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Reshaping home–school connections in the digital age: challenges for teachers and parents
journal contributionposted on 2020-03-01, 00:00 authored by Kirsten Hutchison, Louise PaatschLouise Paatsch, Anne CloonanAnne Cloonan
Imperatives to connect the worlds of home and school, evident in global policies of family engagement and partnership initiatives between teachers and parents to support children’s education are viewed as key dimensions of academic success. However, developing ways to meaningfully connect and engage teachers, parents and students in learning ecologies remains elusive, contested and increasingly complex in the digital age. Teachers are encouraged to draw on their students’ digital ‘funds of knowledge’ to create innovative learning opportunities and develop capacities for creativity and critical thinking. Despite significant research into creativity pedagogies and the inclusion of parents in policy documents urging for increased innovation in schooling, which often implies the use of digital technologies, parents are largely invisible in research into creative pedagogies. The data explored in this article are drawn from a larger project which adopted a teacher-as-inquirer approach to investigate teacher, student and parent experiences and understandings of innovative teaching designed to integrate creative and critical thinking with digital literacy practices. The analysis mobilises the key features of creative and innovative learning environments identified in the research literature to explore teachers’ initiatives to develop reflexive and innovative pedagogies and foregrounds the ways in which incorporation of digital media impacted on parental engagement in their children’s learning. Findings highlight significant challenges for schools and teachers to meaningfully and sustainably connect home and school learning which positions children, teachers and parents as agentic and creative.