It is often suggested that one barrier to change in education is that parents want learning and schools to be like they experienced. There may be some impact of this, but I am not sure this really captures the big picture. I think we have to remember that not just parents have a stake and voice in education. The public at large votes and includes non-parents.
There may be parent voices that get heard, if not cherry-picked on issues in the media and elsewhere, but this may not reflect a majority or a reality. In my interactions and experiences with parents I have met many who advocate for healthy and humanistic environments for all children and recognize that shifts are needed. Many want to advocate, but can also feel powerless and unsupported in affecting change or improvement. I recognize that views on this may vary depending on the school communities one works within.
Having a lens through which one sees something may not be wrong. I think it is good to reflect on how we work towards changing the lenses of others, as well as how we make efforts to change our own.
Below is a video interview with one parent’s “POV” posted by the Canadian Education Association. The CEA’s communication director and interviewer, Max Cooke, asks if there was any impact of parents “wanting school as they experienced” as the school made a shift to inquiry-based learning. It was not the case for this school in Saskatchewan. The parent stated, “I think everyone wants a different experience for their children”. She offers some suggestions for parents near the end of the interview as well. A good listen and under 9 minutes:
A parent’s POV: