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Presentation on theme: "ENGAGING PARENTS IN THE EDUCATION OF GIFTED CHILDREN"— Presentation transcript:


2 The Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education (HKAGE)
Dr Stephen Tommis 湯敏思博士 Executive Director

3 Objectives of Presentation:
What is meant by parental engagement? Why should schools engage with parents? And parents with schools? How are effective strategies for parental engagement best identified? What are some of the difficulties/barriers to parental engagement?

4 Try to relate what you already do with what is suggested in this talk
Working with parents is not a new concept! In what ways does your school/organisation engage parents now? Try to relate what you already do with what is suggested in this talk

5 All Coordinated G&T Programmes should be designed to improve:
Quality of identification, provision, and support (academic and pastoral) in schools Learner outcomes, especially attainment but also aspirations, motivation & self-esteem Capacity of teachers and schools to personalise education for G&T learners Parental engagement should support each of these objectives if it is to be effective

6 Activity Now let’s engage you!

7 What are some of the key influences on children’s success in schools?
Q1: Do=100% Do Not=0% Q2: Least important – teacher salaries teacher curriculum participation hiring good teachers pre-school educational experiences Most important family background Q3: Intensive involvement of parents in their children’s schooling Q4: 1% (4 of 538) Q5: Pre-school education; parenting classes; elementary counsellors Q6: Whether parents dropped out Q7: No time; Don’t know what to do Q8: From birth Q9: Ages 3 to 8 years Q10: 3/4 years


9 Parental Engagement: an audit from the UK (2006)
41% of parents knew their child was on the school G&T register 8% parents said they had meetings with the school G&T co-ordinator 55% of G&T co-ordinators provided IEPs but only 6% of parents had seen a copy Only 3% of parents had been offered additional support with homework 12% of parents had been offered information about enrichment resources out of school 3% of parents were offered information about local curriculum support

10 Audit continued: 82% of Heads surveyed parents but only 18% of G&T co-ordinators and 10% of teachers in the same schools agreed that to be the case 10% of parents had been offered courses on G&T in their schools 79% of parents were unaware of an LA Parent Support Service and only 1% of parents had made use of the service 27% of Heads said they shared information about local support groups with parents but only 6% of parents agreed they had been given this

11 Why engage parents? Top Four Reasons
1 Pupils with engaged parents are more likely to: Achieve higher grades and test scores/reduce underachievement Have increased motivation & higher self esteem Attend school regularly Have better social skills, show improved behaviour, and adapt well to school Enrol in and graduate from Higher Education Henderson & Mapp A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family and Community Connections on Student Achievement

12 Why engage parents? Pupils
High levels of parental expectation, consistent encouragement and actions to enhance learning opportunities in the home were all positively associated with students’ high aspirations and college enrolments – this regardless of students’ socio-economic status or ethnic background Catsambis S 2001 Expanding knowledge of parental involvement in children’s secondary education

13 Why engage parents? 2 Schools benefit from
Improved teacher confidence and morale Higher pupil achievement in all ages Higher ratings of teachers by parents More support from families New funding for after-school and family support programmes Better reputation in the community

14 Why engage parents? 3 Most parents want to be involved in their child’s education Parents express a genuine and deep-seated desire to help their children succeed in school regardless of differences in socio-economic status, race, ethnicity and cultural background Henderson and Mapp 2002 ibid

15 Why engage parents? 4 Recent studies consistently point towards a powerful association between parental involvement and student achievement and attainment Harris & Goodall 2006 Parental Involvement in Education: An Overview of the Literature, University of Warwick Empirical evidence shows that parental involvement is one of the key factors in securing high student achievement and sustained school performance Harris and Chrispeels 2006 NCSL Literature Review Family participation in education is twice as predictive of a pupil’s academic success as family socio-economic status and where engagement programmes are intensive it can be ten times more predictive Henderson & Berla 1996 A New Generation of Evidence : The Family is critical to Student Achievement, US

16 Every Parent Matters Which forms of parental engagement seem to be the most effective in raising achievement and encouraging child welfare?

17 UK DfES Report 2003 Parental involvement continues to have a significant effect through the age range. Although the impact for older children becomes more evident in staying-on rates and educational aspirations than as measured achievement. Of the many forms of parental involvement, it is the at-home relationships and modelling of aspirations that play the major part in impact on school outcomes. Desforges and Abouchaar 2003 The Impact of Parental Involvement DfES

18 Main Research Findings on Parental Engagement
Studies reinforce the impact of parental involvement in learning in the home with better cognitive achievement, particularly in the early years Parental involvement that takes the form of in-school activity has little effect on individual attainment – though it can be valuable for community relations Deforges & Abouchaar ibid 2003:28

19 The Key Standards of Parental Engagement
Communication Basic Obligations of Schools to Inform Parents Communicate with families about school activities and pupil progress through meaningful and effective school-to-home and home-to-school communications Parenting Basic Responsibilities of Parents Assist families with parenting and child rearing skills, understand child and adolescent development, and setting home conditions that support children of all ages and levels Pupil Learning Involvement in Learning Activities Involve families with their children in learning activities at home, including homework, and outside of school hours

20 The Key Standards of Parental Engagement
Volunteering Involvement at the School For the School Recruit and train parents on different ways to volunteer School Decision-Making Participation and Leadership Include families as participants in school decisions, governance and advocacy through councils, boards, PTAs and other parent organisations Community Collaboration Co-ordinating resources and services for families and pupils Utilising local resources (business, agencies, charities) to strengthen schools, families and pupil learning Modified from Epstein J 1995 School-Family-Community Partnerships

21 A Framework for Developing Parental Engagement Strategies in Schools
PATHWAYS LEVELS Entry Developing Exemplary 1. Communication 2. Parenting 3. Pupil Learning 4. Volunteering 5. Decision-making 6. Community

22 Generic Elements Entry Developing Exemplary Communication i. All parents are actively encouraged and supported to share a wide range of information about their child with the school, including any strengths or difficulties as well as educational aspirations and expectations. ii. The school provides a range of information, both individual and school wide, to parents. Key school documents are translated to provide equal access to all parents of relevant information. iii. The school recognises the importance of open and honest two-way communication with parents and has structures in place to ensure this happens on a regular basis. i. The school regularly canvases parents to ascertain how the school could help them to support their child, both at home and at school. Parents are involved in planning groups for all parental activities ii. The school supports parents learning English by fostering and advertising school and community based courses. Translations are available for all information provided by the school, including pupil reports. iii. The school provides staff development on improving communication with parents, with parent representatives included in both planning and running these sessions. Parent – school collaboration is acknowledged as key to school and pupil success. i. Parents are engaged in planning a wide range of parental activities on a needs basis. ii. Parents are included in all key committees and planning groups. Parents’ views help inform all long term planning. iii. The school welcomes and supports parental collaboration in all areas of school life. All parents are encouraged and supported to actively participate in the life of the school.

23 Parenting i. All parents are respected and welcomed into the school. Parents are canvassed to see what they would like the school to provide to support their parenting, such as “Positive Parenting” courses. ii. The school advises parents of parenting sessions and courses available through the school or within the local community. iii. There is a parent group within the school that is open to all parents and provides opportunities for parents to support each other in their parenting. i. The school works with parents to provide a range of parenting classes and courses throughout each school year, including some for parents of children with particular educational needs, such as EAL or gifted and talented children. ii. Special interest parenting groups are fostered and supported within the school, including groups for children with English as an alternative language, children with learning difficulties or gifted and talented children. iii. The school makes special efforts to support typically ‘hard to reach’ parents, helping facilitate access to transport, translation and child care so that these parents can be supported in making best use of all that the school has to offer. i. The school works with parents and the local community to provide a wide range of parenting classes and courses, based on a regular needs analysis. ii. There is a contact person within the school who can meet with parents to discuss parenting issues and suggest where they might look for help in resolving these. iii. Where space allows, there is a parents room within the school where parents can meet and where all information for parents can be found.

24 Pupil learning i. Parents are involved in setting both short and long term goals for their child. Parents are encouraged to share any educational concerns for their child with the school, knowing they will be listened to. ii. The school works with parents to foster and support family learning, providing a range of information and resources. Parents have opportunities to engage directly with processes and products in a range of subjects, through sessions provided by the school. iii. Homework requirements and guidelines are jointly agreed with parents. A daily home-school link is provided, such as a homework diary, to foster direct communication between parents and teachers. i. All parents of children with particular educational needs, e.g. EAL pupils, gifted and talented pupils, meet regularly with the school each term to review progress and plan for further learning. ii. The school provides staff development on a range of ways to engage parents with pupil learning, such as through homework tasks or in-school sessions. iii. Staff regularly set interactive homework and actively promote links between home and school learning. i. Parents are integrally involved in planning and support for pupils with particular educational needs. Parental expertise with these pupils is acknowledged and used to aid planning and delivery of lessons. ii. All parents are supported to maximise pupil learning at home through a range of written material, interactive homework tasks and school based sessions and workshops.

25 The Barriers to Parental Engagement
Parents’ Viewpoint “I don’t know what schools can/should do for gifted children” “I’m not sure if my child is “gifted”” “The school doesn’t understand the particular needs of my child” “I don’t want to be seen as a pushy parent” “I’ve spoken to the teacher to no effect and I don’t know what else I can do”

26 Parent-Viewed Barriers:
No recognised route for communication with school Many parents do not know how to help their children, especially those who are gifted Teachers not available to talk with Parents usually not available during school hours Parents not made to feel welcome or opinions valued; parents lack confidence School does not identify and make opportunities for parental engagement

27 The Barriers to Parental Engagement
Schools’ Viewpoint “We haven’t the time to deal with a small minority of children” “We need more resources to properly provide for G&T pupils as with SEN” “All children are gifted. We don’t believe in labelling children” “We have our G&T register but it is our policy not to tell parents” “If X’s behaviour was better we would feel more inclined to help with her academic progress” “We’re the professionals; parents should let us get on and teach”

28 School-Viewed Barriers:
Teachers feel unprepared to work with families – not in certification requirements, little in Inset – one of top challenges Not all Heads are convinced of the need in busy schedules and with pressured staff Parents do not read school communications – ESL? Parents are not available during school hours Parents do not attend events such as parents’ evenings Parents do not respond to requests for engagement

29 Characteristics of Successful Parental Engagement Strategies
Dedicated and resourceful teachers who understand and value parental input Heads who adopt an open-door policy, encourage parents to participate, and who work with the community to create support services Parents viewed as a resource rather than a deficit – including support staff Schools who have a “driver” for initiating, developing, implementing and evaluating programmes Schools who provide parents with appropriate information/resources/workshops on how to encourage student success Schools that recognise diverse family backgrounds – the “hard to reach” parents Bilingual materials made available where appropriate so valuing the home language

30 Further Characteristics….
Recruitment strategies centred on “personal approach” Dedicated parent centres established in schools Parental support in key areas recognised – child care, interpreters, transport Events organised to make it easy for parents to develop social support/new friendships Activities that are creative, diverse and flexible Recruit volunteers to provide (specific tasks) information to parents about events and post in areas to greet Follow-up calls Involve the pupils wherever possible

31 Parents and Families are more likely to become engaged when they:
Understand that they SHOULD be involved Feel CAPABLE of making a contribution Feel INVITED and WELCOME by the school and their children

32 SUMMARY Parental engagement is a key mechanism to raising standards in schools Parental engagement recognises the needs of individual children, including G&T, and lowers the threshold for a genuinely personalised education Schools and parents need help to understand the needs of gifted children and to make provision that is truly appropriate – these Standards contribute to that G&T parental engagement templates can lead the way for ALL pupils – inclusive and not elitist!

33 Thank you for listening 多謝各位


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