One key aspect of children’s lives mentioned by many of the teachers featured on this podcast, regardless of who they’re teaching and where they are, is the relevance of parental and family engagement in children’s education.
Their observations mirror the findings of today’s guest Sharon Wolf, an applied developmental psychologist interested in how young children’s social environments – specifically their families and schools – shape their development.
“Parents’ involvement really can enhance the children’s academic outcomes. Not just how they engage in school, but their positive attitudes and their behaviours, and how they feel about school.”
Nina is also joined by teachers in Lebanon and India, and hears in-depth insights from an impactful parental engagement program in Cajon Valley, California.
Nour Issa works in a kindergarten in Lebanon, supporting the special needs of autistic children.
“The program that I am working on relies a lot on consistency and without the parents’ engagement this is very difficult to do. You cannot be consistent with the work that you are doing if the parents are not engaged.”
Janice Raymond is lead of the project Family and Community Engagement (FACE) in Cajon Valley, Southern California.
“Regardless of who you visit, other parents in the apartment buildings see you, other kids see you doing visits. All of a sudden everyone wants a home visit. You affect more than just that one family. The relationship is built in the community just by reaching out and making that first step. It is really quite astonishing how that ripple effect works. You don’t need to visit every single family to have an effect on every single family.”