ERIC Number: ED407399
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Attitudes: How Parental Attitudes May Influence Classroom Instructional Practices.
Konzal, Jean L.
When parents develop negative attitudes towards new practices, powerful resistance may develop and new instructional practices may disappear. This paper examines: (1) how parental attitudes towards new classroom instructional practices influence the introduction and continuation of these practices in a school; (2) the impact of the widening gap between what parents and educators think goes on in "good" secondary school classrooms; and (3) the dilemmas faced by school leaders as they attempt to move towards common ground about what goes on in "good" secondary schools classrooms. Parents' indirect influence through self-censorship and their direct influence through active resistance are examined through case studies of math and social studies curriculum changes in a small town in New Hampshire. The math teachers ignored parental concerns, and though eventually changes were made, parents and educators were left with bad feelings and mistrust toward each other. While the social studies teachers were more proactive in addressing parents' concerns by making modifications based on perceptions of what would be acceptable to those with the most influence in the community, the concerns of those with the least influence were ignored. Study findings suggested that parents should be invited to learn with educators as new programs are considered. (Contains 25 references.) (ND)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, March 24-28, 1997); for related paper, see ED 406 380.