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Communication

Research Information

Communication is important to inform families about school activities (one-way communication), but it is also a vehicle for developing an awareness and understanding among parents of their role in the learning and development of their children and to develop their awareness of themselves as learners. It is also an opportunity to learn about the children in your classrooms (two-way communication).

"Because school communication practices are so fundamental to involving families in the education process,   teacher preparation and professional development programs should actively promote the development of communication skills for teachers" (Graham-Clay, S. Communicating with Parents: Strategies for Teachers, The School Community Journal. Accessed at: www.adi.org/journal/ss05/Graham-Clay.pdf)

How we communicate with families and the broader community includes:

  • The Welcome sign in the foyer (in the laguages of the families that attend the school)
  • A smile
  • A clean and tidy school
  • The display of children's work around the school
  • The website and newsletter
  • School Reports and Interviews
  • Informal chats in the carpark
  • Assemblies and School Liturgies
  • Parent information sessionsand gatherings
  • How conflict is managed
  • How feedback is sought and how you learn about each other, eg surveys, questionnaires, face-to-face meetings, phone calls, social events
  • Understanding the barriers to communication

A lack of acknowledment of families also communicates volumes to families!

Further Reading

For research on ICT and parents in Australian schools

K. Moyle, University of Canberra, for Teaching Australia (2006). Leadership and Learning with ICT, Voices from the Profession.

Voices from the Profession provides an overview of the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in Australian schools to promote learning.

In realtion to parents the report highlights:

  •  Parental expectations are changing the way ICT is used and resourced (p18)
  • The practical ways ICT is currently being used to engage with parents eg use of digital portfolios to enable students to map their learning pathways, to see the distance they had travelled in their learning and to report students’ progress to parents (p25) ; access to school intranet at home (p37); online newsletters and bulletin boards; promoting the school and its policies to future parents; facilities for e-commerce transactions (p 38); parents on ICT committees (p41)
  •  The need for more professional learning in order to bring about cultural change throughout a whole school and its community (including parents) (p28) and the need to foster a professional dialogue among staff, students and parents (p 98).
  • A school’s use of ICT can be interpreted by potential parents as an indicator of the quality of the school itself and its commitment to using 21st century communication tools (p 38).

 

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