The Challenge 4
grows." For example the child needs to be able to complete homework assignments on their own and the parent's role in this regard is limited to ensuring it's completion. According to Bloom's Stability and Change in Human Characteristics (as referenced by Sergiovanni) the intellectual development of the child depends largely on the child'd environment and since 80% of the intellectual growth is achieved by age eight, it is imperative that the child have certain learning experiences by that time if they are to develop appropriately. The case of the over-zealous parent has two implications: the student will experience academic success only under the close supervision and direction of the parent, or the child will experience academic success (while in PK-12), however, will not have the developmental experiences (i.e. dealing with ambiguity, communication effectively with adults, stressful situations, etc.) which will surely impact their ability to cope and successfully compete in higher education and in life.
Solutions to the over-zealous parent involve the clear communication of the school's expectation of the student and the ownership of their work. According to Sergiovanni, effective schools reinforce the institution's demand on student time and attention (on homework, classroom work and the independence of it). Teachers are directed to look very closely at the work that is being produced by the student to ensure that it is their independent work (and not the over-zealous, grade cognizant work of the parent). Whenever meeting with the parent, this needs to be explained to them (at the primary, middle and secondary levels). Administrators need to communicate this expectation through parental correspondence to the home, school programs, and when they interface directly with parents.
The Challenge 5
The issue of effective parental involvement is one that will challenge teachers and administrators for years to come. The...