home and school – a complete partnership

Many moons back, we had this meeting at NammaShaale (I recall that there were a few such angst laden aperiodical meetings) and am sure many schools have these kinds of congregations to thrash out the vexatious issues and stuff…

Anyway, I thought it would be a good idea to post the quick notes (fr0m our archives)  that we made for ourselves, when we went for this meeting/discussions.

By no means this listing claims to be complete,we would like to revisit this too  – and I recall that there were many parents who actively participated and presented their considered views.

It is reproduced here verbatim – it is kinda dated, but probably would be useful, as long as there are schools and parents…

—- begin —-

Parents meeting : The roles of home and school – a complete partnership

Namma Shaale – 20th July 2008

Goals of education 

  • Aid for life
  • Ongoing process for life
  • In childhood, it is formalized

 As adults, we need to help the child develop the following three:

  • Strong sense of self – to help the child deal with present and future challenges in life
  • Right values towards self, work, one’s life, fellow human beings, and fellow living things and the world around us – to build a sense of a loving, respectful, thinking, evolving community
  • Skills and meta skills to live one’s life fully at every stage – to find joy and meaning in work

 School’s role in education 

We think that the school should provide the following

  • Strong sense of self and the right values 
    •  Reinforce what comes from home – provide everyday examples of valued behaviour and responses to the world
  • Skills: School is the main influence in the child’s life. While meta-skills are more important than skills, we feel that meta-skills cannot be learnt in isolation – they have to be learnt only through the underlying skills.

 Some key meta-learning skills:

  • how to learn
  • how to work alone
  • how to work with others (including other adults)
  • how to set goals and outcomes
  • how to plan to get the outcomes and work for it
  • how to be flexible and roll with the punches
  • exposure to diverse occupations, terrains and folks
  • how to identify and set standards, evaluate oneself and course-correct as necessary
  • joy and wonder in learning

 Some key skills:

  • Basic language, math, science, geography, history background
  • Ability to connect and weave webs among these separate topics

Parents’ role in education 

be role models, live the values that are preached take responsibility for child’s education and not outsource it to the school
respect and love,  the child keep channels of communication open with child
provide richness of environment constant dialogue with school
provide choices and respect child’s choice pitch in – aid and help the school as necessary and appropriate

Sowmya Arunajatesan & Ramjee Swaminathan

—- end —-

Please feel free to comment.

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  • Jayashree Ashok  On April 26, 2009 at 11:15 am

    Thanks for this post and summary Ramjee/Sowmya. This post in co-incidentally similar to the points I’ve been putting down for ourselves and our children. It was nice to read a group meeting summary with such points.
    We all talk a lot about life education. What does this really mean? Most of the time schools aim at looking at only the material aspects of life education. That too in a limited sense. Does life education include courage and strength to live life to the fullest? Does it include giving to others? Fully participating in our communities? Is life education only individual centric?
    If home and school are indeed places where we expect children to learn life skills – then we really need to have more discussions around this. Today, I’m not sure many school – including Namma Shaale even look at preparing children how to face challenges – internal and external to themselves.

    I also want to point out that not just parents – but teachers are also role models…something rarely acknowledged by the teaching community. It is not sufficient for just parents to take up this responsibility. Teachers need to be diligently aware self aware of what they are communicating to the children. Our children spend a large chunk of the day at school. Children learn – all the time – from parents and teachers and peers. The question is really – what are they learning?
    Thanks much!


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