This is part two of a two-part series.
As educators it is vital that we look at ways to work in our communities so that genuine partnership builds capacity for effective parental engagement, connecting learning at school, in the home, and in the community. Increasing parent engagement may be an ideal place for schools and community services to collaborate. While schools are pedagogy experts, community service agencies are experts in engaging all families but particularly those that are vulnerable.
This article is part one of a two-part series.
‘The way schools care about children is reflected in the way schools care about the children’s families. If educators view children simply as students, they are likely to see the family as separate from the school. That is, the family is expected to do its job and leave the education of children to the schools. If educators view students as children, they are likely to see both the family and the community as partners with the school in children’s education and development’ (Epstein, 2009).
Martin Seligman, the father of Positive Psychology, was one of the earliest researchers to study the characteristics that underpin flourishing. His book Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology, published in 2002, popularised his ideas about how to flourish. Before this, the focus of psychology had been to investigate disorder: why mental illness occurred and how to treat it. Because Dr Seligman believes that his research findings show that an individual can strengthen many of the aspects of behaviour and the virtues he showed to underpin resilience, he would answer YES to the question ‘do we have a choice?’