Family and Community Involvement

H4 – Honor family/community involvement in the learning process.
Teacher candidates inform, involve, and collaborate with families/neighborhoods, and communities in each student’s educational process, including using information about student cultural identity, achievement and performance.

In my own understanding, HOPE Principle H4 underlines a key component to student’s success in school; support from family and community. I believe students not only need to be supported in the classroom but outside of the classroom as well. Our students recently participated in a school wide Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fair in which they were to come up with an idea fitting in the subjects listed above and share it with the school and community. Over ninety-five percent of the students in the school participated, each bringing a unique project completed at home with the help of family members. The students learned the challenges of brainstorming ideas, collaborating with a more knowledgeable other, and presenting the final work to an audience. As evidence, I attached the STEM fair flyer that was posted around the school and community and a few examples of the various projects the students presented.

STEM Poster STEM 1 STEM 2 STEM 3

The STEM fair very well relates to Lev Vygotsky’s Social Development Theory which focused on the connections between people and the sociocultural context in which they act and interact shared experiences. Specifically, the STEM fair relates to Vygotsky’s major them in the Social Development Theory; the More Knowledgeable Other (MKO). MKO is anyone who has better understanding or higher ability level than the learner and normally thought of as a teacher, coach, or an adult. In participating in the STEM fair, students work with an MKO in order to receive the necessary intellectual support when completing their project. It is important the students were able to work with an MKO. In this way, the students gained more knowledge about the chosen subject, a complete project, and support from the community in their appearance at the STEM fair (Mcleod).

In my own participation in the STEM fair as a viewer, I learned the impact involvement of family and community has in a student’s success. The students enjoyed being able to show off the hard work to a bigger audience. It was encouraging to witness students enjoying sharing the knowledge gained from completing the projects. In the future, I would integrate the experience such as the one gained from the STEM fair into the classroom curriculum. I would give students a chance to share that experience with their classmates. The sharing of working with families and presenting to community members would (hopefully) motivate students to work with families and community members more often. This experience would (hopefully) prepare students for roles in the greater society (Mcleod).

Reference

Mcleod, S. (2007, January 1). Vygotsky | Simply Psychology. Retrieved April 3, 2015, from http://www.simplypsychology.org/vygotsky.html

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