The home is a child’s first school and the parent or caregiver the child’s first and most important teacher. The concept of family learning builds upon this natural learning bond. Studies have shown that families who read with their children and engage in informal literacy and numeracy activities contribute to their academic and post-school achievement. Research indicates the most effective education occurs when school values and organisational practices are consistent with family values and attitudes. Although successful educational outcomes are the result of positive interaction between families and schools, parents are often ill at ease in the school environment or do not understand how important they continue to be in their children’s education. As part of an attempt to build parent-school interaction, the principal of a primary school in New Zealand, in conjunction with university researchers, introduced a family learning project involving parents, children and teachers. The aim is to promote children’s literacy, numeracy and communication skills and ultimately to integrate family learning into the school curriculum. This paper describes an ongoing family learning action research project in the first year at the school. It discusses the collaborative and consultative process undertaken, the development of appropriate resources, as well as some initial outcomes of this project.
|Keywords:||Family Learning, Parental Involvement in Education, Emergent Literacy|
Post Doctoral Fellow, Department of Communication and Journalism, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Project Manager/Research Officer, Department of Communication and Journalism, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Associate Professor, Department of Communication and Journalism, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Castlecliff School, Wanganui, New Zealand
Massey University, New Zealand
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