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ERIC Number: EJ793544
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 17
ISSN: ISSN-0094-0771
School-Home Partnerships to Nurture Adolescent Literacy
Bokhorst-Heng, Wendy D.
Middle School Journal (J3), v39 n5 p40-49 May 2008
Parental involvement comes in various forms and will differ as a child moves through primary and secondary school. Epstein's (2002) classic six-types model captures the potential scope of parental involvement: (1) basic obligations of parents as care-providers; (2) schools communicating with parents about school programs; (3) parent volunteering at school; (4) parent involvement in home learning; (5) parent as decision maker; and (6) collaborating with the community. Notably, her model also suggests a two-way partnership--schools supporting parents and parents supporting schools--toward the common goal of improved student learning. This article focuses on school-home partnerships in Singapore. The Singapore story presented here focuses on the processes of school-home partnerships in one secondary school (housing 12- to 15-year-olds), premised on Epstein's fifth type of parental involvement in decision making. Epstein's argument is that successful school-home collaborations are ones in which educators, families, and community-members work together to develop shared understandings on key issues relevant to students' learning and develop shared goals. Such collaborations are not activities but rather a "process" that guides the development of goals and plans, making education a shared responsibility. For example, Kessler-Sklar and Baker (2000) and Lopez (2002) discussed the role of parents in data collection processes, demonstrating how their involvement sensitizes parents to the issues and empowers them to use such data to catalyze change. Along the same vein, over six months, a team of researchers from the Centre for Research in Pedagogy and Practice (CRPP) worked together at Dewey Secondary School (name changed) with the school's leaders, and Secondary 1 (about age 12, or year 7) teachers, parents, and students on issues pertaining to adolescent literacy and school-home relationships. It entailed a process of consensus building around key concepts of literacy, of data collection and analysis, and of exploring the possibilities and constraints of school-home partnerships. The culmination was a "joint" parent-teacher workshop on enhancing adolescent literacy in the context of school-home partnerships, the first of its kind in this school. The discussion here maps this journey, framed by the various stages within this process. Within each is a conversation about what was learned by the particular methodologies used at each stage. In the conclusion, attention was given to the implications of this story for school-home relationships and adolescent literacy practices in Singapore and beyond. (Contains 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 6; High Schools; Middle Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: Parents; Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Singapore