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ERIC Number: ED388449
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Nov
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Student-Led Conferences: Encouraging Student-Parent Academic Discussions.
Hackmann, Donald G.; And Others
Students should be welcomed as active participants in parent-teacher conferences, facilitating their conferences and sharing their academic progress with their parents and teachers. Concerned with the shortcomings of the traditional conference model, faculty at a Kansas City, Missouri, middle school developed a student-led conference model intended to encourage students to accept responsibility for their academic success, to increase students' oral communication skills and self-confidence, and to increase parent participation. Each student develops an individualized plan identifying personal "goals for growth," and during a seminar class, students learn leadership skills to facilitate their conferences. Prior to conference day, students compile a materials packet of information they wish to share with their parents. They are accountable for their grades and understand they must be prepared to explain any unacceptable grades. Materials presented at the conference include: (1) the "goals for growth" folder; (2) student-designed "coat of arms" depicting the student's strengths; student assignment notebooks; grade information; portfolios--academic and career guidance; and a thank-you card from the student to the parents. During the conferences, students and parents are encouraged to focus on problem-solving strategies and to develop a plan of action for the future rather than fixate on past performance. At the end of the conference, parents and students complete questionnaires evaluating the effectiveness of the student-led format, which have generated both positive and negative parent responses. Teachers, on the other hand, overwhelmingly support the student-led conferences. While achieving all the goals of the traditional conference model, student-led conferences include students as active partners in the educational process. (HTH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A