parent education

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

parent education

parent education, movement to help parents' understanding of the problems of children at home and in the school. Much parent education is carried on through the channels of adult education, both formally and informally. The National Congress of Parents and Teachers (founded as the National Congress of Mothers in 1897) is active in disseminating literature, promoting discussion groups, and lobbying for educational funding. The organization has some 6.6 million members, in 26,000 local parent-teacher associations (PTAs) located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and overseas Defense Dept. schools. This number is down from a membership of about 12 million in 1966, a result, partly, of increasing single-parent households and working mothers, the failure of the organization to attract minority families, and what has been seen as its unwavering loyalty to teachers' causes. Many schools have active independent school-parents partnerships with strictly local goals.

See publications of the National Congress of Parents and Teachers. See also S. Jaffee and J. Viertel, Becoming Parents (1979); C. Cataldo, Parent Education for Early Childhood (1986); S. P. McCaleb, Building Communities of Learners (1994).

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