Parents & Schools Working Together

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Parents and Schools Working Together Program is a teacher professional development program designed to develop teachers’ knowledge and skills in working effectively with parents of the children that they teach. The program was developed in a collaboration between the NSW Parents’ Council, the Council of Catholic Schools Parents NSW, the NSW Federation of Parents and Citizens Associations, and researchers from the Australian Catholic University. The program content:

  • Introduces teachers to the concept of parent engagement in policy and practice
  • Reviews key issues and themes from the research evidence and discusses their relevance to teachers
  • Analyses case study examples from recent research and invites teachers to reflect on their own experiences
  • Provides practical strategies that teachers can use to improve their success in working with parents
  • Contributes to better understandings of issues faced by parents
  • Builds communication and conflict resolution skills

Program materials are based on a broad evidence base from Australian and international research and are designed for new and experienced educators who are interested in working collaboratively with parents in order to improve the learning outcomes and school experiences of Australian school children. The program presents the perspectives of parents and invites educators to consider these perspectives in relation to their own experiences, professional relationships with parents, and school environments.

The Parents and Schools Working Together Program aims to equip teachers with knowledge and skills for engaging effectively with parents. Program objectives include:

  • Extending teachers’ knowledge of different forms of parent engagement
  • Developing researchdriven understandings of issues parents typically face when engaging with schools
  • Encouraging teachers to reflect on their own experience of engaging with parents
  • Providing the basis for teachers to create individual strategies for engaging with parents more effectively
  • Enhancing teachers’ existing communication and conflict resolution skills

Understanding Parent Engagement

At the end of Module 1, participants should:

  • Understand the meaning and importance of parent engagement
  • Be familiar with the place of parent engagement in the Australian policy context
  • Understand the work of parent organisations
  • Be familiar with key themes from the research literature
  • Recognise and appreciate the importance of parent perspectives to the work of educators

Communication Matters

At the end of Module 2, participants should:

  • Understand the importance of home-school communication to fostering parent engagement
  • Be familiar with a range of approaches to homeschool communication
  • Be familiar with key themes from the research literature
  • Identify key elements of effective communication policy and practice
  • Develop effective homeschool communication strategies that they can implement

Home-School Conflict

At the end of Module 3, participants should:

  • Understand the importance of fostering parent engagement by preventing,minimising and managing conflict
  • Be familiar with key themes from the research literature
  • Recognise factors that may contribute to conflict between home and school
  • Describe useful strategies for preventing, minimising, managing and resolving conflict with parents
  • Develop skills designed to build informative, congenial and mutually respectful communication with parents

Transitions

At the end of Module 4, participants should:

  • Understand the importance of continued parent engagement during key transitions across the years of schooling
  • Recognise and understand the issues for parents and families during transitions
  • Be familiar with key themes from the research literature
  • Describe practical approaches and strategies for working effectively with parents to support their children during transitions

Creating a Welcoming School

At the end of Module 5, participants should:

  • Understand inschool and beyondschool factors that contribute to parents feeling that theyare a welcome part of the community
  • Be familiar with key themes from the research literature
  • Recognise factors that may contribute to parents feeling unwelcome at school
  • Describe useful strategies for fostering a positive, inclusive and welcoming environment in classrooms, playgrounds, front office and school events
  • Develop skills in written and verbal communication designed to encourage and promote a sense of welcome to parents

Registration

http://tinyurl.com/nswpcpep16

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