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Many researchers, including Dr. Joyce L Epstein, have written extensively about the partnerships that must exist between family, school, and community to arrive at the best outcomes for children’s academic success. The diagram illustrates the overlapping spheres of influence in a child’s academic life and shows the child / student in the middle.
Each sphere has boundaries that can be separated or pulled together to share influence, depending on the practices of the ‘actors’ in family, school, or community spheres and their interpersonal interactions. The outcomes of the child improve when there is a balance in collaboration among the overlapping spheres. Epstein refers to children as the “main actors” in this process.
For purposes of this course, we will consider how we can strengthen the ‘Home’ partnership. The Family Engagement Workshop will focus on caregiver influence, ways to make ‘Home’ life literacy-rich, and family-centered activities, to give their child a great start. We recognize and use the term family as inclusive of the diverse structures that make up a child’s family and use the term ‘Home’ as a framework for the social container and conditions in which a child is raised by their caregivers, and understand that ‘Home’ means different things to different people.
Let’s begin our course journey by reflecting on the influences, barriers, and strengths of the community of Latinx caregivers, especially those who are predominantly Spanish-speakers. Let’s consider your role in helping those caregivers navigate a cross-sector of systems and issues that impact their engagement as partners in their child’s learning.
These assignments can be done individually. If you join this course with partners at your organization, then you can approach these assignments as a team.
1. Sphere of Influence: Bring to mind a parent of a young child in your community. Place this parent in the center of the spheres: School, Community, and Home. Imagine what attitudes and practices influence this parent in their role as their child’s first teacher. This is a sketch, so there are no right or wrong answers.
The attitudes and practices that influence a Spanish-speaking caregiver are:
+ [NOTES PLUGIN]
School / Community / Home illustration
2. Family Engagement Goals & Your Role:
What goal(s) do you have regarding family engagement at your school/community organization?
What does family engagement look like among your Spanish-speaking parents/caregiver?
What does success look like?
What is your individual influence in this initiative to engage parents?
Success looks like…
My influence in engaging families is …
3. Current Narrative About Latinx Caregivers:
What is the narrative regarding Latinx family engagement that informs your work?
What barriers do Spanish-speaking caregivers in your community face?
What gets in the way of participation?
What have they responded positively to?
The current narrative is …
4. Home Culture:
What is your understanding of the home culture of caregivers in your community and their literacy levels in Spanish?
What are they good at?
This is what I/we understand
At la Fuerza de Familias Latinas we believe that parents are the most important influence in their children’s early learning and development. However, many Spanish-speaking caregivers are not receiving this message. When parents feel pride and confidence in themselves and their culture, their children benefit in many ways. Believing in their influence is often the first step to overcoming challenges and giving children a healthy and strong start in life. Every child needs a hero.
You have to believe in yourself [IMG]
1. Reflection on Caregiver Influence:
What might prevent a parent from recognizing their influence over their child’s education?
What might prevent them from seizing their power after they have been made aware of it?
2. Caregivers Navigating Special Circumstances:
What are the additional challenges faced by immigrant parents of children with disabilities or receiving special services?
3. Self Efficacy: What does self-efficacy look like? How do you measure it?
The current narrative is …
The inspiration for our Family Engagement Workshops is a social purpose miniseries or telenovela called, La Fuerza de Creer [The Power of Believing] watched by 1.4 million viewers on Univision. We created the 5-episode series in collaboration with Too Small to Fail and VROOM, with embedded positive parenting messages about child development to promote early literacy and school readiness.
The story takes place in an early childhood center of the beloved community center called, Los Lagos. Viewers watch the characters transform as they recognize the powerful influence they have over the children in their lives. Our family engagement workshop lessons feature clips of these characters modeling literacy-rich activities with children. Click HERE to watch the Trailer of The Force to Believe 2 .
Why draw from the storytelling style of a telenovela?
We draw inspiration from the methods employed by Miguel Sabido for creating social purpose media and Albert Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory.
Either read the chapter or watch the video featuring Albert Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory employed by Mexican producer, Miguel Sabido to social impact telenovelas. Use the Reflective Notes Chart below to capture your thinking, as you will be discussing with colleagues the power of storytelling in-culture and in-language.
Read: Bandura, A. (2004). Social Cognitive Theory for Personal and Social Change by Enabling Media. In A. Singhal, M. J. Cody, E. M. Rogers, & M. Sabido (Eds.), Entertainment-education and social change: History, research, and practice (pp. 75–96). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.
Watch: Cinema of Change. (2017, December). Albert Bandura: The Power of Soap Operas (Video). YouTube. https://youtu.be/i2uw76XQVU4
Why a telenovela?
What did you notice after reading, watching the videos or doing your own research on the application of Bandura’s Social Learning Theory to the Sabido Method and when you viewed the trailer for La Fuerza de Creer?
Below are prompts to get you thinking.
1.What is Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory?
What does Bandura say about self-efficacy?
2. What is the Sabido Method? What are the 3 main types of character models in a social purpose telenovela?
3. Impactful Storytelling:
What issues impacting the Latinx communities did you notice in La Fuerza de Creer 2 trailer?
What opportunities for discussion are previewed?