Parental engagement recognises that both parents and teachers play an important role in children’s learning, development and well-being – and that children generally do better when there are connections between the different spaces they learn in.
Parental engagement in children’s learning is:
Family-led learning focused on high aspirations for children, shared reading, a positive environment for homework, parent-child conversation, a stimulating home environment and support for social and emotional well-being; and
Family-school partnerships that encourage positive parent-teacher relationships, communication about children’s progress, and engagement in the school community, while equipping parents to effectively support and encourage their children’s learning and well-being.
Parental engagement is most effective when it is focused on developing positive attitudes towards learning and education for children, building their motivation and confidence as learners and fostering their enjoyment of learning.
What’s the difference between parent involvement and parental engagement?
Parent involvement refers to parent participation in formal and informal activities at the school such as attending parent group meetings, running a stall at the school fete or volunteering at the canteen.
Parental engagement refers to the broader role parents play in supporting their child’s learning. Parental engagement recognises the important role that both parents and teachers play in children’s learning and development. Although involvement in school activities is beneficial in many ways, especially in facilitating relationships between parents and teachers, how parents support children’s learning at home has a bigger impact on academic outcomes than participation in school-based activities.
“It’s also about encouraging them to have the right relationship with their teachers, for example. Being able to give proper attention to teachers, and having the right attitude to all that.”
The impact parents can have on their child’s learning
Parents and families are children’s first teachers and they continue to help their children to learn and thrive throughout the school years. Parents as partners with school in supporting children’s learning can have a significant and long lasting positive impact.
Research shows benefits of parental engagement include:
- improved academic outcomes
- greater engagement in learning
- children can be more likely to enjoy learning and be motivated to do well
- children can have better relationships with other children, improved behaviour and greater confidence
- enhanced relationships with others in the school community
- the development of effective partnerships – where families and schools can work together to address issues that may be impacting on children’s well-being and achievement.
Information Sourced from: ACT Government Education Directorate.