Creating Demand for Change: Smart Parents

Bob Rothman recently wrote a review of the book Smart Parents: Parenting for Powerful Learning in a column in Education Week published on August 31st. The book, by Bonnie Lathram, Carri Schneider is now available for purchase (ebook and print) includes over 60 parent stories and relevant research related to the decisions parents make that have a significant impact on a child’s education.

Bob writes, “Contributors to this blog have included students, teachers, school leaders, state officials, policy analysts, and researchers, and they have all suggested ways that each of these groups can help ensure that all students learn more deeply. The ideas have been profound, and the discussions have been lively.One group that has not received much attention here has been parents. Parents have always been vital to student success, and there is ample research to show how appropriate parental involvement can enhance learning.”

Bob writes, “But in the kinds of learning environments in which students learn deeply–where they are engaged in real-world projects and produce products for authentic audiences–parental involvement is particularly important. That’s because these types of projects are premised on the idea that student learning is not confined to the four walls of a school building or the seven hours of a school day. If students learn all the time and in all places, parental support is vital. The tools are valuable, and the e-book provides an easy way to access them, simply by clicking on the links.”

Describing and summarizing the reason for writing the book, the Smart Parents‘ authors write:

“We believe in the potential of technology to improve student access and extend learning opportunities, but parenting for powerful learning is not about plugging your kids into technology and proudly declaring victory over the shifting realities of the 21st century. The real point of parenting for powerful learning means that parents play a critical role in helping their children navigate the myriad formal and informal options that are available to them, helping to equip them with the habits and mindsets necessary to drive their own learning. Doing so demands recognizing the shifts in how, when, where, and even why we learn. And that recognition comes from the acknowledgement of an alarming and widespread problem: The current education system is in need of an update.”

In the over year long blog series that ran on both Huffington Post and Getting Smart, the authors found that Smart Parents are intentional, inspirational, informed and involved. Get your copy of the book today, and share with all parents. The book is both parent storytelling and a survey of the current research around the role parents can play in activating powerful learning for and with their children.


This blog is part of our Smart Parents blog series and book, Smart Parents: Parenting for Powerful Learning in partnership with The Nellie Mae Education Foundation. For more information, please see our Smart Parents: Parenting for Powerful Learning page and other blogs in the series:


Getting Smart Staff

The Getting Smart Staff believes in learning out loud and always being an advocate for things that we are excited about. As a result, we write a lot. Do you have a story we should cover? Email [email protected]

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