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FSCP-SIG  July 1998

FSCP-SIG July 1998

Subject:

Re: HS Parent/Teacher Action Research

From:

Pam Kay <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Pam Kay <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 27 Jul 1998 17:51:39 -0400

Content-Type:

TEXT/PLAIN

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

TEXT/PLAIN (41 lines)

Jean, I am replying "on the list," unless someone objects. I would love to
read others' thoughts about the relationships between parents and
teachers, too. (I'll put several reports in the mail to you tomorrow...
and also to you, Rollande.)

The two HS Parent-Teacher Action Research (PTAR) teams were part of a
group of seven such teams formed during the last year of our Partnerships
for Achievement in Learning research project. We had employed 11 Parent
Liaisons in that project, initially as field operatives to make entree
easier. However, through our meetings and our responses to their written
field notes, that group acquired a life of its own! The Parent Liaisons
learned the qualitative research process through their own action research
into their home-school interaction practices, and then wanted to use PTAR
to bring about changes in their schools. (There is more about this process
in one of the papers I will send you, one we presented at NEERO in '95.)

Our teams had to have parents of students with disabilities as well as
those without, and special educators as well as general educators. There
needed to be more parents than teachers on each team. One of the HS teams
had two of our Parent Liaisons on it, and one did not. Unfortunately, we
did not have the time (read that $) to follow them all the way through
their actions and evaluations, so I can't really judge their "success,"
Jean. They were successful at identifying a research question, designing
and carrying out their data collection and analysis, and reporting their
findings and proposed actions to the group of seven teams and the
community. Although they planned continuing action, and I believe they
carried it out, we were not there to see the results.

Parents and teachers worked very collaboratively on these teams. There was
no attempt by either group to dominate. We set the tone for that when we
began with a meeting at a local restaurant, not just for the availability
of snacks, but mostly to establish "neutral territory." The level of their
collaboration became obvious when we asked for team reports on various
aspects of their work at each large-group meeting. Parents were as likely
to report, if not MORE likely, than teachers. This was a very rural area,
and the teachers were generally making more money than most families.

Pam Kay         [log in to unmask]           VOICE MAIL (802) 656-8551
School Research Office,                 FAX (802) 656-1357
429 Waterman, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont 05405-0160

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