The growth of parents through parent education

This project outlines a parent education program which was termed "experimental" and was conducted under the auspices of the Reseda-El Camino Community Adult School (Area L) during the school year of 1973-74 for residents of the West San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, California. It was directed to parents of children in grades kindergarten through third grade, as these grades fall into the Early Childhood Education designation and are thus affected by adoption of "Policy Recommendations Regarding Early Childhood Education" prepared to implement Senate Bill 1302, passed in November, 1972, more popularly known as the "Riles' bill"--as at that time Dr. Wilson Riles was the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. This particular parent education program began in two schools in Area L, Lockhurst Drive Elementary School and Woodlake Avenue Elementary School, both of which had been selected as E.C.E. schools and both of which had elected to implement a part of their parent education commitment through their local community adult school, which was one of the options open to them. The paper begins with a review of the literature which provides a philosophical framework upon which the class is based. Following this is a compilation of some necessary background information and statistics about the program as a whole and the Lockhurst and Woodlake programs in particular. A major section of the project is a personal accounting of how the class evolved its goals and the ways in which it is both similar to and different from other parent education programs in early childhood education which were being held concurrently. Data on how the content of the class was based upon, its own stated needs, results of various questionnaires, and suggestions for future improvement and change are also included here in the hope that this program may provide a guideline for others, although it cannot be viewed as a formula. The appendices include the two sample questionnaires and a proposed questionnaire; a resource list of agencies and speakers, field trips, and materials used in the project; and a list of reading material for parents which includes a bibliography of the books which were included in the circulating library and recommended readings in the field. This inquiry into students' personal growth through parent education was conducted with the hope that it will be helpful for other parent educators with similar goals and professional inclinations.