Between Families and Teachers in Preschool
How a child grows up, the path they take in life and how they will be as adults is determined by the way they are raised as infants all the way to pre-adulthood. With this in mind most parents take great care and consideration in how they raise their children since what they do now affects how their child will be. As such it is understandable that parents would be initially wary entrusting the safety, education and upbringing of their children to teachers they don’t know in preschools that seem like an alien world to them.
It is this initial mistrust that creates complications between parents and teachers which would, if left unattended, lead to complications in the future and a growing sense of distrust over the proper means of nurturing and teaching the child in question. From this it can be said that an open line of communication between parents and teachers is needed in order to erase any misconceptions that parents may have over the methods of teaching and nurturing that their children are subjected to.
This open line of communication will also benefit preschool teachers in such a way that they will be able to know the little quirks and nuances of those under their charge and the best way of dealing with complications that arise from advise garnered from parents. In effect an open line of communication between parents and teachers can be said to be a mutually beneficial relationship that will result in a more effective means of nurturing a child.
The reason for undertaking this research project aimed at the communication relationships between families and teachers is due to the fact that studies have shown that academic success is in direct relation to family practices rather than merely the social or economic status of the parents (Korkmaz 2007). In the U. S. for example academic achievement has been shown to be attributed to what happens within homes and direct parental involvement with a child’s education.
Suffice it to say parents that take a more active role in the academic pursuits of their children will enable their kids to reach better achievements in the realm of education. One of the best ways of doing so is to inform parents of how their children are doing and in school and to work with the parents in developing solutions to any problems the children may have with certain subjects and to improve on the subjects that the child is already proficient at.
This cannot be done by a simple report card rather the best way to foster an effective method of learning how to bring about the academic success of ones through child is through a means of communication with the teacher (Fredericks 1990). As such this study will place an emphasis on the different methods that can be established that could help improve the current status of parent – teacher relationships in order to create a more effective learning environment for children.
The reason for my interest in this subject is due to the fact that so many parents blame the lack of educational achievement on either the mental capacity of their child or on the teacher teaching them. Parents should be educated on the fact that it is neither the child’s fault nor that of the teacher rather it is the lack of effective communication between parent and teacher that leads to problems in a child’s education (Korkmaz 2007).
Parents need to realize that they cannot leave their children’s education up to just the teacher alone rather they must work in tandem with the teacher through an open line of communication in order to understand what problems their child might have and work with the teacher in order to solve them (Strickland 1990). In many cases absentee parents in a child’s education have resulted in cases of misbehavior, a lack of child participation as well as low grades in school.
Since a child’s most influential teacher in life is a parent any lack of interaction regarding school work signifies to a child that lack of importance and hard work that they must attribute to it (Morningstar 1999). Current estimates have shown that women with children younger than 6 are part of the labor force and with the current global recession more and more families have become dual income ones with both parents working leaving children in the hands of preschools and care facilities. With this comes the inevitable neglect that arises as parents spend more time in making a living than they do interacting with their children.
This neglect in the formative years of a child’s education development has shown to result in a distinct disadvantage in a child’s ability to learn and understand since their primary teacher in life, namely the parent, is not there to properly guide them (Risko 2009). From what was stated so far it can be said that there is a distinct need for some method of open communication between teachers and parents in order for them to realize the implications of their actions on their children and what they must do in order to remedy this situation.
Based on what has been stated regarding the connection between parent- teacher communication and the fact that the parent acts as the primary teacher in a child’s formative years this paper will try to answer the question: does limited parental open communication with teachers result in problems with a child’s early educational and social development and if so what can be done in order to resolve it? Methods
In order to determine if limited parental open communication with teachers results in problems with a child’s early educational and social development what this study will do is to sample two groups of individuals namely that of dual income parents that rely on preschools and care facilities to take care of children while they are at work and that of stay at home mothers or fathers that are able to have time to talk to the teacher and know the status of their children.
It is the premise of this study that due to the busy nature of the lives of dual income families they are unable to devote enough time communicate with preschool teachers regarding the current status and needs of their children as compared to stay at home mothers or fathers which results in a situation wherein the children lack the appropriate guidance that could have been given to them if the parents had taken time to talk to the teachers. This in effect results in problems in educational attainment as well as social behavior.
Wherein children in preschool of dual income families are not able to perform as well academically and socially as compared to that of stay at home mothers or fathers due the fact that limited parental communication with teachers creates an information gap for dual income families wherein they are unable to directly address or help the teacher or their child since they don’t know if there is a problem or not and leave their child’s situation completely up to the teacher. In order to prove this premise a survey with local preschools will be conducted the promise that the respondents will remain anonymous.
The survey will ask whether the person picking up the child is a dual income or stay at home mother or father, whether they believe that their children are doing well in school and will ask how much time they spend with their child regarding school work. The results of this survey will then be compared to that of a survey conducted with preschool teachers in the area and ask whether they believe based on their years of experience that open communication and involvement with parents regarding the educational status of their children will help to encourage greater academic achievement.
Another question that will be asked to teachers is whether or not they believe dual income families with a lack of open communication with teachers will result in children having a slower rate of academic achievement as compared to other children due to a lack of knowledge of problems the child may have that continue to go unaddressed. Ethicality of the Method
As for the ethical nature of the study it must be noted that since it is largely anonymous and only focuses on personal opinion without delving too deeply into private information and those involved will not be named at all as per the agreement before they take the survey there is little cause for concern. The respondents will be informed that this study is for the creation of better methods of education in the future that will help improve the current state of preschool education in the country.
Suitability of the Method With the way the questions in the survey are structured and by creating a comparison between the responses of the teachers and the parents the answer to whether or not open communication between parents and teachers results in better academic achievements for children in preschool will become obvious easily. By comparing the results of the survey with current academic literature regarding the subject a concise answer will be formulated that answers the premise of this study.
Obstacles in the Methodology One problem with obtaining the necessary information was that some schools were unwilling to be part of the study citing reasons of privacy, possible harassment and invasion of privacy. In the end through proper explanation of the benefits this study would have some preschools agreed to be sampled resulting in the necessary data from the teachers. The parents on the other hand presented another problem in obtaining data.
One problem is that most parents would obviously feel insulted if asked if their children were performing poorly in school and that the focus of this study was to see if it was the parents fault for not trying to talk to their child’s teacher regarding any possible problems that he/she might be experiencing or needed work on. As such by waiting outside before the students were released and phrasing the survey as a means of improving methods of education samples from parents of preschool children were obtained.
One problem that immediately came up was how was the investigator supposed to tell the difference between dual income or stay at home mothers/fathers. One potential problem was that the entire sample may have come from just one source of either purely dual income or purely stay at home fathers/mothers. One solution was to use different locations for gathering information as well as different times. This way the possibility of having different respondents would increase thus creating effective samples for information.
An issue that was continuously brought up was the issue of anonymity since most of these people chose not to be contacted in the future regarding any follow up to the study. By assuring the respondents that they will remain anonymous and not be asked for any follow up questions they agreed. Another factor to consider was that since most of the respondents were waiting outside and had nothing to do the information was more easily obtained. Inadequacies with the Study
One unfortunate consequence of the study is that due to the nature of the method of information gathering there is a strong possibility that the participants may provide false information particularly the parents. One question in the survey pertains to whether or not the parents in question believe that their children are doing well in school. Most parents will no willingly admit that their children are doing badly even in an informal survey as such the accuracy of the question is in constant doubt. Another factor is the fact that the teachers themselves may not answer the questions pertaining to their opinions honestly either.
This is due to the fact that should it become known that they believe dual income families cannot effectively educate their children properly some families may be insulted by this insinuation and may take their business elsewhere. One solution that the researcher came up with to resolve this problem is to ensure that names and locations will not be named in the study and that it will become completely anonymous this is to ensure that at least some of the respondents will answer the questions honestly without having to worry about the repercussions of their answers.
One way to expand on this study is use the current samples in the survey and include those of general public opinion. This would mean adding a varied number of samples that include people who are not married and don’t have kids and see what their opinion is towards the effectiveness of open minded communication resulting in better academic progress for preschool children. The reason for this is due to the fact that the opinions of the current subjects used in the study may be biased as such a neutral outside party that does not have any stake in the outcome of the study is needed as another source of information.
With the current sample size of study involving only a few respondents and preschool teachers the best way to judge if the study is accurate is by increasing the size of the respondents to numerous cities instead of just one. Another method would be to use an online survey system such as the one used on Surveymonkey. com or on social media sites such as Facebook in order to gain a global respondent base. Not only will this achieve the goal of variety in the types of respondents but the sheer amount of survey takers will help give a better justification of the premise of this study.
One problem with this though is that since the method of taking the survey is by and large impersonal and anonymous instances of falsified information may happen regularly thus contaminating the basis of the study. One effective way around this would be to create to different methods of survey taking an online method as well as a personal method using paper forms. By using two different methods the integrity of the study is achieved since in most cases the one distributing the survey would be able to tell the kind of respondent taking the survey.
The online survey can be used as a method of comparison with the hardcopy version of the survey but the online version will not be given too much relevance due to the possibility of high instances of falsified data on the part of the respondents. Findings Based on the findings of the accumulated surveys the end result was that as expected, both sets of parents believed that their children were doing well in school however the accumulated responses of the teachers state that based on their years of experienced parents relations with parents that encourage open communication have actually resulted in better academic performances for students.
This was supposedly due to the fact that when parents met with teachers during parent teaching meetings and regularly contacted the teacher regarding the status of their children the parents were able to find out which subjects their children had problems with and helped their kids work through it resulting in better academic achievements.
It must be noted that when comparing the results of dual income families regarding the question on the performance of their children with the amount of time they spent helping their children study an interesting result came up. What happened was that the majority of dual income families believed that their children were doing well in school while at the same time were spending less time helping their children study.
When comparing this result with that of the teachers a majority of whom state that open communication results with parents results in better academic achievements for students it can be said that a majority of dual income parents are unaware of the status of the educational prowess of their child and that based on the response of the teachers the academic proficiency of this set of children is not as good as that of stay at home parents who regularly work with teachers to help raise level of educational prowess of their children.
Thus the result of the study shows that the parents that have not adopted a method of open communication with teachers results in them not knowing how their children are doing in school causing them develop the belief that all is well and that the teacher is doing his/her job properly. The end result of this way of thinking is that dual income families tend to blame the teacher and the school for any deficiencies in educational capability that the child has when in reality it was the fault of the parent for not taking a more proactive stance in finding out if their child was doing well or not and not leave it up to chance and assumption.
The practical implications of this study are such that it enables people to see the difference of between two of the most popular concepts of a family today namely that of a stay at home parent and a dual income family. It shows how relying solely on a teacher for the educational development of a child is the wrong rather parents should work together with the teacher in order to help a child develop their full educational and social capabilities (Parents 2005).
A popular saying is applicable study which states “learning starts and end at home”, from this it can be interpreted that parents have the responsibility of making sure that the education their children receive in school continues at home in order for their kids to develop better cognitive abilities when it comes to learning certain subjects at school (Reedy 2010).
An open line of communication between parents and teachers helps to facilitate this process since teachers could help and advice parents as to what lessons they can help their children with at home and the parents can also help update the teacher as to how they view the progress of their child and compare it with what teacher believe it to be so thus resulting in accurate gauge of educational and social improvements that have occurred which in the end helps the child gain academic achievements that enable him/ her to excel later on in life (Communicating 1995).
The best way of communicating the findings of this study to others is via online social networking and by giving out pamphlets at local preschools both of which emphasize the difference in educational attainment of the children of parents who have an open level of communication with the teachers of their children vs. parents who believe sole responsibility lies with the teacher.
By educating people regarding the importance of open communication between families and teachers future preschool students will be able to develop in a conducive environment to learning both at the preschool and at home resulting in better academic and social achievements. Conclusion Open methods of communication between parents and teachers is an important factor is the educational development of children.
It helps to solve problems as they occur and creates a meaningful relationship that will result in a child being able to easily grasp the fundamentals in education and sociability needed at an early age that will them develop into productive members of society. Recommendation One possible extension of this study is the creation of a long term investigation into what happens to the children of parents when the parents in the early stages of child’s development does not take an active role in the child’s education by not creating an open method of communication with the child’s teacher.
The question to be answered in this case would be: would the child develop problems later on in life due to the lack of parental involvement during the formative years of his/her development? List of References Korkmaz, I. (2007). TEACHERS’ OPINIONS ABOUT THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF PARENTS, SCHOOLS, AND TEACHERS IN ENHANCING STUDENT LEARNING. Education, 127(3), 389-399. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database. Strickland, D. , Morrow, L. , Taylor, D. , & Walls, L. (1990). Educating parents about their children’s early literacy development.
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