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Curriculum Trends & Innovation Essay

Several issues regarding educational programs and instructional strategies were the main thrusts of these two articles entitled, “Critical Issues: Creating the Schools Climate and Structures to Support Parent and Family Involvement,” and “Bridging the Great Homework Divide: A Solutions Guide for Parents of Middle School Students. ” Both articles address the issue about parent/family involvement in the education of learners. Educational institutions acknowledge the importance of family involvement in the academic success of the learners.

Therefore, they implement strategic approaches and techniques in order to foster unassailable relationships with parents and families. North Central Regional Educational Library published the first article. It discusses the roles that the school climate and the structure of educational institutions play in motivating parents/families to build a partnership with schools. The article suggests that schools should continuously provide a social and educational atmosphere within the learning environment that welcomes parents/families.

Families highly regarded by educational institutions are encouraged and motivated to communicate with schools regarding the needs and concerns of learners. (NCREL, 1996) Demonstrating respect for parents/families and establishing a trusting atmosphere between them and the school are two of the most important issues related to ensuring the success of students in their academic and extra curricular undertaking. The origination of desirable learning outcomes from the learners follows this phenomenon.

The establishment of a positive and constructive school climate allows cultivation of a healthy and efficient partnership between parents/families and schools. This partnership bears weight on the success of learners in school and in future endeavors. This information was illustrated in a cyclical paradigm that starts from a positive and constructive school climate influencing the involvement of parents/families with schools. Through this, teaching techniques, strategies, and approaches are developed and improved. Finally, the learner experiences success and achievements in his academic life. (NCREL, 1996)

Research studies support this premise. Student performance was studied in order to determine the relationship between school climate and parent/family involvement. The research yielded a result proving that efforts put forth by schools to involve parents/families by enhancing the school climate are operative and effectual as compared to parents who personally initiate the communication and establishments of a relationship to schools. In order to accomplish aims and objectives for parent/family participation and involvement, schools should draw out instructional plans and perform effective communication techniques to parents/families.

Some techniques stated by the article include phone calls to parents, the release of reports and personal notes discussing the progress and achievements of learners, holding meetings and conferences, and home visitations. Moreover, to address the issue of cultural diversity, schools must respect parents/families and demonstrate awareness and acceptance of different cultural backgrounds. (NCREL, 1996) The article continues to provide a list of standards, guidelines, and plans of action that educational institutions may implement in order to establish and maintain a positive and constructive school climate, fostering parent/family involvement.

The National Educational Association released the second article. It discusses the issue of pressure and difficulties brought about by home works or assignments. The article was intended to focus on students in middle schools. Although the article also focuses on the establishment of school-parent partnership, the premise is primarily based on the idea that parents/families should be involved with educational institutions in order to overcome difficulties and hindrances during the learning process. Apparently, learners in middle school receive hefty workloads in the form of home works and assignments from their teachers.

The primary concern lies with the difficulties encountered by learners in accomplishing these assignments. (NEA, 2006) Giving home works and assignments should be given importance, as it is key in strengthening the knowledge base of the learners. Assignments serve as a review as well as a measure to determine the level of understanding of learners to previous lessons and discussions, and as a form of in depth learning by allowing learners to conduct research and learn more about significant information outside the confines of the classroom environment.

Parents may help alleviate the pressure and difficulties of accomplishing assignments by supporting and encouraging their children during the completion of home works and assignments. (NEA, 2006) Teachers and educational institution should assist students by easing their burden in completing difficult assignments. Working together with parents as a team and letting them understand the importance of implementing strict rules and standards when it comes to home works or assignments is relevant in accomplishing the objectives of parent/family – school partnership.

Moreover, informing them how to handle the learner’s transition to middle school and ways to handle future endeavors are equally important. The latter part of the essay discusses some steps on how parents should accomplish these objectives. (NEA, 2006) The success of learners and the generation of desirable learning outcomes and the role that parent/family involvement play converge the primary themes of the two articles previously discussed. These articles stress the importance of school and parent/family partnership.

However, the first article by NCREL addressed the topic generally, as it aims to talk about the importance of the school climate in motivating parents to establish a relationship with the school. The article by NEA, on the other hand, assumed that the relationship between the school and parents/families were already established. Its thrust is to demonstrate the importance of parental/familial roles in assisting students to deal with school activities, more specifically home works and assignments.

Both articles were successful in providing standards, guidelines, and recommendations in allowing parents/families to get involved with their children’s education. These two articles are instrumental in affecting change to school communities when it comes to the implementation of partnership programs that establishes and strengthens the relationship between parents/families and schools. This particular issue of school-parent partnership is most important in improving the curriculum, educational programs, and the structure of the learning environment.

Since the importance of the parents’/families’ involvement in education has been established by research studies made available to educational institutions nationwide, it has become their responsibility to adjust the school curriculum, programs, and organizational structure. This leads to the accommodation of the learner’s needs. As students gain support and encouragement from their parents and members of their family, it motivates them to do all means necessary to accomplish their academic goals and objectives. The educational institution is in charge of providing for these needs because schools are the major institutions of learning.

Moreover, curriculum development and implementation depends solely on the needs and concerns of the learners. This is because programs integrated with the curriculum should address and provide for these needs and concerns. In addition, parent/family involvement is enacted in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. President George W. Bush approved this act in 2001 in order to ensure that learners receive quality education that they rightfully deserve. The act also supports and expands the right of parents/families to respect and being heard when it comes to the education of their children.

The granting of rights to parents is coupled with the responsibility of collaborating with educational institutions and communicating with them on a regular basis. Monitoring and supervising allows them to gain information on the academic progress of their children, as well as the enhancements in school curricula in terms of improvement of facilities, instructional materials and strategies, school climate, and other factors that would be influential in affecting desirable learning outcomes from the learners. (NCPIE) References NCREL. (1996). “Critical Issues: Creating the Schools Climate and Structures to Support Parent

and Family Involvement. ” Retrieved May 3, 2008, from The North Central Regional Educational Library. Website: http://www. ncrel. org/sdrs/areas/issues/envrnmnt/famncomm/pa300. htm NCPIE. (2008). “No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) Bulletins. ” Retrieved May 3, 2008, from the National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education. Website: http://www. ncpie. org/whatshappening/nclbbulletin. html NEA. (2006). “Bridging the Great Homework Divide: A Solutions Guide for Parents of Middle School Students. ” Retrieved May 3, 2008, from the National Education Association. Website: http://www. nea. org/parents/solutionsguide. html

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