IDRA Classnotes Podcast Episodes about Parent Engagement
Schools are required to provide instruction in a language that students understand. Parents serve an integral role as children’s first teachers and as they connect with the school to ensure their children are being served appropriately. Bilingual education is designed to teach English to children and give them a chance to use it while they also learn core subjects like math and science. Frances Guzmán, M.Ed., highlights what parents of children learning English need to know about this program.
When children are learning to read, people generally see the many ways that families of all economic levels model literacy for their children in day-to-day life. But less recognized are the ways families model mathematical thinking at home, particularly math that goes beyond simple arithmetic. IDRA education associates Paula Martin Johnson, M.A., and Hector Bojorquez describe an activity they led with parents to help them see how they use higher math concepts regularly. They also outline questions families can ask to help children move from finding the right answer to using higher order thinking to determine why an answer may be right.
The underlying assumptions we have about our students have a dramatic effect on our ability to teach. The same holds true among adults. Even with the best of intentions, educators struggle to work with families without realizing that their own deficit assumptions are creating the barriers. Aurelio Montemayor, M.Ed., director of the IDRA Texas Parent Information and Resource Center, illustrates the contrast between the valuing and deficit models of thinking and acting, and he provides examples of schools that are valuing families as partners in children’s education.
Few people question the value of parents being involved in schools. But many school leaders struggle with traditional strategies that have little meaning or success. IDRA’s goal is bigger than parent involvement in education, rather it is parent leadership. This model is a vision of all parents as advocates of excellent neighborhood public schools. Aurelio Montemayor, M.Ed., director of the IDRA Texas Parent Information and Resource Center, describes the four dimensions of the IDRA’s model for parent engagement and how it can unleash powerful transformations for school success.