Academic journal article Reading Improvement

Psychology of Parental Involvement in Reading

Academic journal article Reading Improvement

Psychology of Parental Involvement in Reading

Article excerpt

Parent/teacher conferences are a must to secure parental cooperation in the education of their offspring. The support and inclusion of parents can make for an improved curriculum for pupils. There is much that parents can tell the teacher about their child in the school setting. Also, parents can benefit much from the teacher of their children in a quality conference. There needs to be mutual acceptance and respect for both the parents and the teacher. Nothing is basically accomplished in a hostile conference. The teacher needs to feel that parents can offer much information which can be used in teaching and learning situations (See also, Chall, 1983).

Parent Input Into a Conference

What can parents contribute to the parent/teacher conference? They can discuss interests that the pupil has and the teacher may bring these into the curriculum. A hobby possessed by the child can be brought into sharing time as an opening exercise item. During sharing time, the child may gain feelings of belonging by telling about his/her hobby. Esteem and recognition needs might also be met. Pupils tend to like to share hobbies with others in the classroom. Questions may be raised by pupils pertaining to the hobby. If possible, the hobby should be shown to pupils. Actually showing the hobby represents a concrete experience. Meaning can then be attached much sooner to a hobby as compared to telling about it only or largely. The degree of interest which pupils show in the hobby by the presenter needs to be observed by the teacher. The teacher might be able to assist the sharer in locating more information related to the hobby. An increased amount of reading may then accrue. The involved learner may do selected writing experiences directly related to the hobby, such as writing a poem or story. When reading the written product to peers, the child might well experience oral communication skills. When listening to others tell about their individual hobbies, the child's listening skills are reinforced or improved upon.

Second, the teacher might learn what children like in school as learning opportunities. The feeling dimension is involved here. Thus, a parent may say that a child prefers to work by the self rather than with others. A style of learning is then emphasized. The teacher might then wish to arrange learning opportunities whereby the child can excel on an individual basis. Committee learnings are salient, also, since people do associate with others in society as well as work by the self.

Third, parents may praise the teacher for selected improvements made in a child's learning. Teachers are human and do like to have their contributions rewarded and encouraged. Perhaps, the teacher may wish to extend those learnings more frequently in classroom teaching.

Fourth, parents might offer ideas on what they deem as important from the child's point of view, such as sustained silent reading (SSR) in the classroom. Pupils choosing what is of interest to them in reading may well have much benefit to the child. A child centered curriculum has recommend benefits.

Fifth, the parent may suggest what the child needs more help in, such as in developing selected word recognition skills. The parent might have noticed in the home setting how the child cannot associate certain sounds with their related individual letters or graphemes. When consistent, it is vital that pupils develop skill in associating graphemes and their individual sound. Phonics might well help these pupils to become more proficient readers.

Sixth, parent/teacher conferences offer opportunities to get to know each other as human beings as well as develop rapport. Good rapport is needed in order for the educational process to move forward. Mistrust is a negative concept when conducting parent/teacher conferences.

Thus, parents may help the teacher in assisting their offspring to achieve more optimally, including feelings of concern for a possession of social development skills. …

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