While the title of Thomas Friedman’s op ed has a bit of shock value, he brings to the surface the notion that education is most effective when it is a collaboration between school and parents.
“Fifteen-year-old students whose parents often read books with them during their first year of primary school show markedly higher scores in PISA 2009 than students whose parents read with them infrequently or not at all. The performance advantage among students whose parents read to them in their early school years is evident regardless of the family’s socioeconomic background. Parents’ engagement with their 15-year-olds is strongly associated with better performance in PISA.”
“Monitoring homework; making sure children get to school; rewarding their efforts and talking up the idea of going to college. These parent actions are linked to better attendance, grades, test scores, and preparation for college,” Barth wrote. “The study found that getting parents involved with their children’s learning at home is a more powerful driver of achievement than parents attending P.T.A. and school board meetings, volunteering in classrooms, participating in fund-raising, and showing up at back-to-school nights.”
Duke professor, Cathy Davidson, has a commentary in the Wall Street Journal – The Three Biggest Myths About Distracted Youth. Here are the three myths she challenges:
- Young People Don’t/Can’t Remember Anything Anymore.
- Young People Can’t Read Anything Long.
- Young People’s Multitasking Causes Accidents.
Davidson provides some interesting commentary. Be sure to read her full article.
“Those pundits who frighten us over the fate of humanity and warn us that the Internet ruins our brain seem to have forgotten that we are humans, that we have will, and that we have the ability to use the tools at our disposal wisely or badly. It’s a choice. Once we can get past the fears that blind us to our own common sense, we can begin to think sensibly about this tool called the Internet. We can begin to create the particular, individual, or group habits and practices that work best for us. Once we dispel the myths, we can master our tools rather than fearfully allowing the myth of their power to master us.”
What kind of experiences do you have with your own children and these ideas?