Alison Jiles(Jul 4, 2018 4:54 PM)– Read by: 4
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1. Should educators expect parents to participate directly in their children’s education? If so, why and how should they participate? If not, why not?
I do not think educators should necessarily “expect” participation from parents because often times this expectation leads educators to believe the participating will naturally take place (parent-initiated rather than school-initiated parental involvement). I think if the expectation is set, then educators should meet that expectation with ways they can encourage participating from parents and establish the level of importance of their participation. Many times parents believe it is the sole job of the educator, and they are not aware of the ways in which they can enrich their child’s education. Parental involvement often advances the quality of education children are already receiving. I think teachers can provide a variety of ways for parents to be involved both in and outside of the classroom. If able, parents can volunteer to read to their child’s class or volunteer to help with special events. Outside of school, parents can take the initiative to socialize with their child about school or what they are learning in the classroom. They can help with homework and school projects. Most importantly, parents can attend parent-teacher conferences in order to get on the same page as the educator on how their child is performing inside the classroom.
2. Should children spend more time at home working on homework? Why or why not?
I do not think children should spend more time at home doing homework. Instead of allocating extra work to do outside of the classroom, teachers can provide students the opportunity to finish work at home that they may not have completed in class that day. Many times students are assigned extra work on top of what they were assigned in class, which leads to a lack of participation in extracurricular activities. Children’s peer relationships are noted as an important way for them to grow cognitively, and with an increase in homework the opportunity to interact socially with anyone would significantly decrease.
3. Should there be and increase in the length of the school day and/or the number of days spent in school? Why or why not?
I think this question really depends on where you are located geographically, because I have found in moving across the United States that length of the school day and number of days fluctuate a bit. I think going to school 1/2 of the year is an acceptable amount of time because you are welcoming educational opportunities and developmental growth in a variety of environments besides just the classroom. I think if an increase in the length of time a student spent at school occurred, then other changes would have to follow such as extracurriculars, sports teams and time for homework. Being in my masters program, I am reflecting on my time spent in school and I felt the length of time and days throughout the year was sufficient.
4. Should teachers spend more time during the day on productive activities? If yes, which activities should they eliminate and which activities should teachers spend additional time? If no, why not?
I do think there should be an equal amount of time spent on lecturing and educating students and providing them with activities to implement their learning. As students get older and enter more difficult grade levels, education becomes how you can apply the knowledge rather than simply knowing it. My sister is an elementary school teacher, and she probably does more productive activities than simply teaching all the lessons. Her school’s STEM curriculum encompasses various subjects into interactive activities. They build things, perform experiments and sing and dance while reciting educational lessons. In high school, we would participate in debates and presentations to display our learning. I think education far exceeds sitting down and listening to a teacher, but having the teacher provide her students the opportunity to apply and show off what they are learning.
Driessen, G., Smit, F., & Sleegers, P. (2005). Parental Involvement and Educational Achievement. British Educational Research Journal, 31(4), 509-532. doi:10.1080/01411920500148713
KREIGER, T. C., & KOCHENDERFER-LADD, B. (2013). Gender behaviors as predictors of peer acceptance and victimization. Personal Relationships, 20(4), 619-634. doi:10.1111/pere.12003
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Catalina Villarreal(Jul 4, 2018 6:08 PM)– Read by: 4
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Should educators expect parents to participate directly in their children’s education? If so, why and how should they participate? If not, why not?
I think educators should expect some kind of participation from the parents because according to the US Department of Education (2008), parent’s involvement has a tremendous influence on a child’s overall achievement in school. In their years of research, families that are involved in their children’s education are more likely to attend school regularly, earn higher grades in class and on tests, demonstrate more positive attitudes, complete home work on time, graduate from high school at higher rates, and are more likely to pursue college or other higher education than families that are less involved (para. 4).
A parent can be involved by simply communicating with the student about their day at school, asking about homework, asking what they are learning in school or anything that can encourage a student to open lines of communication with parents. If a child sees that education is not important to their parents, they will more than likely deem it as not important as well. Furthermore, many news letters from school come in a variety of languages. Parents can read those and ask students and teachers about them. Communication is the key to success.
Should children spend more time at home working on homework? Why or why not?
I believe that children should spend some time at home working on school work but not more time than in the classroom. In a classroom environment, distractions are limited. A child will often take classroom work more serious in a controlled environment as opposed to an environment at home where there may be more distractions. In addition, teachers are supposed to be the subject experts on material they are presenting on schools. Many parents, especially those of immigrant families, lack subject matter expertise and will not be able to fully help a student in need (Goldstein & Zentall, 2013). Especially in tough subjects like math and English. According to Dr. Goldstein & Dr. Zentall (2013), students, especially those who are younger, require higher levels of supervision and feedback to complete assignments correctly and on time (para. 5). One of the best way to do this is in a classroom environment where a subject matter expert can provide immediate feedback on any issues that arise.
Should there be an increase in the length of the school day and/or the number of days spent in school? Why or why not?
I don’t think that there should be an increase in number of school days or in length of school because increasing either one of these will not motivate a child, especially not a high school student, to learn more. I don’t believe that there is one direct cause and effect relationship that increasing school days or school length will lead to higher grades. Rather, I believe that there are several important factors that influence school success; like parent involvement, students’ ability, motivation, and teachers teaching quality to name a few. I think increasing school time will lead to a decrease in productivity.
Should teachers spend more time during the day on productive activities? If yes, which activities should they eliminate and which activities should teachers spend additional time? If no, why not?
I believe that there should be a balance between productive activities and school breaks. Everyone, to include teachers, need breaks. Breaks are crucial for our mental health. If teachers spend more time during the day on productive activities, I think it will be too much for students and teachers to handle leading to stress and less productivity. People need to consider the fact that individuals need to take a break every now and then. School breaks are a great way for students and teacher to decompress and take a breath without wasting any “productive time.” Again, more is not necessarily better in this context.
Goldstein, S., & Sydney, Z. (2013). Learning Disabilities Association of America. How Much Time Should be Spent on Homework? Retrieved from https://ldaamerica.org/how-much-time-should-be-spent-on-homework/
United States Department of Education. (2008). Family Involvement in Children’s Education [Data file]. Retrieved from https://www2.ed.gov/pubs/FamInvolve/execsumm.html.pdf