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Parents as Partners in Education and Schooling\t

Parents as Partners in Education and Schooling\t

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An essay for the 2011 Undergraduate Awards (Ireland) Competition by Nuala Finnegan. Originally submitted for BSc Education and Training at Dublin City University, with lecturer Carmel Mulcahy in the category of Teacher Education
An essay for the 2011 Undergraduate Awards (Ireland) Competition by Nuala Finnegan. Originally submitted for BSc Education and Training at Dublin City University, with lecturer Carmel Mulcahy in the category of Teacher Education

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Published by: Undergraduate Awards on Aug 31, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Parents as Partners in Education and SchoolingMy intention in this review is to focus on extant data that explores parentalinvolvement in schools and their children's education with a specific examination of the Educate Together ethos concerning parental participation. My personalinvolvement in my own children’s school will, to a certain extent, expose a certain bias and subjectivity concerning the specific topic.The ultimate goal of this paper is to examine certain research in the area of parentalinvolvement including the Educate Together ethos in a way that will provide a basison which to consolidate newer and more insightful findings to this research area.Definition of terms used in this paper:Bunreacht na h'Eireann:The Constitution of Ireland (1937)Cultural capital:Accumulated cultural knowledge that confers status.Educate Together:Umbrella organisation for multi-denominational primary schools in Ireland.Ethics Committee:A sub committee of the school Patron who meet todiscuss issues around the ethics education programme.(educate together schools only)Gaelic:Native Irish language.Gaelscoileanna:Primary schools that teach through Irish.
Hedge Schools:Secret schools that existed in 18th Century Ireland, setup in defiance of English run schools.Home School Liaison:A scheme whereby a teacher can visit children'shomes in order to build positive links.
ParentsRefer to appendix one
Powis Commission:A commission of inquiry (1870) that accepted thedenominational nature of most schools.As a parent I am involved in my children's school. The school has a very open set up;within the first year I knew all the teachers by their first names including the principalwho I felt I could approach at any time. As a member of the school's ethics committeemy role involves attending meetings and working together with teachers and other  parents to develop resource packs for use in the classroom. These resource packscontain specific information and suggested lesson plans based around a topic from theEthics Education programme, for example 'Disability'. The committee also organisesmulti-cultural celebration days.An Educate Together school is founded on four core principles: Democracy, Multi-denominational, Child-centred and Co-educational. These values ensure that thewhole school community has an opportunity to be involved if they are so disposed. It
is as a direct result of this involvement that has led to me developing an interestaround ethical education in multi-denominational schools.The school my children attend was selected based on the aforementioned four corevalues. After studying their ethics education programme it was apparent that parental participation was actively encouraged and this allowed me to develop a keen interestin the schooling of my children and the benefits of parental contribution.This choice of school didn't always exist in Ireland, in fact the first Educate Together school opened in Dalkey Co. Dublin only thirty one years ago. Considering that thesystem had not changed since 1831 then Educate Together is still in its infancy.In order to fully appreciate the significance of the establishment of 'The DalkeySchool Project', it is necessary to outline its importance within the historical contextof the Irish education system. The National School system was set up in 1831 by LordStanley to educate all Irish children together regardless of faith. However the major religious denominations where uncomfortable with this set up and gradually thesystem became denominational. Lord Stanley was a little hasty in introducing theconcept of multidenominational schooling when one considers the mistrust thatexisted within the Catholic Church in Ireland around proselytising.By 1871 The Powis Commission accepted the denominational nature of the schoolingsystem. Bunreacht Na hEireann (1937) in article 42.1 acknowledges the family as the primary educator of the child and article 42.4 states that when the public good

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