Why We Don't Value Parents at School - and how to change that!

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Information about Why We Don't Value Parents at School - and how to change that!

Published on February 26, 2014

Author: embracediverseschools



Educators wring their hands at the lack of parent engagement - particularly from families who haven't traditionally been involved in school. At the foundation of increasing engagement is making families feel valued and respected for who they are. What keeps us from seeing a family's strengths, instead of focusing on their needs? How do we create authentic family engagement? Global speaker and award-winning author Eileen Gale Kugler shares thought-provoking insights.

+ Getting Serious about Engaging Parents in School: Valuing Parents for Their Strengths Eileen Gale Kugler Embrace Diverse Schools (c) 2014 Eileen G. Kugler -

+ What assumptions prevent us from seeing families’ strengths? (c) 2014 Eileen G. Kugler -

+ Quilt of Dreams” created in rural South African school (c) 2012 Eileen G. Kugler

+ What does parent engagement based on pity and paternalism look like?  Little personal contact with parents.  One-way communication: “We’ll tell you how to help your child.”  Families are seen only for their needs, not their strengths.  No opportunity for parents to express their perspectives or share their experiences. (c) 2014 Eileen G. Kugler -

+ What do we really know about families? Who is this? What do you think her family is like? (c) 2012 Eileen G. Kugler

This is Intell Science competition semi-finalist Samantha Garvey who lived in homeless shelter for much of her research Mom: Olga Garvey Coreas + • Immigrant from El Salvador; nurses aide Dad: Leo Garvey • American born of Irish descent; cab driver What resilience did her PARENTS show? What genes did they pass on? (c) 2014 Eileen G. Kugler -

+  What does parent engagement look like when we don’t see parents as individuals? Programs don’t attract parents because they aren’t designed strategically.  Families are blamed for lack of participation.  Assumptions about students and their families determine expectations about the students’ ability to achieve. (c) 2014 Eileen G. Kugler -

Stages of Immigrant Parent Involvement Cultural Leader Cultural Connector Cultural Learner Cultural Survivor By Young-chan Han in Innovative Voices in Education: Engaging Diverse Communities © 2012 Eileen Gale Kugler, Ed.

+  What does parent engagement look like when immigrants are viewed as one monolithic group? Stereotypical views of ethnic groups guide planning.  There is little understanding of the needs and interests of immigrants as individuals.  Programs are often at the most basic level.  Potential leaders from immigrant communities have little opportunity to take on an important role in the school.  Programs are planned without the insights of leaders from the immigrant communities themselves. (c) 2014 Eileen G. Kugler -

+ We view others through the lens of our own personal culture. Individuals are multidimensional • Many influences • Often interconnected I vs THE OTHER (c) 2014 Eileen G. Kugler

+ Innovative Voices in Education: Engaging Diverse Communities ©2012 Eileen Gale Kugler ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

+  What does parent engagement look like when planners don’t seek outside perspectives? Outreach is based on what the planners think is appropriate.  Families who don’t fit the pre-determined expectations of “good parents” feel judged and disconnect from the school..  Judgmental language is used at staff meetings and in classrooms. (c) 2014 Eileen G. Kugler -

+ True Family Partnerships  Pity  Assumptions  Judgments (c) 2014 Eileen G. Kugler - Authentic  Respect  Value  Empowerment

+  Families are asked about their dreams, their strengths, their skills, as well as their concerns.  Educators view each interaction with a family as an opportunity to learn.  Events are tailored to the specific interests and needs of the community, with families participating in the planning.  Families are contacted personally on a regular basis about upcoming events and positive news about their children.  Families of all backgrounds are involved in substantive decision-making that impacts students. What does authentic family partnership look like? (c) 2014 Eileen G. Kugler -

+ Eileen Gale Kugler Global speaker, trainer, consultant  Comments? Questions? Want to learn more? 703-644-3039  Executive Editor, Innovative Voices in Education: Engaging Diverse Communities  Author, Debunking the Middle-class Myth: Why diverse schools are good for all kids Contact Eileen Connect with Eileen: Twitter Facebook LinkedIn (c) 2014 Eileen G. Kugler -

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