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ERIC Number: EJ837207
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0046-9157
Planting the Seeds of Partnership: Parents as Instructors in Teacher Education
Brown, Colleen; Cianca, Marie; Gladstone-Brown, Wendy; Wischnowski, Michael; Yingling, Jacalyn
Exceptional Parent, v39 n3 p28-29 Mar 2009
Brenda and Bob have told their family's story many times to professionals as they have navigated through the sometimes precarious waters of education and medicine in search of quality services for their son, Jonathan. Sometimes, along the way, especially when experiencing miscommunication and fragmentation, they've wondered to each other: Is anybody really listening? Today, in a college classroom full of 20 undergraduate teacher candidates, the question appears to be moot. Brenda and Bob are participating as "instructors" in a course designed to teach future teachers about collaboration--parent-teacher, teacher-teacher, and teacher-principal collaboration. Brenda and Bob are addressing the parent-teacher aspect of the course. This article describes the innovative collaboration between The Advocacy Center, a non-profit advocacy organization for people with disabilities, and the School of Education at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York. The Advocacy Center prepares parents for making professional presentations; the School of Education embeds these presentations in a course designed to encourage parent-teacher collaboration. To ensure that parents are well prepared for this very personal experience, The Advocacy Center provides yearly training on how to present to small and large public or professional groups about their family's story. The Center's objective is to create a proficient speaker's bureau, a cadre of parents of children with disabilities with comprehensive presentation skills. Parents who receive the training gain confidence in public speaking, learn how to use media, and, most importantly, effectively tell their story to an audience that directly impacts the lives of children and families. Parents have not only gained confidence in public speaking, they have contributed vastly to the lives of families and teachers who work with them. They have found that there are others who are willing to listen and learn from their stories. For parents like Brenda and Bob, the value of this experience lies in the fact that they have planted the seeds for developing partnerships and have made a positive difference in the future of education of children with disabilities.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York