The ever thoughtful Ian Usher just blogged about the challenges of introducing online reporting to parents. This is an issue much in my mind, as we are in the early stages of planning exactly this feature for Yacapaca. It will be part of the free service, of course, and completely automated once set up.
Ian has a great checklist of issues, but he misses the problem uppermost in my mind. How long before some child gets badly beaten because we reported a poor test result to their cro-magnon parents? Such parents do exist, sadly.
What I would like to do is report only the child’s successes, and not only to protect children from violence. Behavioural principle dictates rewarding appropriate behaviour and ignoring inappropriate behaviour, so I want to give parents the best tools to do exactly this. But… under the Government’s 2010 rule, will schools dare to do the right thing?
One response to “Reporting assessment results to parents”
So, a child who is most likely to get beaten will still get beaten because such children often have very few if any successes. Will their parents beat them on the basis that no news is bad news or will they simply not care or will they beat them anyway because that is what they do? Principles are fine for principled people but for some kids, inappropriate behaviour is the only way they know. Report the parents not the children!
For those kids who are fortunate enough not to be beaten, cut them a little slack. Let them feel that their lives are not entirely transparent – that everything they do is not automatically beamed to their parents. Let them enjoy the pleasure of seeing Mum/Dad’s face when they surprise her/him with what they have achieved, instead of knowing that she will know already. Let us Mums watch our children tell us the news so that we can gauge which bit of it is really important to them from their body language, the look on their face etc. Don’t let us lose these ‘old fashioned’ spontaneous interactions which make relationships with our children so special.