"Teacher Knows Best?": Parents' Approach to Warning Signs of Early Literacy Problems

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 08:40
Oral Presentation
Brittany ETMANSKI, University of Waterloo, Canada
Janice AURINI, University of Waterloo, Canada
Past research acknowledges the importance of early identification and intervention methods for students at risk of developing a learning disability. Much of this research has targeted medical professionals, teachers, and educational assistants. However, the current research examines the increasing involvement of parents during this process, and how this shapes their ability to identify these warning signs. Drawing on interviews conducted among parents in the Niagara region, this paper examines the qualitative dimensions that occur as they identify (or fail to identify) the warning signs their child signals. Our findings suggest that very few parents were intentionally disengaged. Some choose to remain disengaged as they believed ‘teacher knows best.’ Others sought to become more involved, but report that challenges and barriers impeded their engagement. Therefore, there is potential benefit to educating parents on how to identify warning signs, and subsidizing or facilitating resources for further engagement.