Re: [xmca] Help needed from XMCArs

From: Cristine Carrier (
Date: Wed Sep 27 2006 - 15:04:24 PDT

I have to agree with Carol McDonald's comments.

First, and most obvious, if the parents have low literacy rates, then how useful is a printed tip list, which I assume is what is mean by "mass distribution" ? If not printed, how will the information be distributed and accessed?

Second, anytime a "tip list" is being used to address longstanding cultural, educational, religious and/or class differences among groups of people, you're in a bit of hot water. I encounter the same thing in my field, when occupational and phyiscal therapists frequently request some kind of checklist or tip list to make them better at "cultural competence." Thinking this kind of issue can be solved by a checklist demonstrates a deep misunderstanding in my field as to what cultural competence is in the first place.

I don't know what kind of resources you have at your disposal, but as I'm sure we would all agree, in an ideal world it would be nice to actually do some participant observation and interviewing, as a foundation for a needs assessment to get at some of the key issues here, like :
1) what skills/qualities/abilities do these parents think is important for their children to make a place for themselves in the world (if formal education isn't one of them, you'll have a tough sell here)
2) what are their views of the meaning, purpose and utility of education
3) what are they currently doing, able to do, and/or not doing or not able to do to support their children's schooling

In the case that you have no resources at your disposal at this time, then information from organizations like the previously recommended international reading association are probably your best bet.

Hope this is helpful in some way, and not just a sad reiteration of what we'd all like to do vs. are able to do.

Cristine Carrier, MA OTR/L
Ph.D. Student in Occupational Science
University of Southern California

----- Original Message -----
From: Carol Macdonald <>
Date: Wednesday, September 27, 2006 10:10 am
Subject: Re: [xmca] Help needed from XMCArs
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <>

> David, we need a bit more information in order to help you. What
> kind of
> communities are you talking about: anglo-working class; immigrant L2
> speakers; alienated subcultures? My first response is that giving
> parentsinformation can result in no action whatsoever, because
> there may be a clash
> of values, down to the fact that there is not a library at the
> school or
> nearby in the community, whether books speak into their situation
> and so
> on. If I am borig the group, please feel free to write to me
> individually.But other folk may want to pick this up.
> Carol
> On 9/27/06, David Preiss <> wrote:
> >
> > Dear colleagues,
> >
> > I need to develop a number of tips for parents from students which
> > come from environments possessing low rates of literacy and
> numeracy.> The goal of these tips is to provide the parents of
> these kids with
> > strategies that help to advance the schooling of their kids. These
> > tips will be distributed in a massive manner by an official
> entity. I
> > wonder whether there exist some research on how to elaborate these
> > tips, which is the best way to communicate them and what kind of
> tips> are indeed effective and have some sociocognitive positive
> consequences.>
> > Your wisdom is needed and your sharing it will be welcomed.
> >
> > David
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > xmca mailing list
> >
> >
> >
> _______________________________________________
> xmca mailing list
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