Most parents love their children and work hard to be the best parents they can be, but teachers and parents often find themselves in conflict, resulting in hostility, defensiveness, distrust, and communication breakdowns. Contributing to the problem are media images, public policy, professional commentary, and informal conversations that portray parents as deficient, particularly when the parents may already be marginalized through poverty or language barriers.
Working from research in three key areas - parent development and parenting skills, social and historical influences on families, and parent-school relationships - teacher (and parent), Gwen Rudney offers teachers a more useful interpretation of parent beliefs and actions, designed to lead to community, trust-building, collaboration, gratitude, and friendship.
Straightforward chapters offer teachers theory, practice, case studies, workshop exercises, and common sense strategies and reminders for working with parents to improve life and learning for all children.
Gwen L. Rudney, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Education at the University of Minnesota, Morris. A teacher of language arts and social studies at the middle school level for more than a decade, her teaching and research interests include classroom processes, teacher development, multicultural education, and working with parents. She has worked with student teachers and cooperating teachers in regional, national, and international settings. She is coauthor of Maximum Mentoring: An Action Guide for Teacher Trainers and Cooperating Teachers. She enjoys serving as the chair of the Minnesota Teacher of the Year Program. In 2004, she received the University of Minnesota, Morris, Alumni Teaching Award.