The Parent-Teacher Partnership: A Few To-Dos
There are some aspects of education that are closely related to planning and an educator’s thought process. Formulating lessons or designing quizzes are considered part of the educator’s job. However, there is much else done behind the scene in order to provide the best possible environment to students.
In the final part of this series, where educators advice parents and other stakeholders on practices to get the best outcomes for students, we take a closer look at preparing for exams and the right volume for home assignments.
Exam: The Necessarily Evil?
Examination is a core part of any education or training process because it determines how much of the delivered knowledge has been absorbed by the attendees.
Without undermining the significance for student to learn and reflect on what they have studied, many educational professionals have not always opined in favor of examinations. Sabah Rashid, Head of Primary, Swiss International School Dubai voices the school of thought that believes that teachers must instead “breakdown” tasks to prepare students. “We need to minimize cumulative stress and enable students to have enough planning time in class,” she said.
If one school of thought has made the examination system redundant or lenient, another relies on it heavily to make the students more competitive.
Children at younger age should not feel the pressure of exams and they should be allowed to learn at their own pace. Laura Miller, Head of Primary, Aspen Height British School recommended that even as children should not feel the burden of exams, they should be trained to set targets and celebrate the progress they make.
Reiterating that examinations play a key role in progressing a child’s education, Aslam Khan, Principal New Indian Model School said, “With no examination students might not pay much attention. Conducting exams is necessary in child’s growth.”
Pupils often ask how much time should be spent on home assignments, given that they spend eight to 10 hours in school on an average. Mr Khan advises that students in higher grades must assess what they have studied and build on it in individual capacity. “Self-study and research is very important,” he said.
On this aspect, it is critical for families to be involved in children’s education. Ms Miller emphasized that home assignments are important because it allows families to be involved. It also creates a dialogue at home, allowing a shared experience.
Young students also need to understand that going to school is valued. “The school-home connection helps students contextualize their learning and to feel like their young life’s work,” added Ms Rashid.
Concluding with some final advice for parents, Ms Miller suggested that students need to “lead on their own learning and become independent and global citizens of the world”.
Mr Khan encouraged students to have a healthy timetable and be clear in their thought process towards what they want to achieve. “Have a good career advice and once you zero in on your target, select the best course of action to achieve it,” he said.
Ms Rashid advised students to be resilient and said that there are many factors that are imperative to empower students but most importantly they need to have “communication and a secure environment”.