» A Culture that Engages Every Family, Steven M. Constantino, Ed.D.
» How Do You Know if You're Really Open to Partnership, Anne Henderson & Karen Mapp
» The Power of Asking-Instead of Telling, Jody McVittie, M.D.
» Empathy in Action, Rick Ackerly, Ed.M.
The Norwegian educational system ranks among the best in the world both in quality of student-teacher connection and academic achievement. In Norway, as well as in Denmark, no research is needed to prove the link between happy children and well adjusted, caring adults. In addition, parental contact is encouraged. It is the norm for educators to collaborate with each parent and student to co-create learning-goals for the child. For example, in each kindergarten, the parents’ council determines a year plan ensuring the participation of parents and educators in the framing of the educational content for the students.
In a recent article in the New York Times, About Education, a typical day-care center in Norway is profiled. Older children are often seen helping younger children navigate their world. Children are involved in all aspects of life including putting toys away, preparing meals, setting tables, and playing as they engage everyday activities. The article concludes with an appeal to American policy-makers to learn from the Scandinavian experience that it pays to invest in children.
Norway respects parent involvement and has formed a National Parents’ Committee (FUG) to strengthen parent involvement and parental influence in primary and lower secondary education. The aim is to give parents information, training, and advice to help students succeed. Their philosophy is that a good parent community is best for children.
Most interesting to me, as a developmentalist, is that parents are provided developmental conversations about their child. Children above the age of 12 are invited to be involved in the conversation. This type of respect for the child’s worldview is leading to noteworthy results as students, parents, and educators agree on the student’s learning plan moving forward.
I hope to bring back more information from our trip to Norway that we can incorporate into our educational approach at Summa Academy in fall 2013.
PS – I just found out that there is no formal testing in Norway of children below 11 years of age. Hmmmmm…more when I return from our trip!
©2012 Josette Luvmour, PhD. All rights reserved.
Posted on September 5, 2012 by Josette Luvmour, PhD
Josette Luvmour, PhD is a developmentalist, consultant, educator who specializes in child development, adult development, and sustainable family relationships. She serves in the non-profit sector as Director of Family and Professional Development at Summa Institute, a nonprofit organization that provides Natural Learning Relationships™ programs to students, families, and professionals. In addition to her 26-year consulting practice at Luvmour Consulting, LLC, she is author of five books and numerous journal articles and chapters that focus on building positive relationships with children.
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Tags: *School-Family Partnership, Learning environment
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