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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Is there a culture of anti-parent discrimination among some professional teachers? Is that a problem?

When I am participating in round-table conversations with groups made up of people from the education industry, I am increasingly aware of anti-parent discrimination.

Specifically (and this is NOT scientific), comments that I would characterize as "anti-parent" seem to outnumber comments I would characterize as "pro-parent" by ten to one. These might include:
  • Parents don't understand the system.
  • Parents are too busy to help.
  • Parents are always late to meetings.
  • Parents are illiterate.
  • Parents don't do a good enough job at teaching kids how to behave and communicate in a classroom.
  • If parents spends five minutes helping with homework, they feel as if they have done their job.
Generic conversations often drift to tales of apocryphal parents acting highly neglectful or misdirected. These are told with a certain amount of relish and righteous indignation, even competitiveness.

Further, where parents are involved in school communication, it is always asynchronous (i.e. schools communicate to parents, schools ask parents to do something for the school, and schools provide access to course management data such as homework assignments) rather than synchronous (i.e. schools ask parents what approach to subjects their children might like, schools ask parents what kind of food they should emphasize in the cafeteria, schools ask parents about preferred bus routes).

And some schools offer programs for teachers to learn how to "deal with" parents.

Given all of that, might one formally ask is there an anti-parent discrimination in the culture of some professional teachers? And if so, is that a problem?

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