Chris Scally shares:
In the original draft of this post, the application paragraph appeared last. I have moved it to the top. My thoughts on application are all in the first paragraph. The remaining paragraphs are a long-winded rant, followed by a link to a relevant This American Life Episode about the Harlem Bay College.
I have three thoughts on Chapter 6 application.
1) If we are going to ask parents to change how they talk to their children, perhaps it should feel like a conversation rather than an assignment, even if that conversation is delivered with a handout.
2) The IEP process does not help, in my experience, to create a feeling of team between the school and the parents. I think that often the school and parents are a very solid team, but I don’t think IEPs help. How do you create a feeling of conversation and team with your teachers and parents?
3) This chapter emphasizes the need for data to guide intervention. I sometimes make the mistake of looking at the data to see only what the child is doing right or wrong, and not what I am doing right or wrong. This may be my professional growth goal for next year.
So…. Chapter Six. Was anyone else creeped out by this?
I have been reading along rapt and on-board. I think our education as SLPs sets us up to believe in the power of early language environment and even if aren’t early intervention practitioners, we get it: Joint attention, expansion, extension, turn taking, talk talk talk. I was interested in the research showing how early language affects not only language but also processing and learning. I was intrigued by the inter-relationships between the effects of early trauma and stress and early language environment. I was excited by the tie-in to growth mindset. And then….
[Insert screeching break-noise here.] Something about the plan for universal home visits struck me as troubling. Throughout this chapter, the author pulls back and says, “When supportive programs are needed, and offered, it is not delineating differences in our population,” and states that basing the programs on science and not belief systems is the way to be sure that the programs are effective and work in the best interest of everyone. I agree, but I fear “well meaning experts,” who aren’t members of the community they are trying to “improve.” While I know that the author is pushing for necessary state and national funding, I wish there was more talk about community-based application. Paul Tough, speaking about the Harlem Children’s Zone parent education program summed up my concerns,
The idea of trying to mess around in the private life of a disadvantaged family is one that makes a lot of people uncomfortable. It’s essentially telling poor parents that there’s a better way to raise your kids, and we’re going to tell you how. But somehow, that’s not what it feels like at Baby College. It feels like a conversation, like we’re on your side. Like it’ll be fun.
This quote, by the way, is from a This American Life Episode. https://www.thisamericanlife.org/364/going-big (The last two acts of this episode are very off this topic but the first act is a great story about community-based change dealing with the need to change parenting styles in order to break the cycle of poverty. They targeted pregnant women. Talk about early intervention. ) The website for the Harlem Children’s Zone is here: https://hcz.org/