Re: [xmca] Help needed from XMCArs

From: David Preiss (
Date: Thu Sep 28 2006 - 09:09:57 PDT

Dear all,

Thank you very much for your ideas.
They are valued and welcomed,


On Sep 28, 2006, at 7:38 AM, <>
<> wrote:

> Shirley mentions an important point - connecting with parents at
> their development as well. When I was teaching spec ed I had a
> parent who wanted to work with his child on her spelling, but he
> could not read her homework. His reading skills were below hers;
> she was in grade 2.5 when she joined me, functioning at about a
> 1.0-1.5. Long story short, I tape recorded the activities - not
> just instructions, but as if I were there - and the two of them
> worked together to help each other. This would be alot to do 1:1
> for many, but with technology one could burn cd's and perhaps find
> a way to negotiate a donation of cd players to the school if
> needed. This way 'lists of tips' becomes a different form of
> mediation that takes the pressure off the parent to be the
> 'knower'. I'd include personal things as well, the odd joke, etc to
> facilitate the relationship and to keep interest. Ultimately, for
> the family I worked with, the tape also became a way to send
> information back and forth to me: feedback on activity, updates on
> the homefront, etc.
> Another program that might be successful with parents is bringing
> them into the school and instructing them, briefly, and then having
> them participate with their children at the school. However, this
> requires that parents be available to come into the school and that
> child care for other children be available.
> ~ Emily
> ---- Shirley Franklin <> wrote:
>> In the UK we have multilingual classrooms, so finding our about home
>> literacy practices would take forever.
>> I really do think that parents need to know how they can help to
>> access their kids into the dominant literacy required for learning in
>> school. It is their right to know, it is the right of their kids to
>> have the means for learning - ie the development of academic
>> literacy.
>> So the question is how, what do we say to them, especially if they
>> dont
>> have it themselves.
>> Schools need to hold a meeting, or even weekly/monthly support
>> meetings. I suppose you can explore home literacy practices there,
>> but
>> is would also be important to encourage home lit support -
>> ie the kids reading their school books to the parents and talking
>> about
>> what they are/have read,
>> 'reading' the illustrations,
>> reading the 'teletext ' of what they watch on tv,
>> looking at football (or whatever) results - they usualy recognise
>> their
>> team names,
>> etc, etc.
>> I am sure other people have got loads of ideas. I would love to see
>> them as I am writing a booklet for teachers and parents in
>> response to
>> the horrible focus on phonics that is dominating education back
>> her in
>> the UK.
>> Shirley
>> On 27 Sep 2006, at 23:04, Cristine Carrier wrote:
>>> 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
>>>>> _______________________________________________
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>> Shirley Franklin
>> 5 Hartham Close,
>> Hartham Road,
>> London,
>> N7 9JH
>> Tel: 020 7700 4975
>> Mob: 07958 745802
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