Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Schools have shifted some of the burden to parents

Seidenberg: "I think parents need to be alert because we usually assume that if we’re sending our child to school, the educators will be able to take over and will have the training to be able to teach kids to read and learn other things. Middle-class parents already know that they have to supplement what goes on in the classroom: They know that it’s expected that they will work with the children at home to fill in things that are not being taught in the classroom. Lots of things are sort of being outsourced, but that model assumes that there’s a parent in the home who can help, who speaks the language, who’s available. And that’s not going to be true in many cases. It’s not going to be true if the parents are low-income and they’re working multiple jobs. It’s not going to be true if there isn’t an adult in the home who is a native speaker of the language. And it’s not going to be true because people from a lower-income background may not be as aware that the way kids are taught kind of assumes that they’re going do some of the heavy lifting."

"So parents need to understand that the schools have shifted some of the burden for instruction onto them, and I think they should push back. I think they should say, ‘Hey, schools have the responsibility for teaching children basic kinds of skills, and parents are not professional teachers. Parents are not educators. And moreover, parents may not have the backgrounds, skills, or financial resources to fill in the gaps.’ So hold the schools to the obligation to teach children to read and not assume that the parents or caregivers are going to pick up the slack."

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