Parents role in childlearning
The significant home influence on school learning is stated in many studies.
On the one hand they usually acknowledge the important role of parents’ social behaviour in the development of a child’s cognitive competencies.
Traditionally, researchers have suggested that parent-child interactions have a direct effect on a child’s performance on intellectual tasks. However some of researchers have convinced that a child’s social behaviour might also influence the cognitive gains that are made. As they argue: “the role of a child’s social behaviour in facilitating cognitive gains might be a critical factor in explaining the link between parent-child interaction and cognitive development” [Wentzel K.R., Feldman S.S., 1993, p.186].
On the other hand researchers present the findings by which we know that “home and school social/instructional environments require more adaptive learning of students than do others because some home environments are more synchronous with the context of school” [McCaslin M.M., Murdock T.B., 1991, p.252].
In the light of these and many other views one could say that strong school-home relationships are both – welcome and constraining while thinking of multicultural principles that give the ground of peaceful conditions of social life. They are welcome due to providing children with good adaptation to the culture around, and they are not if we want children to maintain distance from dominant culture.
Therefore the only way to make these opposite tendencies of understanding of home-school co-operation agreed, seems to be school-family partnership developed in a form of intercultural dialogue
In accordance to this view we present some of the opportunities for dialogical action by parents and teachers, families and schools that might provide with students’ success. However, while thinking of parental involvement we see their role as citizens. It requires a broader focus on parental activity within the education and social system than simply a consideration of their relationships with their own child’s school. “A relevant, but often neglected, phenomenon is the growth of local groups around educational issues, and the experiences of those parents involved” [Vincent, 2000, p.xi]. Due to this home – school co-operation and all the activities proposed in below ought to be perceived as a source of both societal and educational, economic and cultural changes.
The role of parents in learning of the child is explicitly expressed in school, family, and community partnerships, specific network in which most benefits are received by the child. The parents are not the only people responsible about education of their child.
They initiate creation of such net of family, school and local community members through sending their child to school or other educational entities, and feeling involved in both his/her education and also school and community life.
The responsibility is shared and all partners realize that they are connected in mutual obligations, the partnerships composed by their contributions and advantages, in which most benefits belong a child and by which social capital is still increasing. Most of conceptions of home-school-community partnerships express this issue, for example Joyce L. Epstein’s theory of overlapping spheres of influence [Epstein et al., 1997].
These partnerships call co-operation performed in the feeling of coherence of partners’ aims and types of activities. Such conditions play significant role in various understandings of ‘educational partnerships’ by Alastair Macbeth, Stanislaw Rogala and others. Macbeth’s definition of such partnership exposes a fact, that it is a mixture of interdependence and autonomy. This also means mutual benefit for partners in their co-operation. But similarly, there must be recognition of some independence and other responsibilities.
Rogala’s partnership means mutual obligations, too. But with respect of individual’s values, and work together with similar expectations about the results of co-operation [Rogala, 1989, pp.10-12]. The ‘educational partnership’ is often named “a mixture of interdependence and autonomy of partners” [Macbeth, 1995, pp.50-51].
The following Practical examples grasps many aspects of a phenomenon of partnership, and they draw the landscape of school / family / community co-operation that is desired in the light of reality in which parents, teachers and we all act. They are rooted in background mentioned above and they generate some opportunities to turning the above aims into practice. Hopefully, they will move a cascade, that will allow the first educators (prospective and student teacher) to educate their multiplicators providing people with knowledge and skills on how to do and how to get educational partnership done.