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World renowned author, educational expert and Harvard University lecturer, Dr. Karen Mapp says children in families who are into learning at home do much better in school, and in life in general.
“What we know from the research is that students get better grades, and have a more positive attitude and approach to learning new things when parents engage in learning with them at home,” said Dr. Mapp.
Dr. Mapp was in the U.A.E. to launch GEMS Education’s new 3-a-day campaign as part of its third annual Parental Engagement Week. Based on a unique talk, share, encourage model, the launch took place at GEMS Dubai Modern High School.
“The 3-a-day campaign is a fantastic idea – clear and direct. Families need guidance, and the three strategies GEMS is recommending to parents – talk about, share and encourage learning, are the best for making an impact, and we see this in the research as well. Parents don’t need to know it all or understand every nuance of education, but any parent can do these three activities regularly and in their own way. Our families are all different, but we all want to do our best to help our kids be good learners,” Dr. Mapp continued.
According to a 2007 study, parental engagement can add the equivalent of two to three years of formal education. (Harris & Goodall, 2007).
Parent groups from all GEMS Schools in the UAE were in attendance to learn about 3-a-day. They were provided with information from the campaign in order to help their children become more successful. Proving that parents want and appreciate the engagement advice, 50,000 GEMS parents attended activities at GEMS schools last year.
Dubai based Clinical & Forensic Psychologist, Dr. Raymond H. Hamden, who also spoke at the launch said, “GEMS Educators are very progressive in their approach to building greater student achievement. The academics and administrator are focused on the family- the influence parents have on their children’s attitudes and accomplishments.”
He continued, “Coaching parents to do three daily activities – talk, share, encourage – is of the essence, to enhance their children’s learning potential at a higher level. As psychologists, we encourage these valuable strategies to build strong domestic relationships. GEMS has packaged these measures in a precise and easy-to-follow plan. Working with parents to talk, share, encourage, will promote a strong Psycho-Educational alignment for your children.”
GEMS Chief Education Officer, Ralph Tabberer commented, “We are extremely proud of this initiative, and of the benefits it offers parents and students across the UAE. We have designed a programme that will make it easier than ever for parents to engage in student learning; our approach is doable, uncomplicated and memorable, which is exactly what busy parents need.
“While GEMS employs an unparalleled team of educators, a teacher can never replace the role of a parent. At GEMS, we see education as a partnership between home and school; without the support of both parties, the partnership will not function to its full potential.”
The third annual Parental Engagement week will give GEMS parents a chance to be a part of events at their child’s school, so that they can begin to practise the 3-a-day tools, as well as pick up some advice on how to be more active in their child’s education. All 29 GEMS schools in the UAE will have events led by a combination of parents, teachers and industry experts. Daily activities will include workshops, student presentations, round table events, Q&A sessions, IT seminars, and many others.