Home-school relationships #FLRI


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An overview of recent research into home-school relationships given at Futurelab's research insights day, April 29th 2010 in London.

Lyndsay Grant, Futurelab

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  • 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 #FLRI

    1. 1. Home-school relationships : Making connections between children's learning at home and school Futurelab Research Insights Day 29 April 2010 Lyndsay Grant
    2. 2. Structure <ul><li>Research presentation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Two recent Futurelab studies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Questions and sharing experience </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Fishbowl conversation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Add topics and questions for discussion on post-its </li></ul></ul>Image credit: _tris_ flickr
    3. 3. Context: trends for future scenarios <ul><li>challenges to family life </li></ul><ul><li>increasingly mobile, distributed, reconstituted families </li></ul><ul><li>expectations about lifelong learning </li></ul><ul><li>people expected to learn throughout career, younger and older generations may have much to learn from one another </li></ul><ul><li>challenges to the institutional role of schools </li></ul><ul><li>schools may not be seen as the only, or main, site of learning </li></ul>
    4. 4. <ul><li>Questions </li></ul><ul><li>What is the relationship between learning at home and school in a new media ecology? </li></ul><ul><li>Can digital media ‘bridge the gap’ between home and school? </li></ul>
    5. 5. Two recent studies <ul><li>Home-School Relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Learning in families </li></ul>
    6. 6. ‘ Bridging the gap’ with digital media? <ul><li>Online Reporting and Home Access </li></ul><ul><ul><li>access to information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>access to educational resources </li></ul></ul><ul><li>‘ Seamless’ learning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>anytime, anywhere access </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ transparent’ schooling </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Parents’ engagement in children’s learning <ul><li>Engagement in learning at home significant </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All kinds of learning, not just homework </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Involvement in school no impact, but... </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Not a synonym for home-school relationship </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Engagement in school learning requires a good home-school relationship </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How can relationship support children’s learning? </li></ul>
    8. 8. Parents’ views of digital technologies for family learning <ul><li>90% of parents use technologies when learning in family </li></ul><ul><li>61% would like to use technologies more </li></ul><ul><li>A range of technologies: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Internet search (57%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>TV, DVDs, Videos (34%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social networking sites (10%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Digital cameras (8%) </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Parents and teachers <ul><li>Enthusiastic about using digital media for communication: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Direct and timely communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Up to date, reliable school information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online homework </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Positive feedback </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Digital communication between parents and teachers <ul><li>Circumventing the ‘unreliable messenger’ of the child </li></ul><ul><li>Prevent children ‘playing off’ parents against teachers </li></ul>
    11. 11. Young people <ul><li>Want to be involved in </li></ul><ul><li>home-school communication: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Don’t talk behind my back” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Putting across my side of the story” </li></ul>
    12. 12. Children’s role <ul><li>Children actively mediate their parents’ engagement in their learning </li></ul><ul><li>Children exploit opportunities from school and home to further their own ‘personal learning agendas’ </li></ul>(Edwards et al 2002, Maddock 2006)
    13. 13. What is the purpose of a home-school relationship? <ul><li>Solving problems at school </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ 80% of the problem is at home” (teacher) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ensuring home supports the school agenda </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ we’ve squeezed all we can at school, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>now we need to squeeze at home” (teacher) </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Connecting learning between home and school <ul><li>Children’s out-of-school experience a hindrance </li></ul><ul><li>“ they are a generation of passive Nintendo-ites who </li></ul><ul><li>only want to learn visually and passively” (teacher) </li></ul><ul><li>Out of school activities (writing, digital art, sport) seen as having no bearing on school learning and invisible to teacher </li></ul><ul><li>School seems irrelevant to real life </li></ul><ul><li>“ why do we have to learn this?” (child) </li></ul>
    15. 15. A two-way relationship? <ul><ul><li>Learning at school inspires learning in the family </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>58% of parents say their family learning usually relates to subjects and skills studied at school </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But learning at school should also build on learning in the family </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>63% of parents think school should build on learning in the family, while only 50% agree that it currently does so </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. Learning at home... <ul><li>... is different to learning at school </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I see my role as a parent as being someone who tries to impart an interest in the world and a love of the process of acquiring knowledge rather than as a “technical” teacher” (parent) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> “ like they [parents] cheer you on and stuff” (child) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ you care what they think more than anyone” (child) </li></ul></ul>
    17. 17. Different cultures of learning <ul><ul><li>Children draw on ‘funds of knowledge’ from home and community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alignment of home and school cultures makes transitions easier </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Greater discontinuity means a greater ‘distance to travel’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Lam and Pollard 2006, Crozier and David 2007) </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. Bringing school and home into conversation <ul><ul><li>Discourses combined to form a ‘third space’ – drawing on home and school learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enabling children to navigate and build bridges between home and school </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>And to become resourceful and resilient, drawing on all available resources and opportunities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shift : learning not ‘owned’ by school, but produced by child: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How can children be supported to make the most of all opportunities and resources available? </li></ul></ul>
    19. 19. Future challenges <ul><ul><li>Where will responsibility for children’s entitlements to education lie? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>if responsibility distributed between child, family, community and school will some fall between the cracks? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where will boundaries remain necessary or desirable? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>maintaining privacy and balance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>should everything be seen as a potential learning opportunity? </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. 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)
    21. 21. More information <ul><li>Learning in families: </li></ul><ul><li>www.futurelab.org.uk/projects/learning-in-families </li></ul><ul><li>Home-school relationships: </li></ul><ul><li>www.futurelab.org.uk/projects/home-school-relationships </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
    22. 22. <ul><li>There must always be one empty chair </li></ul><ul><li>There must always be five filled chairs </li></ul><ul><li>You can only talk if you are in the ‘fishbowl’ </li></ul><ul><li>If you want to join the conversation, sit in the empty chair </li></ul><ul><li>When someone takes the empty chair one person must volunteer to leave the fishbowl </li></ul>Photo credit: Learn4Life flickr