Academic journal article CEPS Journal : Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal

Editorial

Academic journal article CEPS Journal : Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal

Editorial

Article excerpt

The thematic focus of the present edition of the CEPS Journal is the cooperation of school with parents. This is an area that is extremely important from the perspective of ensuring the overall development of pupils, providing optimal conditions for development and learning, encouraging learning and for the achievement of other educational goals. Various empirical studies confirm that it is important to attract parents to cooperation with school and teachers, in order to comprehensively encourage the child's development (Burden, 1995; Gonzalez-DeHass, Willems, & Doan Holbein, 2005; Henderson & Berla, 1994; Hornby 2000; Jordan, Orozco, & Averett, 2001; Pomerantz, Moorman, & Litwack, 2007; Soo-Yin, 2003). Researchers have confirmed that the overall involvement of parents represents a positive contribution to learning and the learning achievements of pupils (Hendeson & Berla, 1994; Hoover-Dempsey & Sandler, 1997 in Gonzalez-DeHass et al., 2005). These studies prove there is a close relationship between the involvement of parents and the learning achievement of pupils, their wellbeing, their attendance at school, their views, their homework assignments, their school marks and their educational aspirations.

Parents are, therefore, important subjects, who with their participation contribute to the formation of the school sphere, while with their support of the pupil at home they can enable optimal conditions for his or her development. It is therefore important that each school encourages and enables a partnership with parents that increases their inclusion and participation in encouraging the social, emotional, moral and intellectual development of the child (Children's Defence Found, 2000, p. 64 in Soo-Yin, 2003). The school, parents and the community should be aware of their interconnection and together form a vision and understand the role of individual factors in relation to the role of other factors. Such cooperation is necessary in order to ensure the support and help that can enable each child to achieve appropriate school success and personal development. However, it is important to remember that dialogue between the parties concerned does not always mean just seeking consensus, but must also allow for confrontation and diverse viewpoints and perspectives.

The importance of cooperation between school and parents is also confirmed by research into school culture. Bryk and Schneider (2002 in Stansberry Beard, Hoy, & Woolfolk Hoy, 2010) explain that there are at least four social conditions in schools that directly promote student learning: a) teachers with a "can do" attitude, b) school outreach to parents, c) a professional community emphasising collaborative work practices with a commitment to improve, and d) high expectations. In his synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses related to achievement across all home variables, Hattie (2009) determines that parental aspirations and expectations with regard to children's educational achievement have the strongest relationship with achievement, while communication (interest in homework and school work, assistance with homework, discussing school progress) has a moderate effect, and parental home supervision (e.g., home rules for watching television, home surroundings conducive to doing school work) has the weakest relationship.

Cooperation between teachers and parents, between school and home, is multifaceted, and different authors use different terminology in this regard. Rather than talking about corporation, some prefer to speak of the inclusion of parents in schoolwork, which can be a synonym for cooperation, the participation of parents, parental power and the partnership between school, the family and the community (Epstein, 1996 in Soo-Yin, 2003; Wolfendale, 1989 in Soo-Yin, 2003). Epstein (1996 in Soo-Yin, 2003) expanded the conception from "the inclusion of parents" to "a partnership between school, the family and the community" in order to particularly emphasise the fact that the child learns and develops within all three contexts: the school, the family, and the broader community. …

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