ECE 625: Family & Community Engagement
Dr. Jane Doe
July 16, 2017
Educators and schools follow a theme-based learning program which emphasize and build around particular educational discipline, goals, and design. These themes are set and connect to other theories, methods, and/or resources that create to help young children success in the academic and lifelong goals. Scully Barbour, & Roberts-King, (2015) provides a example of a family bag where students follow the theme of the activities in the bag using the provided tools inside of the bag. In this assignment I will analyze my findings and connect them to current literature while discussing the impact of my findings on my philosophy and approach to family and community engagement.
When I conducted my interview last week with the principal of North Early Learning Center and performed a walk-through where I talked to a teacher and her students, I learned that they followed specific themes throughout the school. One particular theme they emphasized on was building and establishing an ongoing communication process while building a relationship with families and engaging families and community members. Through ongoing communication and a sound relationship with families students are provided with quality learning curriculum that can be used to support their learning while in school and at home. The principal made it clear that it is important to engage families and keep families informed on the children progress is critical for both parents, students, and staff. Through partnership we can determine the needs of each students and provide the necessary tools and/or services to help them succeed.
Another theme that was emphasized in the interview and walk-through was making sure diversity was exposed through the school and/or classroom and that diverse students and their families felt welcomed, safe, and secure while in the center. The teacher expressed how students were exposed to different cultures and learned how to accept and appreciate the similarity and differences of each other through family walls, learning activities, and so on in her classroom. The findings did not surprise or puzzle me in any way through my interview or walk-through. So far my themes as it relates to effective family and community engagement so far is the importance of family involvement in the classroom and communication between teachers and families. I believe it is important to communicate with and work with the families and other staff members that works with my students to establish and create a curriculum that will help students accomplish and overcome any obstacles.
Connect to Literature
According to Keys (2015) “the critical of family engagement in consideration to positive and trusting relationship between educators and families can assist in improving the success of young children” (p 1). After collecting and observing all the data I collected during my interview with North Early Learning Center staff and students, it seemed as if they relate to the findings cited in this study by Keys which studies the importance of family engagement for Head Start students. The center and its staff makes sure that they make all individuals that enters their center welcomed and respected no matter what the ethnic background and they try to get families involved in their students’ academic growth and development through visitations, conferences, ongoing communication, volunteering, and special events or trips held at or away from the school or in the classroom. The principal stated that they hold staff meetings to make sure that all of their teachers are updated and educated on how to work with families and how to get families involved.
Scully P., Barbour, C., & Roberts-King, H. (2015) cites that educators invites parents to volunteer, observe, and/or participant in different events throughout the year to get them involved which allows them to get a firsthand look at how the children learn and are being taught. Also, educators must acknowledge reasons why families cannot get involved and families need to know that they can get involved in the classroom in different ways. At the center, the principal, informed me of the different opportunities they created at the center and in the classroom for families to get involved. They try to look at different family household background and try to find ways how they can communicate with the families and how they can get the support and assistance from them through using emails, school or classroom website, phone calls, home visits or meeting, and so on.
Gichuru, Riley, J. Robertson, & Mi-Hwa, (2015) study showed three themes that analyzed how diversity is emulated in the classroom through curriculum development, students’ interest, and communication between teacher and families. It also cites about the importance of educators knowledge and training in cultural diversity (p 1). The principal at North Early Learning Center and their staff appears to be well trained about cultural diversity and how to implement it successfully in the classroom to promote and encourage academic growth and development of their students. Also, I seen in one classroom how a teacher implement different culture learning with the use of different culture books, toys, pictures, and flags displayed and offered in her classroom. She draws all her students into the curriculum by employing using different skills and abilities in her teaching such as visual aspects while reading. She also discuss the importance of family and community engagement in promoting healthy growth and development of her students.
These connections relates to my themes by providing students for the 21st and beyond living. That as educators we must be trained and effective in communicating and working with families and other community members to help all students to be prepared and ready for their future accomplishments. To teach students the importance of working with others, communicating with others, using different methods and approaches to complete a tasks. Also, it relates to my theme on the importance of creating a classroom environment that respects all cultures and their families and to incorporate elements into my classroom that reflects all students and different cultures.
Evaluate Your Analysis to Your Philosophy
My philosophy focus on using different teaching approaches, methods, and styles with partnership with parents and other community members to support and assist young children in developing and growing effectively. After reviewing my outside scholarly sources, required source materials and text, and my data collection with North Early Learner Center principal, staff, and students; I think that my philosophy do not need any modifications or changes since it is aligned with what I learned from all my used sources. Therefore, by conducting this research it informed me that my philosophy and is on the right path and incorporating family and community engagement is important to a child’s academic and life success. It did not change any aspects.
Keys, A. (2015). Family Engagement in Rural and Urban Head Start Families: An Exploratory Study. Early Childhood Education Journal, 43(1), 69-76. doi:10.1007/s10643-014-0643-8
Gichuru, M., Riley, J. G., Robertson, J., & Mi-Hwa, P. (2015). Perceptions of Head Start Teachers about Culturally Relevant Practice. Multicultural Education, 22(2), 46.
Scully P., Barbour, C., & Roberts-King, H. (2015). Families, schools, and communities: Building partnerships for educating children (6th ed.) [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/
I believe through education young children can obtain the essential tools, abilities, and skills to be thriving and flourishing in achieving their life goals. When young children enter into the classroom they should experience an educational climate that promotes encouragement in cognitive, social-emotional, and physical development. Where students can take ownership of their own learning in a safe, open, and supportive environment. Educator must work with families and community resources in providing and ensuring an all-around curriculum and experience that draws and motivates students’ interest and development. To achieve success of my students it is important to keep families involved and informed of their students daily activities and learning and to work with other community resources in providing any needed services for my students.