The Future of Education

Edition 12

Accepted Abstracts

Building Effective School Family Partnerships for Esl Prevention

Rene Alimisi, Institute for Research and Technology Thessaly (Greece)

Hariklia Tsalapatas, University of Thessaly (Greece)

Dimitrios Koutsaftikis, Institute for Research and Technology Thessaly (Greece)

Olivier Heidmann, Institute for Research and Technology Thessaly (Greece)

Abstract

Early School Leaving (ESL) is a complex phenomenon that is the result of combinations of factors related socio-economic parameters, family background, parental educational levels, social exclusion, poor understanding school systems and their relation to real life, attitudes towards education, insufficient training of teachers towards identifying and addressing ESL, and more. Many of these factors are socio-economic and related to the extended supporting environment of learners, including school and family. While ESL risk signs often become evident in secondary and high school, contributing factors may manifest in life, as early as primary or pre-primary education.

This publication is about the LINC project that aims to develop a holistic, inclusive learning intervention for preventing ESL that starts early on, in primary school, and continues throughout lower secondary education focusing on the engagement of learners, their families, and their teachers in a community environment. The project aims at strengthening the ties of the extended school community with the objective of preventing ESL contributing factors to set root into a learner’s life; it further aims to build the capacity of parents and teachers to effectively support learners in staying in school.

This publication aims at demonstrating how the LINC pedagogical ideas are reflected into the LINC activities that have been designed by the participant teachers. The 10 learning activities aim at triggering meaningful parent-teacher-student interactions, reflect real-life situations, promote engagement in the learning process, and create a positive environment that can help prevent ESL contributing factors from developing or further developing. The activities move teachers, parents and students to work and play together in the school, to explore museum exhibitions, to get to know communities of experts, to discuss about the world of work, to reflect upon the value of education and the different world views.    

The home-school partnership is further enhanced through the LINC social networking community which was launched in the fall of 2014 in beta form and is now being used by learners, teachers, and parents in the context of evaluation pilots. The service operates as a complementary tool for communication while concurrently provides access to information related to school activities and good practices on preventing ESL.

Evaluation pilots take place in an ongoing manner through “learning experiments”, which are organized in real-life educational conditions at dedicated school communities in Sweden, France, Czech Republic, and Greece. Qualitative approaches are the backbone of the the evaluation activities for documenting participants’ perceptions, motivation, and engagement. Selected episodes from evaluation activities are brought into focus and discussed in detail. Early results are encouraging indicating that a good start has been made towards parent involvement in the school community.  

 

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