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At the request of Better Performing, the collaboration programme of school boards and the municipality of Rotterdam, research institute ITS of the Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands conducted a study into the functioning of the parental involvement policies in primary and secondary schools in Rotterdam.
In Rotterdam, a city with 600,000 inhabitants and some 180 nationalities, two-thirds of the youth grows up in immigrant families. In many homes of these second- and third-generation immigrants Dutch is not the language normally spoken among parents and children. One in three children grow up in a family with low educated parents. These youngsters rarely go to higher forms of education and many of them acquire only a basic qualification for the labour market. The socioethnic composition of the city’s population thus poses a particular challenge for policymakers and school staff.
One of the objectives of the Better Performing programme is that every school in Rotterdam should demonstrate progress in parental support of their children’s learning process. Parents should exhibit more effective teaching supportive behaviour at home and more parents should be actively involved in the school career and job choices of their children. Basic ingredients of the Rotterdam approach are partnership and two-way communication, with an emphasis on intake interviews and discussion of the role of parents in choosing a school and school career.
dr. Frederik Smit