Who Get’s their Way?

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The major question at hand is this: At what point do parents’ wishes/objections supersede the teacher’s/school’s rights to make education decisions? For instance, would schools ask parents for permission for a guest speaker to come to the classroom? Would schools ask permission if another teacher was coming to observe in a peer coaching model? Would we ask permission if the University and the School District had a memorandum of understanding that allowed university interns in the classroom? What would happen if parents always said no? What would happen if the university students’ attendance in the classroom was tied to more money for the school? Do any of these scenarios change our response? There is never a simple answer when there are opposing viewpoints. So, as you move forward with additional debates, case studies and your own classroom practices, think about where you would “draw the line”. When would parent’s rights supersede your rights as a teacher to design instruction and maintain a classroom that promotes learning across all age levels. Now with this as a framework, consider the following scenario:

Stacy Hibauch teaches in an inclusive kindergarten classroom. One of her children, Shaun, has Down syndrome. Shaun’s mother is very protective of him and tends to be, in Stacy’s opinion, overprotective. A professor from the local university contacted Stacy and asked her permission to send students to observe in her classroom. In his request he said, “ I want my students to see how you accommodate a child with Down syndrome.” Stacy thought it would be a good idea to tell Shaun’s mom about the classroom observation. Stacy met with the mom and told her that a group of college students would be observing in her classroom. Shaun’s mom’s response caught Stacy off guard: “I don’t want any college kids observing my Shaun! He’s no guinea pig!” Stacy thinks the college students would benefit from observing in her classroom. Stacy could let college class observe, and not tell Shaun’s mom. Or she could ask for a meeting with the school principal and Shaun’s mom and try to work it out. Or she just could tell the college professor “ No”.

In a one to two page paper with proper APA format and citations, respond to the questions listed below. Concisely state:

a) What is your stance on parent input?

b) What role do you think schools need to play in collaborating with Universities?

c) What you think the school policy should be? d) What Stacy’s response should be and why?


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