By Shirley F. Heck

Ebook by way of Heck, Shirley F., Williams, C. Ray

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Additional info for The Complex Roles of the Teacher: An Ecological Perspective

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It provides the child's first interpretations of life. It provides the atmosphere in which the child forms his or her style of life. The child absorbs, internalizes, and personalizes experiences with parents. Perhaps the most critical area in which parents serve as teachers is in the < previous page page_33 next page > < previous page page_34 next page > Page 34 development of the child's self-concept, which begins forming in infancy. Parental consistency helps the child develop the sense of security that is essential to the development of a positive self-concept.

What vocation could be more demanding than the responsibilities of parenthood? While the medical profession has made progress in educating parents about the physical care of children, who assumes the responsibility of helping parents understand children's socioemotional and cognitive development? It is the responsibility of teachers to help parents understand these developmental concepts. Educators must be teachers not only of children but also of parents. Parents want what is good for their children but often do not know what that is.

Parents serve as teachers primarily through their day-to-day actions, their reactions, and their interactions within the family context. However, teachers can help parents to become more effective teachers by sharing with them their specialized professional knowledge regarding human development and ways to foster it in the home environment. As children develop, they discover and create meaning from the experiences with people and events they encounter. Parents as teachers have a fundamental responsibility to provide a context within which children are encouraged to explore and discover meaning from a variety of learning opportunities.

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