Kiducation philosophy and parental engagement in education

Here are the 9 Navratnas of Kiducation Parental Engagement that can help both parents and teachers and thus benefit children too

Dr. Swati Popat VatsUpdated: Wednesday, September 07, 2022, 01:57 PM IST
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The Kiducation philosophy helps one understand that education should be from the point of view of the child…not that of the parents or teachers. Only then can it be truly child centric and developmentally appropriate.

The pandemic revealed how parents cannot be treated as mere ‘fee payers’ as they are an important pillar in the education of their children. It is common for a child to spend more time around parents than they do at school. This is why parental engagement becomes a foundation upon which good schools build their education system.

In Kiducation, one believes that when a child enrolls in a school, they are not only responsible for the education of the child but also that of the parent. Parents need to be supported to understand their child’s developmental milestones, their child’s learning style, and learning personality.

We often make short videos for parents, called- ‘Why we do what we do?’ These videos help parents understand why we have a healthy snack menu or why we do not have exams in the foundational years or why we insist on positive discipline (behaviour management) methods, or why we assess children instead of testing them.

A parent who asks questions or one who always has some resistance to your methods and policies is often labeled as a ‘difficult’ parent! Kiducation trains teachers to understand and accept parents as partners and partners will have questions, queries, and points of view.

Parental engagement is not about just pleasing parents or going along with what they want, but about training teachers to understand the science behind education and learning so that they would be able to discuss with the parents why ‘what they want’ is not possible or
can be harmful to their child in the long run.

Here are the 9 Navratnas of Kiducation Parental Engagement that can help both parents and teachers and thus benefit children too. After all if children constantly see their parents and teachers at loggerheads, it is not going to make them feel positive about their school or Education.

1. Understand that it’s not ‘them’ and ‘us’, parents and teachers are in this together so it’s a team effort.

2. Give parents regular feedback about their child in a manner they understand, communicating what their child ‘lacks’ is not good practice instead tell them where the child is struggling, what you are doing to support the child, and what you expect the parent to do at home that would be in line with the plan of the school.

3. Keep regular meeting slots for parents in case they would like to meet. Understand that parents are working and the weekend may work best. Teachers are working too so parents can adjust to zoom meetings if physical meets are not possible.

4. Understand the parenting style of the parents to help them tweak it if you find it too disciplinarian. There should not be too much of a gap between the practices of the school and the home.

5. Be sensitive to the needs and emotions of parents of special needs children.

6. Form a committee with a parent representative from each class, it is this committee that will help you look into issues of cleanliness supervision, buddy system, etc.

7. If you have a parental WhatsApp group then make the rules clear that individual children and their performance will not be discussed in an open group.

8. ‘Together we can’ is a motto that works for the benefit of the child, so build bridges with parents, don’t label them as ‘difficult’, ‘irritating’ or ‘kit kit’!

9. Make open house a two-way process, it should not only be about the teacher talking about what she wants the parents to do for the child but it should also be an opportunity for the parent to share their reservations, worries, and stress and get suitable replies and support.

Parental engagement makes a school a community and that benefits the socio-emotional development of children. Kiducation believes in the sense of ‘belonging’ and that is what is nurtured when parents and schools engage for the welfare of children.

Dr. Swati Popat Vats

Dr. Swati Popat Vats |

(Author is the President of the Early Childhood Association and Association for Primary Education and Research)

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