also takes place in the specialized education setting. The second specific need for families is providing and accessing valuable information relating to their child's growth and development. Parents need to provide educators with information relating to the interests, skills, dispositions, and abilities of their child. On the other hand, educators should provide parents with information about curriculum, classroom instruction, classroom management, and learning goals and decisions. Parents and families also need information about the experiences, interests, needs, and progress of their child in the education setting.

Third, families need to share their time, talents, and experiences with the specialized education setting in order to make meaningful contributions to their child's learning and development. In this case, families need to participate in activities like sports and drama to help support their child's growth. The other specific need is to engage in decision making at home and in the education setting as well as advocate varying approaches and course of action based on the special needs of their child (National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, n.d.).

Strategies to Support Effective Collaboration with Families

As evident in this discussion, collaboration with families is an important aspect in promoting and ensuring a child's learning and development. Through this collaboration, educators provide parents and other family members with an opportunity to play their role in supporting the growth of their child in the out-of-home setting. As parents and family members play their role in this process, they help educators to meet the needs of their children in effective and efficient ways. However, the realization of such collaboration with families is not an automatic process since it requires deliberate attempts to meet children's needs. To this extent, the process requires developing and implementing several strategies to support effective collaboration with families. Some of the strategies to be implemented to support such collaboration include:

Creating Valuable Partnerships

The creation of valuable partnerships between the education team and parents is an appropriate means for supporting collaboration with families towards enhancing a child's learning and development. Through valuable partnerships, educators and families...

...

According to Graham-Clay (2005), effective partnership between parents and teachers in today's changing environment is more essential to meet the needs of children shared by parents and teachers (p.117). Such partnerships are the premise through which parents and teachers communicate and make decisions that help meet children's needs efficiently (Hooper & Umansky, 2014).

The process of creating valuable partnerships to support collaboration will entail asking parents to provide information relating to the interests, abilities, and needs of their child. This will be followed by providing information about the education process such as learning goals and activities. The other step in creating such partnerships is providing suggestions to parents on what they can do at home with their child to promote his/her learning and development. These suggestions will include encouraging parents to engage their child in daily activities that help promote the child's growth. In addition, parents will be provided with beneficial resources such as easy-to-read books on child development. The specialized education setting will also plan for information sessions for parents to enhance their engagement in the education process.

Utilizing Different Communication Methods

The second strategy for supporting collaboration with families in the education process is using various communication methods to share information between educators and parents and vice versa. The use of different communication methods is geared towards ensuring that educators and parents communicate more often, which is important in ensuring improved teamwork in the education process. This strategy will involve taking advantage of the numerous communication opportunities and approaches. To ensure that effective communication occurs in this process, communication strategies will be structured in an interactive and informative way.

Some of the different communication methods that will be utilized include phone calls that will be centered on discussing concerns, progress, and answer questions relating to the child's academic development. The phone calls will be kept brief and focused on specific issues that help meet the child's special needs at home and in the specialized education setting. Secondly, parent-teacher conferences will be conducted on a regular basis and will adopt a more personal communication style rather than the conventional cold, professional touch. Third, Internet technology will be utilized as a communication channel that links homes and the education setting. Internet technology provides limitless communication opportunities as compared to other communication channels. However, for such communication to be effective, a human touch will be retained (Graham-Clay, 2005, p.118).

Involving Families in Student Assessment

Collaboration with families in the education setting can also be supported by involving families in the process of student assessment. Parents should not only be involved in curriculum development and instruction but they should also engage in student assessment, which helps assess a child's progress. In this case, teachers work with parents to provide necessary support and resources for creating effective systems of curriculum, assessment, and evaluation programs (National Association for the Education of Young Children, 2003). The involvement of families in student assessment helps in promoting feelings of valuable partnerships between them and the educational team through sharing responsibility and accountability.

In this case, teachers share information about the learning goals, activities, and objectives for the child based on his/her special needs. As teachers encourage parents to engage their child in daily activities that promote learning and development, they work collaboratively to ensure that learning goals and objectives are achieved. Parents are involved in student assessment through regular discussions with teachers regarding the child's experience and progress in the learning process. Therefore, parents assess their child's progress while at home whereas teachers assess the child's progress while in the specialized education setting based on mutual goals.

Creating Support Networks

The other strategy for supporting collaboration with families is by building support networks through which parents link with others and with educators. These support networks will be established through planning social events for parents and teachers. Moreover, different activities for parents at different times will be arranged to help in building relationships that focus on promoting children's learning and development. The support networks will act as the premise through which parents and teachers provide necessary support and resources to meet the child's needs as well as promote feelings of valuable partnerships (Hooper & Umansky, 2014).

In conclusion, collaborating with families is one of the most important aspects in meeting the needs of children in the modern academic environment. This is primarily because of the numerous changes that have characterized the educational setting and challenges that the education team experience. Effective collaboration to meet children's needs in their home setting and in specialized education setting requires effective partnerships and communication between teachers and parents.

References

Graham-Clay, S. (2005). Communicating with Parents: Strategies for Teachers. The School Community Journal,16(1), 117-130.

Hooper, S. & Umansky, W. (2014). Young children with special needs (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education Inc.

National Association for the Education of Young Children. (2003,…

Sources Used in Documents:

References

Graham-Clay, S. (2005). Communicating with Parents: Strategies for Teachers. The School Community Journal,16(1), 117-130.

Hooper, S. & Umansky, W. (2014). Young children with special needs (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education Inc.

National Association for the Education of Young Children. (2003, November). Early Childhood Curriculum, Assessment, and Program Evaluation. Retrieved May 20, 2016, from https://www.naeyc.org/files/naeyc/file/positions/CAPEexpand.pdf

National Council for Curriculum and Assessment. (n.d.). Building Partnerships between Parents
and Practitioners. Retrieved May 21, 2016, from http://www.ncca.biz/Aistear/pdfs/Guidelines_ENG/Practitioners_ENG.pdf
Ripley, S. (n.d.). Collaboration Between General and Special Education Teachers. Retrieved May 20, 2016, from https://www.teachervision.com/teaching-methods/resource/2941.html


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