It’s worth saying a few words about parental engagement – as it’s a topic that has received a lot of attention recently, and is very closely related to the issue of home-school relationships. Parents’ engagement in children’s learning *at home* significant factor in explaining achievement – does not necessarily mean homework, but all kinds of learning activities Involvement in school activities does not in itself have any impact – tho’ may be a step towards greater engagement at home These studies did NOT focus on parents’ engagement with children’s learning – though it is a related subject Parents’ engagement in children’s *school* learning at home both requires a good home-school relationship in order to happen at all, and is also an expression of a good home-school relationship. Parental engagement and home-school relationships are not synonyms for one another but parental engagement is a key part of a good home-school relationship. Important to remain focused on the bigger picture and how this supports children’s learning, not focus on parents’ engagement with school as an end in and of itself
Raises questions about how children themselves are seen in the home-school relationship Almost as if they are problems in it rather than the central actors Focusing on control of children
So how can we move beyond this discontinuity? Rather than ‘exporting’ school learning into the home, or ‘importing’ children’s out-of-school learning into school, can we bring the home and school ‘funds of knowledge’ into conversation? Such a ‘third space’ that allows children to make connections between their funds of knowledge from their home cultures and those of school has been argued to enable them to: more easily navigate and build bridges between the sometimes marginalised cultural spaces of home and the more formal spaces of school enable children to draw upon all the resources and opportunities for learning at their disposal, becoming more resourceful and resilient rather than making false distinctions between knowledge from different domains Children themselves seek spaces in-between the more settled worlds of home and school – on the streets and online – where they can hang out with one another. Could they be supported to bring together aspects of their home and school learning discourses to such digital third spaces? This means a shift of focus: rather than looking at the school as the ‘site’ of learning, and seeing how it connects to learning at home or school, the focus is shifted to the child themselves. The question then becomes: how can children be supported to make the most of all the opportunities for learning they have at their disposal?
Cliffhanger: if children’s education centres around them drawing on all available resources, and we need to share responsibility for children’s learning with their families, how do we ensure that all children receive their entitlement to an good education? Is there a danger that by sharing responsibility for children’s education between state-led institutions, parents & families, local and global communities children tap into via digital networks, and is driven by children’s own interests, that children could ‘fall between the cracks’ – that by sharing responsibility, no one can ultimately be held responsible and accountable? Could education be reframed as a ‘consumer good’ – and if children and their families don’t strive to access it, and are excluded and marginalised by provision – it will be seen as their choice and problem if they choose not to participate in what is on offer? Or, more positively, how can we ensure that schools, while sharing responsibility with families and recognising they only provide part of a child’s education, ensure that children do not slip through the cracks? How do they act to enable children to make the most of the opportunities they have available?
Home-school relationships : Making connections between children's learning at home and school Futurelab Research Insights Day 29 April 2010 Lyndsay Grant
Where will responsibility for children’s entitlements to education lie?
if responsibility distributed between child, family, community and school will some fall between the cracks?
Where will boundaries remain necessary or desirable?
maintaining privacy and balance
should everything be seen as a potential learning opportunity?
What next? Developing the home-school relationship using digital technologies Handbook New research Connections and overlaps between children’s digital literacy at home and at school (digital participation)