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Developing Caring Relationships Among Parents, Children, Schools, and Communities


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Table of Contents

List of Appendices Preface Acknowledgments Introduction: Thinking Mindfully About Parents Part I. Understanding Parents Within Their Cultural Context 1. Understanding Parent Involvement and Engagement in Schools Today Framing the Issues Traditional Definitions of Parent Involvement Political, Philosophical, Social, and Cultural Issues New Paradigms and New Solutions: Focus on Engagement Summary 2. Understanding Theories and Research on Parenting Early-20th-Century Theorists The Interactionists Trait Theorists Bidirectional and Transactional Theories Humanistic Theorists Social-Cognitive Theories Family Systems Theories Social Relationships Theories Bioecological Systems Theory Family Support and Empowerment Summary 3. Understanding the Elements of Parenting and Caring: Theories and Research Defining Parents A Case Study Illustrating What Parents Do The Parenting Process: A Theoretical Framework Research Demonstrates the Complexity of the Parenting Process The Parenting Process and Parental Thinking Parental "Ways of Knowing" Research on Parental Thinking Exemplary Programs Support Parents as Lifelong Learners Characteristics of Confident and Competent Parenting and Caring Summary 4. Understanding Parents and Teachers as Lifelong Learners Parents and Teachers Are Lifelong Learners Case Studies Examining Parent and Teacher Learning Needs Improving Parent-School Engagement and Learning Connecting Adult Learning and Adult Development Importance of Parent and Teacher Development Parent-Teacher Learning and Development Collaborations Summary 5. Understanding Culturally Diverse Parents and Teachers What Is Cultural Context? Terms and Questions That Aid Our Understanding The Role of Stories in Cultural Identity Some Questions Enhance Our Understanding of Parents Parents' Beliefs About Children's Needs: Collective Versus Individual Focus Parental Goals Parents' Thinking and Behaviors Toward the Child and Others Parents' Ideas About the Nature of Children Parents' Own Status and Context Self-Efficacy, Socioeconomic Status, and Cultural Context A Rationale for Using Questions to Understand Parents Summary Part II. From Theory to Practice: Fostering Caring and Culturally Sensitive Parent-Child-School-Community Relationships 6. Fostering Caring Ways of Relating Adult Learning Principles Frame the Model Meta-Parenting Is Another Helpful Construct A Caring Model of Parenting and Relating The Parenting-Caring Connection Parenting-Caring and Adult Learning Case Studies Exemplify the Caring Process Generalization of the Parenting-Caring Model Summary and Concluding Thoughts 7. Understanding Parents' and Teachers' Concerns Concerns of Parents of Diverse Socioeconomic Backgrounds Some Common Concerns Parents' Concerns by Age and Grade of Child Control: A Common Concern for All Parents Other Factors Related to Parental Control Communication: Another Common Concern Case Study: A Communication Solution Communication and Explanatory Style Communication With Parents, Teachers, and Schools Communication Experts Listen to Parents External Threats Summary: Historical Consciousness 8. Providing Developmental Opportunities for Parents and Teachers Needs of Adults Caring for Children Parents and Teachers Seek Guidance and Support Faculty Learn and Grow Together Parents, Teachers, and Staff Grow and Learn Through the PEI Reflection on Practice Benefits Everyone Parent-Teacher Discussions Are Also Helpful Stories as a Way That Adults in Children's Lives Learn From Each Other Other Models to Support Parent and Teacher Development Summary and Concluding Thoughts 9. Ensuring That the Next Generation of Parents Is Prepared for Their Role Background and Rationale Parent-Infant Visits: A Powerful Teaching Tool The Many Reasons for Teaching Parenting and Caring Advocates for the Cause What Children Learn in Parenting-Caring Classes International Movement for Parenting in Schools Teaching Parenting Throughout the School Years Results Demonstrate Student Learning Students Contribute Meaningfully to Their Community Parenting Courses as a Requirement for High School Graduation Summary Epilogue References Index About the Author

About the Author

Dana McDermott is an assistant professor at the School for New Learning at DePaul University. She has worked for over two decades in the Chicago area, nationally and internationally in the area of parent and family development. In Chicago she has been involved in minority parent leadership and in implementing parent education programs for children in schools from K-12 and for their parents. She serves on two national boards: "Prepare Tomorrow's Parents" an organization dedicated to promoting and supporting parenting education in schools and the National Parenting Education Network dedicated to supporting parenting educators in their work. She consults with schools and parent groups in the areas of parenting, teaching caring, social and emotional development of children and violence prevention. She is a member of the National and Illinois Councils on Family Relations.


"Long-time family educator Dana McDermott has written a volume with a large arc that deserves attention by all working with families. Published as a textbook, its readership should go beyond students to educators, administrators, social workers, and many others that are part of the caring circles for parents and children. The book is conversational. It utilizes a theory to practice model so that readers can read and explore the inextricable links between developmental wisdom and best practice with families. She is contextual in her viewpoint, exploring the many demands on parents AND on those that serve them. Respect for self and others jumps from the pages. This volume should sit along side the best of our books on group leadership, parent child communication, your favorite "arenting"book, resiliency materials and related books. If so, you will be picking this one off the shelf regularly to enhance your perspectives and your work." -- Ted Bowman

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