Thursday, 18 October 2007

IB - do parents REALLY understand what we are saying?


I am always concerned as we aim to consult more, be more transparent and seek opinions how much parents really understand what we are talking about, especially regarding the curriculum. Parents trust most teachers and they all want the best for their children.

The photo above shows a large group of parents listening carefully as Clive Baker from the Dartment of Education Services explains all about the International Baccalaureate and its role in promoting high quality teaching, learning and assessment. This is part of an ongoing series of presentations to parents of all government schools and PTA's giving information and seeking their feedback. At the end of the presentation a show of hands indicated that there was overwhelming support for the proposal for the school to further investigate the IB process.
Sitting in listening to this, and watching the audience, I am not at all convinced many really understood what would be different. They did like the international credibility discussion, but the difference to teaching amd learning did, I fear, fly straight over the heads of many. This is a real difficult issue - they want to know - they are interested, but their context and understanding is based on their experience, linked to the fact that no one has ever really talked about these things before. When many hear it they don't really understand because it's always been down to someone else - the professionals. An interesting dilemma and one we must continue to keep working to do better.

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