Parental involvement to Parental Engagement: a Continuum

The researchers make the following points:-

  1. Difference between Involvement and Engagement
    • INVOLVEMENT may be defined as “the act of taking part in an activity or event, or situation”, whereas, ENGAGEMENT can be defined as “the feeling of being involved in a particular activity”.
    • The main difference is the feeling of ownership of the activity.
  2. Importance of Engagement
    • Boosts children’s self-esteem, increase motivation and engagement with learning and can lead to positive outcomes.
    • It really does take a village to raise a child.
  3. Three points in the Journey
    • First: Parental involvement with the school: One-way communication of information
    • Second: Parental involvement with schooling: Two-way communication of information
    • Third: Parental engagement with children’s learning: Joint decision taking

The journey is a continuum where different cohorts can be at different points at the same time. It is a continuous process which has to be tailored basis different schools.In the final stage, Parents are no longer passive recipients of information but are partners in the construction of a fuller portrait of the student, and acknowledged contributors to the student’s academic future.This is a long way from where our schools are currently. The main reason is not lack of intent or point of view but lack of support in terms of infrastructure and technologic. Most schools still depend on age-old methods of communication which are costly, unidirectional and not robust enough. The challenge to initiate engagement seems so big that most schools don’t even evaluate this.With the advent of new technologies, now we have simple, reliable and easy ways where teachers can get quick feedback from parents. With the new tool like Vawsum, teachers can communicate with parents at a touch of a button. Multi-stakeholder communication becomes a breeze.Now schools have an option to decide where they want to play in the continuum between Parent-teacher Involvement and Engagement. Technology is no longer an impediment; it is an enabling partner in the journey.

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