Add to Technorati Favorites

Sunday, 11 April 2010

home-school relationships - 1

The FuturLab report, 'Developing the home-school relationship using digital technologies', published a few weeks ago, is a useful statement of the present situation, warts 'n all. Illustrated profusely throughout its 68 .pdf pages and well documented, I wonder just how brief FutureLab's message really is.

For me, I get a similar sense when reading the document as when I see other publications by Becta on Parental Engagement - 'It all seems a bit one-sided'. It all seems to be about telling parents what the school does and what the parents should be doing. Yes, there are occasional statements about listening to 'pupil voice' but generally the data-flow all seems a bit one-sided. Again, although I believe in on-line reporting in its full and wholesome potential, many fear that the term relates only to the dreaded 'REPORT' mentality which usually tends to highlight a pupil's failings (eg times late, detentions etc) rather than their merits.

Obviously, I tend to look at any report in terms of its references to e-Portfolios, again, only one brief reference in passing to something that might be implemented in the future. As regular readers will recognise, I see the e-Portfolio as being the tool par excellence for communicating to parents both the progress of their child(ren) in real time and the apposite place for formative feedback.

Photo: Grandmother and pre-school child with a workbookWhat I do not see in this report, as with other Becta publications, is any mention of the facility for TEACHERS to take notice of what learning takes place outside of school which is NOT school directed. The e-Portfolio is very much a two-way process as opposed to Becta's uni-directional approach of TELLING the parents. The e-Portfolio can resolve a very real dilema - that of parents not knowing how children are taught, but also that schools should be aware of what happens in the home, in the ballet class, the Saturday morning football fixture or the additional private tuition.

No comments: