Showing posts with label Global Parents. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Global Parents. Show all posts

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Can Parenting Be Taught?

The biggest problem in education today is the parents. Period. I've written about this before and now it seems that a trend is emerging in education discussions. We need to start teaching people how to be better parents and this recent cover story from the Christian Science Monitor illustrates just how we can.

The stakes are high. Parental improvement might seem like a national pastime these days, given the unprecedented volume of advice books, blogs, and lectures coming at moms and dads across all demographics. But for lower-income women like those in this classroom, and others like them across the country, improved parenting skills can not only increase a family’s happiness, it can also dramatically improve a child’s long-term educational achievement, lower the chances of juvenile delinquency, improve health measures, and reduce poverty, according to a growing coalition of child-development experts and scientists.

Further, we instructors do not have the time to teach students basic manners and respect for elders. We don't have enough time to hit the standards in a school year as it is. I'm really sick and tired of having students look at me with that quizzical expression when I tell them to do something. It's as if they have never heard an adult tell them what to do. Over the years, a greater percentage of students are showing up to junior high without the foggiest idea of how to behave. Far too many parents have done a very poor job raising them.

Of course, this is a big reason why I am a big supporter of the president.

President Obama’s Affordable Care Act allocated $1.5 billion for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program to expand parent home visitation initiatives, such as the Nurse-Family Partnership, which pairs registered nurses with pregnant, at-risk women. School systems across the country are collaborating with programs such as Families First to expand their parent education classes.

It seems like a small amount but ECFE is absolutely vital if we are going to turn this tide around. And it can't all be done federally as the CSM article notes.

Local governments are also getting involved, coming up with their own ways to try to improve parenting. (Providence, R.I., for instance, recently launched the Providence Talks program to “close the 30-million-word gap,” a reference to the difference in the number of words spoken to a baby with lower-income parents by the age of 4 compared to a child with higher-income parents – a difference shown to have long-term educational repercussions.)

All of us at the community level need to work together to be better parents. The rest of the CSM piece details how we can do that. So, let's get started!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Global Parents

A recent discussion with my daughter's principal regarding the image below

ended up going a lot longer than I expected (nearly 30 minutes!) and produced a term that I'm going to be using a lot on this site: Global Parents.

The biggest challenge in education today are the parents. There isn't even an issue that comes close. Our schools aren't collapsing. In fact they are doing much better these days (more on that in a future post). It is the parents that are collapsing. Crappy parents, far too many crappy parents, are the reason why our country's education system has problems. At the crux of their shittastic personalities is the flaw of being in constant negotiation mode over the grades their child receives. This, in turn, leads to the much larger problem of not understanding what globalization truly means.

Many parents thinks their child deserves a better grade and they constantly whine about how they think their child did enough for an A. They are essentially fighting for and rewarding mediocrity. Ultimately, this type of approach works against the future of their children as they are inadequately preparing them for the future. If we are going to be competitive in the global marketplace and continue to be a superpower, it must start with excelling at the core subjects. They have to think globally, not locally. In the moment of trying to finagle a good grade for their son or daughter they miss the bigger picture. Do they honestly think that Chinese parents are bartering for a better grade when their kid did average work?

We always talk about demanding more of our children and our education system. But what about the parents?