What Are the Benefits of a Parent/Professional Collaboration on Building Career Education Skills?
|Listen to Dr. Karen Wolffe’s answer to the question, “What do you believe are the benefits of a parent/professional collaboration related to the expanded core curriculum?”
I’m Dr. Karen Wolffe. I’m with the American Foundation for the Blind. I am the Director of Professional Development and Career Connect.
What do you believe are the benefits of a parent/professional collaboration related to the expanded core curriculum?
I believe that the benefits of a parent/professional collaboration related to expanded core curriculum are that we can always do more together than we can ever—any one of us—do separately. And so the beauty of having parents as partners is that we can team up and work on the same skills, reinforcing those skills, encouraging those skills, asking children to apply the skills in different settings at different times with different instructional commands so that we’re much more likely to get generalization.
If children learn skills in isolation, if we teach a skill in a classroom, or we teach a skill on the playground, and it’s never reinforced or encouraged or referenced outside of that environment, the chances are it’s not going to be maintained and very unlikely that it will be generalized out beyond that environment where we first taught.
So the first and most important thing I think is that we can just do so much more together than ever do separately that it just makes perfect sense to team up. When we work together, parents and professionals, we have the opportunity to reinforce skills in natural environments. It’s very difficult as a professional to teach a skill without having that natural environment readily accessible. So, for example, if I want to teach cooking, and I’m teaching that at school, it’s always going to be on the school’s stove top. Whereas if I have a collaboration with the parents, maybe I would also have that opportunity to go into the home and teach cooking on the stove top where that skill is likely to reoccur. So that notion of natural environment is a very important piece.
And then my last comment, in this area, would be that happy, satisfied parents make for happy, satisfied children who make for happy, satisfied educators.