Classrooms are full of a variety of cultures today, which can create both excitement and controversy. As the teacher, it is your job to embrace these different cultures so communication between students, families and teachers flows freely and positively. Educational videos can be an important tool in the process of teaching students how to embrace cultures different from their own.
A recent industry study explored how teachers and families perceived relationships and how parental involvement among diverse families with children in kindergarten was affected by these perceptions. Surprisingly, findings from this study suggest that both teacher and parent perceptions played a role in how teachers reported parental involvement. Teachers tended to report African American and Latino parents as less involved with their children’s education. Teachers also reported more involvement where parents had more education.
Such misconceptions can be damaging to the parent/teacher relationship, ultimately impacting the child. When educational videos are used to introduce the reality of other cultures in the classroom, students and teachers learn how valuable these cultures are and how to incorporate them into their own. This effectively changes the overall dynamic for a more positive experience for all involved.
The Affect on the Parent
No matter what the situation is at home, perceptions play a greater role in overall beliefs when facts are missing. This study found that both parent and teacher perceptions of the quality of home and school relationships impacted parental involvement. If the parent perceived they weren’t welcome or needed at school, they tended to stay away. Likewise, if the teacher felt the parent had nothing to offer, they didn’t encourage them to participate.
Race and Culture
It is very easy for anyone to make an assumption about someone or something about which they know very little. This country has a history of racial and cultural prejudices that still remain strong in many areas, despite laws to the contrary. For African Americans and Latino families especially, there is a legacy of institutional and individual racism that could easily impact a parents’ sense of acceptance, belonging and a shared community. As a result, parents and teachers have preconceived notions based on years of misguided thoughts and actions.
These misperceptions can continue on with students unless intervention takes place. Educational videos can help to create an environment of equality where students accept other races and cultures as equal to their own. Such an approach eliminates those barriers to acceptance, creating a more positive learning environment for everyone.
When teachers or other educators perceive a mother’s educational level to be lacking, it can impact the way they view the mother. Research showed that higher maternal education was associated with increased teacher reported parental involvement. Again, this can carry over into the classroom, creating tensions where they shouldn’t exist. When educational videos are used to demonstrate diversity and how it can add to instead of take away from the classroom, everyone benefits.