In edtech and learning stewardship circles (thinking of conversations with the #edopenmic last week and with @johntspencer specifically), the idea of parental involvement seems to have come up often recently.
I noticed it but really didn’t understand it until last year. The complexity of the support networks many students in low-income communities have (and I’m assuming in many suburban ones too) is something we’ve yet to really tap into.
Shouldn’t social networks help us tap into this interconnected rhizome better than previously possible?
This is more than just a linguistic shift (i.e. moving away from saying “parent involvement” to be more P.C.). It’s a conceptual one. It transforms how we look at the network that raises our kids.
This rhizome of support, advocacy, accountability, and learning should be seen as a strength, or in @johntspencers words, a solution and not as an enemy to many of the things our kids face or need help with.
Roots branch out, but rhizomes interconnect and support. I can be facebook friends with a student, his older and younger siblings, titi (aunt), grandpa and mama simultaneously. I can mass text an entire family to make sure I get some important information to at least one of them, which could spread afterwards anyway they seem fit. I can just ask what folks use, and tap into it, rather than forcing them to fit in the box I feel most comfortable with.
If you’ve ever pulled out weeds, you know that roots are easier to pull out than rhizomes. Rhizomes are stronger. Rhizomes are resistant.
We should be attaching ourselves to these networks, and leveraging to meet the needs of our students. We should be seeing them as assets, and not as liabilities. I can see something like this as indispensable and impossible to ignore by school communities and reformers alike if played right.
How do you all connect with these networks?
What successes have you or others that you know had?
How do you intend to tap into these networks this coming year?
Any other thoughts?
We don’t see our friends or colleagues as only people in our immediate physical environment anymore because of social networks and PLNs. Can’t we start to be more cognizant of the realities of family life outside the nuclear in the same ways?