Our biases can be dangerous, even deadly — as we've seen in the cases of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner, in Staten Island, New York. Diversity advocate Vernā Myers looks closely at some of the subconscious attitudes we hold toward out-groups. She makes a plea to all people: Acknowledge your biases. Then move toward, not away from, the groups that make you uncomfortable. In a funny, impassioned, important talk, she shows us how.
Remember how good you felt when Black History Month rolled around and you finally got to learn and talk about significant African American historical figures in school? Well, according to new research published in the Journal of Child Development, affirming a black child’s desire to learn about their race does more than just give them a personal boost, it helps them academically as well.
The study, conducted by Ming-Te Wang and James P. Huguley of the University of Pittsburgh and Harvard University respectively, found that “racial socialization”—teaching kids about their culture and involving them in activities that promote racial pride and connection—helps to offset the discrimination and racial prejudices children face by the outside world.
Wang’s study surveyed 630 adolescents from middle class backgrounds to explore how racial discrimination and prejudice in school affects their G.P.A., educational goals, and future aspirations. They found racial pride to be the single most important factor in guarding against racial discrimination, and discovered it had a direct impact on the students’ grades, future goals, and cognitive engagement. Despite fewer instances of multicultural and inclusive learning in school and the increased frequency in which black students are treated more harshly than their peers, Wang’s study shows that teaching kids, especially black children, to take pride in their culture is an integral part of their success.
Wang sums it up:
Children do best in school when parents and teachers work together
Research shows that students learn more, have higher grades, and have better school attendance when parents are involved in their child’s education. That’s why attending parent-teacher conferences is so important: it’s a great way for parents to become involved and stay involved throughout the school year. Parent-Teacher conferences are a good way to meet your child’s teacher and learn about your child’s academic performance, as well as the teacher’s expectations. If you know what is expected in the classroom, you can more easily address any issue that comes up as your child moves through the school year.
By attending conferences, you also send a positive message to your child that school is important. Keep in mind that you are an equal partner at the conference. If you have questions or observations, the conference is a good time to share them with the teacher. Don’t forget to share what you know about your child. Your information helps the teacher better understand and teach your child.
More Info: Kirkwood School District
Parents as Teachers helps organizations and professionals work with parents during the critical early years of their children's lives, from conception to kindergarten—and the results are powerful.
We develop curricula. Grounded in the latest research, Parents as Teachers develops curricula that support a parent’s role in promoting school readiness and healthy development of children. Our approach is intimate and relationship-based. We embrace learning experiences that are relevant and customized for the individual needs of each family and child. As a result, individuals and organizations who use our curricula benefit from our understanding of the evolving needs of today’s families and children.
We train professionals. Our organization is successful only when those we support are able to effectively meet the needs of the children and families they serve. Leading health, education and social service organizations and professionals seek out Parents as Teachers curricula and training because of its flexibility to easily integrate with other services they provide. We know our partners serve broad and diverse populations, so our training addresses the developmental needs of any child, including those most vulnerable. We offer providers practical, hands-on applications for parents in real-world situations.
We advocate for children and families. We are a champion for early intervention and parental involvement and serve as a unified voice for early childhood education and healthy child development. We raise awareness and shape policy around evidence-based practices that support the importance of enhancing school readiness by reaching children during the critical, formative years of life.
We set high standards. Our commitment to research and quality drives our organization. We are committed to evidenced-based research in order to offer the most relevant information and tools to early childhood development and education providers. The efforts of our work help our partners positively impact children during their most critical, early years of life.
To Find Out More About Parents As Teachers in Kirkwood
Parents as Teachers
Office hours: Mon.-Thurs. 9:00a-2:00p
Kirkwood Early Childhood Center
100 N. Sappington Rd.,
Kirkwood, MO 63122