Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Welcome to Parent Teacher Knight! 
The broad aim of this blog is to help teachers and parents better understand each other and to facilitate better home/school relations.  I really hope that you will take the opportunity to participate in discussions, and share ideas and strategies with other parents and teachers on this site.

This blog will feature links to useful sites, reviews of new and old parenting books, and other helpful resources.

To kick us off, I am posting a link to an interview with Frank Furedi, a British sociologist.  He has some interesting points to make about about how parents and teachers should work together to take a leading role in educating and mentoring children.  He is supportive of both parents and teachers, which seems like a good place to start!


  1. Thanks for this link, Antonia. I agreed with what he had to say about the need to support teachers in their authority in the classroom - it is almost as if we have confused authority in the classroom with authority on knowledge - ie it is fine to encourage students to become questioning and critical thinkers, and to encourage teachers to continue their own learning journey, but students (and parents) still need to learn to respect the authority of the teacher as the person deciding what is done in the classroom and giving feedback on the student’s work/progress.
    With regards to the curriculum delivered, I feel that teachers have the expertise that I lack to teach my child reading, writing, maths etc, but that I certainly have the expertise to teach my child life skills such as healthy eating, the concept of right and wrong etc and I am probably the best person to teach my child that. However, some children will not have these things ‘taught’ at home, perhaps because their parents don’t have the skills or expertise to do so, so I’m not opposed to it being covered in the classroom providing it is not at the expense of the other skills/subject material. Perhaps ‘homework’ should better reflect and support this – rather than me helping my child with reading and writing, ‘homework’ activities should be centred around these ‘extra’ curriculum areas, such as discussions/activities about health eating, or moral issues, or health & safety issues.

  2. Thanks for your thoughtful and insightful comments, Skye! I really like the point you made about adapting homework so that it relates to the sort of things parents should be teaching their kids at home. It could make homework more enjoyable and meaningful for all concerned! I will do some research to see it I can find some examples of schools or teachers who do this. It could be a good point to raise at the next P & F meeting....

  3. Great blog Antonia! Excellent idea.. (Sarah L)

  4. I guess it also depends on what the school sees as the purpose of homework, particularly in the more junior years - is it to work on core skills they are learning in the classroom? If so, then we should free up curriculum time to allow this to happen at school, rather than at home, and perhaps my idea above would help in this case. Is it to do activities which require more resources than are available at school (eg one-on-one reading, online work such as 'mathletics', where class computer time is limited) or is it simply so parents can follow their child's progress and get an idea of what they are doing at school? Or perhaps it just gets them into the habit of doing work at home and reinforces the idea that learning occurs outside of school as well.

    My son's school has sent home a brochure on homework policy which seems to list a combination of all of the above (except the 'limited resources' one.) However, based on their philosophy behind doing homework, there is no reason the actual activities couldn't be shifted from literacy/numeracy to these other curriculum areas.

    However, is there sufficient evidence that formal 'homework' is even necessary at this very young age?