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Competencies of a Parenting Educator What Does a Louisiana Parenting Educator Need to Know and Do?. LA Parenting Education Network Pre-Conference Summit for Parenting Educators March 4, 2009 Betty Cooke , Ph.D. Family Education, Department of Curriculum & Instruction

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Competencies of a parenting educator what does a louisiana parenting educator need to know and do

Competencies of a Parenting EducatorWhat Does a Louisiana Parenting Educator Need to Know and Do?

LA Parenting Education Network

Pre-Conference Summit for Parenting Educators

March 4, 2009

Betty Cooke , Ph.D.

Family Education, Department of Curriculum & Instruction

College of Education & Human Development

University of Minnesota

[email protected]


Participant goals
Participant Goals

Participants will:

Understand the background, current status, and issued involved in the identification and development of parenting educator competencies

Recognize similarities, differences, and themes in sets of state and organizational parenting educator competencies

3.Learn of systems and programs currently offering certification or other professional preparation and recognition for parenting educators


Participant goals1
Participant Goals

4. Learn how parenting educators can use competencies to assess their level of competency as parenting educators

5. Become familiar with parenting educator core competencies being developed for Louisiana parenting educators

6. Consider uses of the Louisiana parenting educator core competencies for the state of Louisiana


Why parenting educator competencies
Why Parenting Educator Competencies?

Research tells us that :

  • Parents are their children’s first & most important developmental influence.

  • The quality of the parent-child relationship is crucial to a child’s development.

  • Raising young children is challenging; no job is more important to our nation’s future & more challenging than that of a parent.

  • The overload of conflicting parenting information available on a daily basis from the media, Internet, friends & relatives overwhelms & confuses parents.

  • Parents, regardless of life circumstance, can benefit from education & support in their role as parents.


Why parenting educator competencies continued
Why Parenting Educator Competencies? (continued)

  • These statements make a strong case for the importance of parenting education

  • Evidence is growing that parenting education can impact parents’ interactions with their children in ways that lead to better child outcomes.

  • The case for parenting education demands professionals who are capable of & show competence at working with a diversity of parents & families.


See how we grow nick carter 1996
See How We Grow – Nick Carter (1996)

“Probably the most critical issue facing the development of parenting education is that of how practitioners are trained, supervised, and supported in their work with parents”.


See how we grow nick carter 19961
See How We Grow – Nick Carter (1996)

Carter points out that the demands on practitioners are enormous and include:

  • the expectation to work across cultures, disciplines, and systems;

  • master a growing and diverse body of knowledge;

  • be adept at the processes and methods that truly strengthen families; and

  • produce dramatic results in shorts periods of time with ever-decreasing dollars.


Without certification or formal recognition
Without certification or formal recognition . . .

The field perpetuates the current situation of:

  • Continuing to have well-intended, but often poorly prepared individuals naively involved in parent education situations beyond their level of expertise;

  • Continuing to have anyone working with a few popular parenting books and videotapes or DVDs practicing parent education;

  • Continuing the growing oversimplification of complex parenting issues with offers of what appear to be easy, quick fix solutions;

  • Solving parenting concerns as media entertainment; and

  • Continuing to have parents seek out information and support without guidance as to what is accurate information and positive support.


Why do we have this situation
Why do we have this situation?

  • Parenting education is not a single field of study.

  • It is embedded in many other fields of study – education, social work, health, psychology, counseling, etc.

  • It has been challenging to agree on the body of knowledge and competencies needed by practitioners.

  • Practitioners in many fields are involved.


Broad array of practitioners
Broad Array of Practitioners

  • Parent Educators

  • Teachers

  • Social Workers

  • Psychologists & Psychiatrists

  • Counselors

  • Extension Family Specialists

  • Health Providers

  • Faith-Based Professionals

  • Early Childhood Educators & Care Providers

  • Paraprofessionals

  • Volunteer Parents


Questions and issues arising from this situation
Questions and issues arising from this situation . . .

  • What do parents need to know and be able to do to raise healthy, responsible children?

  • What should a parenting educator know and be able to do to work effectively with parents?

  • What degree and level of preparation is needed?


What is the body of knowledge needed in parenting education
What is the body of knowledge needed in parenting education?

Minnesota’s Parent Education Core Curriculum Framework & Indicators helps to answer this question.

Domains of Knowledge for Parents:

  • Parent Development

  • Parent-Child Relationship

  • Child & Adolescent Development

  • Family Development

  • Culture & Community

    Full information available at:

    http://cehd.umn.edu/CI/Programs/FYC/parent-framework.html


Minnesota s parent education core curriculum framework indicators
Minnesota’s Parent Education Core Curriculum Framework & Indicators

  • One of the goals of the framework & indicators is to inform practice in parenting education.

  • The framework and indicators illustrate how content for parents can inform competencies for parenting educators.

  • What is taught to parents informs the competencies the parenting educator needs.

  • Within each domain there are domain components & categories leading to the specific domain indicators for parents to achieve in each category through participation in parenting education.


Parenting educator competencies
Parenting Educator Competencies Indicators

  • What a parenting educator needs to know and do is grounded in what we believe a parent needs to know and be able to do to raise healthy, responsible children.

  • What a parenting educator needs to know and do is what we are referring to when we examine parenting educator competencies.

  • Competencies include:

    • Content Knowledge

    • Knowledge of Skills/Teaching Strategies or Processes

    • Attitudes/Dispositions/Beliefs

  • All are important.

  • They are often confused.


Examples of sets of parenting educator competencies
Examples of Sets of Parenting Educator Competencies Indicators

  • Texas Core Knowledge for Parent Educators

  • National Extension Parenting Education Framework (NEPEF)

  • Minnesota Parent & Family Education Teacher License Competencies

  • United Kingdom Standards for Work with Parents

  • Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) Content Areas (National Council on Family Relations)

  • Wisconsin Core Competencies in the Field of Family Support

  • Strengthening Families Protective Factors


1 texas core knowledge for parent educators
1. Texas Core Knowledge for Parent Educators Indicators

University of North Texas Center for Parent Education:

  • Developed “Core Knowledge for Parent Educators and Professionals Who Work With Families”

  • Apply to families and children from ages 0–18

  • Includes “Skills of Parent Educators and Professionals Who Work With Families” and “Attitudes of Parent Educators and Professionals Who Work With Families” in these 10 Core Knowledge Areas


1 core knowledge areas for parent educators and professionals who work with families
1. Core Knowledge Areas for Parent Educators and Professionals Who Work with Families

  • Child and Lifespan Development

  • Dynamics of Family Relationships

  • *Family Life Education

  • Guidance and Nurturing

  • *Health and Safety

  • *Diversity in Family Systems

  • *Professional Practice and Methods Related to Adult Learning and Family Support

  • *School and Child Care Relationships

  • *Community Relationships

  • *Assessment and Evaluation

    *Includes items related to process knowledge or knowledge of teaching skills/strategies

    University of North Texas Center for Parent Education and Texas Registry of Parent Educator Resources


2 national extension parenting education framework nepef
2. National Extension Parenting Education Framework (NEPEF) Professionals Who Work with Families

Two dimensions with six domains each:

1. Content or knowledge needed by parenting educators to provide to parents and

2. Processes that parenting educators need to work effectively with parents and children


2 nepef content or knowledge needed by parenting educators
2. NEPEF Professionals Who Work with FamiliesContent or Knowledge Needed by Parenting Educators

  • Care for Self – includesknowledge about managing stress and family resources and getting and giving support to other parents

  • Understand – includes focus on basic child development

  • Guide – includes the importance of parent strategies that engage children in appropriate and desired behaviors

  • Nurture – includes emphasis on the importance of teaching appropriate expressions of affection and compassion

  • Motivate – includes the importance of stimulating children’s curiosity and search for knowledge

  • Advocate – includes emphasis on the value of parents and children finding and connecting with community-based programs


2. NEPEF Professionals Who Work with FamiliesProfessional Skills and Abilities Needed by Parenting Educators to Work Effectively With Parents

  • Grow – refers to personal growth as a professional, knowing yourself and understanding how that affects relations with others

  • Frame – refers to knowing theoretical frameworks that guide practice in the field of parent education

  • Develop – refers to planning, marketing, and evaluating programs to educate parents

  • Embrace – refers to recognizing and responding to differences in the populations being served

  • Educate – refers to being an effective teacher, using delivery methods appropriately, and helping and challenging parents in their learning

  • Build – refers to building professional networks to expand the field of parent education and being a community advocate


3 minnesota parent family education teacher license competencies
3. Minnesota Parent & Family Education Teacher License Competencies

  • Offered through Minnesota Department of Education

  • Must complete a preparation program leading to a Baccalaureate Degree that includes demonstration of specific knowledge & skills in:

    • Understanding Families

    • Understanding Parent-Child Relationships

    • Understanding Child Development

    • Understanding Adult Development


3 other minnesota parent family education teacher license requirements
3. Other Minnesota Parent & Family Education Teacher License Requirements

Must also meet “Standards of Effective Practice for Teachers” in:

  • Subject matter (Parent & Family Education license)

  • Student learning

  • Diverse learners

  • Instructional strategies

  • Learning environment

  • Communication

  • Planning instruction

  • Assessment

  • Reflection and professional development

  • Collaboration, ethics, and relationships


4 united kingdom standards for work with parents key and core skills 32
4. United Kingdom Standards for Work with Parents Key and Core Skills (32)

Examples:

  • Contribute to building relationships in work with parents

  • Provide access to knowledge and information

  • Contribute to providing safe, inclusive environments

  • Help to keep parents safe and secure

  • Enable parents to reflect on influences on parenting and the parent-child relationship

  • Work with parents to meet their children’s needs

  • Enable parents to develop ways of handling relationships and behaviour that contributes to everyday life with children

  • Work with parents to understand and meet their own needs


5 certified family life educator cfle
5. Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) Core Skills (32)

  • Offered through the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR)

  • Applicants must have a Bachelor’s Degree.

  • Process has moved from having applicants provide documentation through a portfolio of academic preparation, professional development, and work experience in ten Family Life Education Content Areas to a national exam.


5 certified family life educator family life education content areas
5. Certified Family Life Educator Core Skills (32)Family Life Education Content Areas

  • Families in Society

  • Internal Dynamics of Families

  • Human Growth and Development

  • Human Sexuality

  • Interpersonal Relationships

  • Family Resource Management

  • Parent Education and Guidance

  • Family Law and Public Policy

  • Ethics

  • Family Life Education Methodology


6 wisconsin core competencies in the field of family support
6. Wisconsin Core Competencies in the Field of Family Support

Core Competency Areas for Family Support Staff:

  • Child and lifespan development

  • Dynamics of family relationships

  • Family support and parenting education: Principles methods and approaches

  • Guidance and nurturing

  • Health and safety

  • Diversity in family systems

  • Relationships among family, school and community

  • Professional practice and self care


6 wisconsin core competencies in the field of family support continued
6. Support Wisconsin Core Competencies in the Field of Family Support (continued)

Core Competency Areas for Managers in the Field of Family Support:

  • Best practices in the field of family support

  • Program, planning, monitoring and evaluation

  • Marketing and outreach

  • Fund development

  • Budget management

  • Personnel

  • Community advocacy and collaboration

  • Public policy advocacy and involvement


7 strengthening families protective factors
7. Strengthening Families Protective Factors Support

When present in a child’s or family’s life, these factors reduce the likelihood of child abuse & neglect:

  • Parental resilience – developing & sustaining caring relationships & having faith in their own potential & the world around them

  • Social connections – reducing social isolation & building communities with stronger social capital

  • Knowledge of parenting & child development – understanding normative child development & the parent-child relationship

  • Concrete support in times of need – helping families in times of crisis by arranging for or providing emergency services through other community-based programs

  • Social & emotional competence of children – helping parents understand how to facilitate their children’s social & emotional development & deal with challenging behavioral issues

    From Center for the Study of Social Policy


Similarities differences and themes across sets of parenting educator competencies
Similarities, Differences, and Themes across Sets of Parenting Educator Competencies

  • Focus on content knowledge to provide to parents and process knowledge or skills needed to work effectively with parents – some also include focus on attitudes or dispositions needed to work effectively with parents

  • Agreement about what is required in each of these areas of focus

  • Focus on only parenting education versus larger focus on family life education or family support which encompasses more, but includes parenting education as one area of their work with parents

  • Focus on different roles within parenting education/family life education or support

  • Focus dependent upon the overall goals of a parenting education program


Understanding parent development as an important parenting educator competency
Understanding Parent Development as an Important Parenting Educator Competency

  • Simply teaching parenting skills and giving parents information about child development, while useful for many parents, is unlikely to significantly affect the deeper qualities of the parent–child relationship.

  • Recent research on parenting shows that parenting itself provides a context within which parents grow and develop as parents and persons , e.g., how parents move from focusing on their own needs to noticing and understanding their children’s unique characteristics and individual differences.

  • Parent educators need to understand this process of parent development and how to promote parent growth.


Examples of parenting educator professional preparation recognition systems
Examples of Parenting Educator Professional Preparation & Recognition Systems

1. REGISTRY: Voluntary addition of name to searchable database of parent educators

Example: Texas Registry of Parent Educator Resources (ROPER) – statewide network of professionals who work with parents; a searchable database of parenting professionals that parents and professionals can use to locate parent educators by location, language, and expertise; led to development of Texas Professional Development Recognition System


Examples of parenting educator professional preparation recognition systems continued
Examples of Parenting Educator Professional Preparation & Recognition Systems (continued)

2. CREDENTIAL: Verification of one’s personal competencies based on state defined standards; often submitted as a portfolio or verified by an exam

Example: North Carolina Parenting Educator Credential (Four levels)

I. North Carolina Credentialed Parenting Educator (CPE-I) II. North Carolina Credentialed Parenting Educator (CPE-II) III. North Carolina Credentialed Parenting Education Associate (CPE-III)IV. North Carolina Credentialed Parenting Education Resource Assistant (CPE-IV)


Examples of parenting educator professional preparation recognition systems continued1
Examples of Parenting Educator Professional Preparation & Recognition Systems (continued)

3. CERTIFICATE: Seal of approval by a validating organization including a college or university; a set of courses or an exam with or without a degree

  • CERTIFICATION THROUGH A PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATION: Validation of knowledge and experience in competency areas through an exam

    Example: NCFR Certified Family Life Educator

  • GRADUATE CERTIFICATION: 12-20 hours of graduate credit from an accredited institution of higher education

    Examples: North Carolina State University, DePaul University, University of Minnesota, University of North Texas


Examples of parenting educator professional preparation recognition systems continued2
Examples of Parenting Educator Professional Preparation & Recognition Systems (continued)

4. STATE TEACHER LICENSE: Official or legal permission to practice granted by an appropriate authority; competency-based, renewable; passing pre-professional skills test required

Example: Minnesota Parent & Family Education Teacher License required to be a parenting educator in the public school Early Childhood Family Education programs


Examples of parenting educator professional preparation recognition systems continued3
Examples of Parenting Educator Professional Preparation & Recognition Systems (continued)

5. COLLEGE CREDIT:

  • UNDERGRADUATE CREDIT: Completion of a course, series of courses, or certificate from an accredited institution of higher education without a degree

    Example: Iowa State University Extension course credits, CEUS, and/or parenting education certificate of completion

  • GRADUATE DEGREE: Graduate courses resulting in a graduate degree in family life and/or parenting education from an accredited institution of higher education

    Example: Master of Science Degree in Human Development & Family Studies with a concentration in Family Life & Parent Education (34 credits) – North Carolina State University & the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (jointly administered)


Career ladders for professional preparation recognition
Career Ladders for Professional Preparation & Recognition Recognition Systems (continued)

  • The National Parenting Education “Framework for Understanding Parenting Educator Professional Preparation & Recognition Systems” and the examples on it provide a guide for creating career ladders.

  • A career ladder is a series of defined levels where the nature of work is similar and the levels represent the organization’s typical requirements for career growth.

  • A career ladder is a trajectory of upward mobility in which a person in the field can step in at the point most appropriate for their professional level and voluntarily acquire the professional recognition.   


Issues related to parenting educator competencies
Issues related to parenting educator competencies . . . Recognition Systems (continued)

  • Can we expect volunteers, peer facilitators, and paraprofessionals to meet the requirements included in the various Professional Preparation and Recognition Systems we have reviewed?

  • Is there consensus on the competencies needed by parent educators to effectively deliver parenting education and the content they need to know to address parents’ interests and needs?


Growing consensus
Growing Consensus Recognition Systems (continued)

  • Consensus on the competencies needed by parenting educators to effectively deliver parenting education and the content they need to know has been evident for some time and is evident in what we have reviewed.

  • The consensus evident 13 years ago (Carter, 1996) as to the body of knowledge and competencies needed by a parenting educator appears to be even stronger today.


Implications of parenting educator competencies
Implications of Parenting Educator Competencies Recognition Systems (continued)

  • They provide a means for parenting educators coming from diverse professional backgrounds to assess their ability to do parenting education.

  • They provide a standard for parents to judge the quality of their sources of information and support.

  • They provide a basis on which to continue the discussion of developing certification and other accountability systems that will help assure the professionalism of the field of parenting education.


What does all of this information about parenting educator competencies mean
What does all of this information about parenting educator competencies mean?

  • Such accountability systems will assure professionals that they are upholding the high standards for which the profession is striving.

  • Only then can we move toward having a better recognized field with recognized practitioners working to achieve goals of improved parenting become possible.

  • Only then can we assure parents that we are providing them with the information, skills, and other opportunities for growth that they need to nurture their children toward healthy adulthood.


Potential uses of louisiana parenting educator competencies
Potential Uses of Louisiana Parenting Educator Competencies competencies mean?

  • Individual uses:

    • Doing own self-assessment as a parenting educator

    • Identifying needed areas of study and continuing education/professional development

    • Setting professional development goals

    • Creating individual professional development plans


Potential uses of louisiana parenting educator competencies continued
Potential Uses of Louisiana Parenting Educator Competencies (continued)

  • Planning parenting education professional development opportunities – workshops, conferences, non-credit and credit courses including use by institutions of higher education to plan courses and programs

  • Developing curriculum resources/materials for preparing parenting educators and parenting education with parents

  • Developing and using individual/program/state career ladders/lattices or credentials in parenting education

  • Recognizing and encouraging professional development in parenting education


Potential uses of louisiana parenting educator competencies continued1
Potential Uses of Louisiana Parenting Educator Competencies (continued)

  • Program planning in parenting education offered through agencies, organizations, and institutions

  • Networking and collaborating about offering parenting education and other family supports across programs, agencies, organizations, and institutions

  • Providing information to parents about what is offered in parenting education

  • Creating a parenting education professional organization

  • Assuring high quality in the practice of parenting education


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