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Kiducation philosophy and parental engagement in education

The Kidducation philosophy helps us understand that education should be viewed from the child’s point of view…not that of the parents or teachers. Only then can it be truly child-oriented and development-oriented.

The pandemic revealed how parents cannot be treated as mere ‘payers’ as they are an important pillar in their children’s education. It is common for a child to spend more time with the parents than at school. Therefore, parent involvement becomes a foundation on which good schools build their education system.

In Kidducation, it is believed that when a child enrolls in a school, it is not only responsible for the child’s education, but also for that of the parent. Parents should be supported to understand their child’s developmental milestones, their learning style and their child’s learning personality.

We often make short videos for parents called ‘Why do we do what we do?’ These videos help parents understand why we have a healthy snack menu or why we don’t have exams in the early years or why we insist on positive discipline (behaviour management) methods, or why we assess children instead of testing them.

A parent who asks questions or someone who always has some resistance to your methods and policies is often labeled a ‘difficult’ parent! Kidducation trains teachers to understand and accept parents as partners and partners will have questions, questions and points of view.

Parent involvement is not just about pleasing parents or going with what they want, but about training teachers to understand the science behind teaching and learning so they can discuss with parents why ‘what they want’ isn’t possible or
can be harmful to their child in the long run.

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Here are the 9 Navratnas of Kidducation Parental Engagement that can help both parents and teachers and thus benefit children as well. After all, if children see their parents and teachers constantly at odds with each other, they will not feel positive about their school or education.

1. Understand it’s not ‘them’ and ‘us’, parents and teachers do this together, so it’s a team effort.

2. Give parents regular feedback about their child in a way they understand, communicate what their child is ‘missing’ is not a good habit, instead tell them where the child is struggling, what you are doing to support the child and what you like the parent expected to do at home that would fit into the school’s plan.

3. Have regular meeting times for parents in case they want to meet. Understand that parents work and weekends may work best. Teachers are also on the job so parents can adjust to zoom meetings when face-to-face meetings aren’t possible.

4. Understand the parenting style of the parents to help them adapt if you find it too disciplinary. There should not be too much of a gap between school and home practices.

5. Be sensitive to the needs and emotions of parents of children with special needs.

6. Form a committee with a representative of the parents of each class, it is this committee that will help you investigate issues of cleanliness supervision, buddy system, etc.

7. If you have a parental WhatsApp group, make it clear in the rules that individual children and their achievements are not discussed in an open group.

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8. ‘Together we can’ is a motto that works for the benefit of the child, so build bridges with parents, don’t label them as ‘difficult’, ‘irritating’ or ‘kit kit’!

9. Make open house a two-way process, it should not only be about the teacher talking about what she wants the parents to do for the child, but it should also be an opportunity for the parent to share their reservations, concerns and stress and get appropriate answers and support.

Parental involvement makes a school a community and that benefits the social-emotional development of children. Kidducation believes in the meaning of ‘belonging’ and that is nurtured when parents and schools are committed to the well-being of children.

dr. Swati Popat Barrels |

(Author is the President of the Early Childhood Association and Association for Primary Education and Research))

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