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PARENTING LEARNING EXPERIENCE

USING BEHAVIORAL CONTRACTS FOR CHILD ADVOCACY


Learning Experience by Lisa A. Rauche, Shaker High School, North Colonie NY School District
Member of the New York State Academy for Teaching and Learning

LEARNING CONTEXT:
This learning experience has been utilized in Health Education and Child Development classes. Acquiring parenting skills is a life long learning process. Utilizing a behavioral contract allows students to practice parenting in action from the viewpoint of the parent as well as the child. It is a learning agreement that consists of mutual consent, effort and consequences. Students realize that a contract provides guidelines for behavior changes and encourages and rewards responsibility.

GUIDING QUESTIONS:

  • How do family members support and affirm one another?
  • What are the roles/responsibilities adults assume when they become parents?
  • How can advocacy be used to enhance child and family health?
  • Where could/do parents learn what their roles and responsibilities are in relation to their children?

KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
This project provides planned opportunities for students to recognize the holistic effect that parents’ actions or non-actions have on their children. It forces students to look at children’s behaviors, parents’ responses, consequences and what it teaches and reinforces in children.

It is helpful for students to have created a graphic organizer to facilitate the process in the computer lab.

PROCEDURE:

  1. Students will be divided into groups and each group will select a family name. The family brainstorms the definition of advocacy and enabling. Each family shares the group’s definition. As a class, a comprehensive definition is decided upon and written on the Brainstorming Collection Sheet. Key words for each definition are discussed. Then, students identify situations – social and academic – and possible parental responses that illustrate advocating and enabling behaviors on the part of the parent.
    It is necessary to have this component complete in order to implement the next component of the assignment.
    At the end of class, students chart in their Reflection Journal their comfort level and knowledge about the concept of advocacy and enabling.
  2. Students report to the computer lab and class begins with a review of responses and situations from the Brainstorming Collection Sheet. Individually students draw and create a graphic organizer which gives the definition of advocacy and enabling, key words and an example that demonstrates each concept. Students turn in their organizer(s) and then answer the reflection question in their journal at the end of class.
  3. Students rejoin their family group. Students are given a Scenario Response Sheet. Each family discusses the situation and determines how an advocate would respond and how an enabler would respond. Then, students identify the effect that the parent’s reaction has on the child and what it teaches him/her. Discussion to follow. Students are asked to think about personal situations in which they would benefit from an advocating parental response. Class ends with a reflection in the reflection journal.
  4. Students report to the computer lab. A contract template is shared. Students individually identify a personal academic or social situation in which the student will make a contract to address the need for an advocating response from his/her parents. Students generate the contract. Class ends with a concluding reflection about the learning experience.

Students are to bring contracts home to discuss, get agreement and signature of parent(s) indicating a collaborative effort to address need.

INSTRUCTIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL MODIFICATIONS:

All students have been able to complete this task. Weaker students were assisted by “family members” and support staff. All students had the opportunity to collaborate with parents and teachers. Some students needed additional computer time which could be accommodated.

TIME REQUIRED:
Planning and Preparation for the Teacher:

  • Review definitions and concepts (30 minutes)
  • Create list of illustrations (30 minutes)
  • Develop age-appropriate scenarios depicting academic and social situations (solicit input from teachers and counselors) (2 hours)
  • Computer generated sheets (2 hours)
  • Reserve computer lab (5 minutes)

Time needs to be planned for discussion among students, explanations, presentation and understanding of the rubric and additional instruction time for students who have difficulty with concept(s). It may also be beneficial for the instructor to plan to have a parent guest speaker who can address responsibilities and effective use of contracts within the family.

Planning and Preparation for the Student:

  • Previous lesson(s) and knowledge on how to draw a graphic organizer (1-2 class periods, 46 minutes each)
  • Design and create individual contract (1 class period, 46 minutes)
  • Complete reflections in journal (30 minutes)

RESOURCES:

  • Computer instructor
  • Guidance counselors/social workers
  • Parents
  • Dictionary
  • Computers
  • Inspiration computer software

ASSESSMENT PLAN:
Formative Assessment Strategies

  • Discussion
  • Teacher anecdotal
  • Brainstorming Collection Sheet
  • Graphic Organizer
  • Scenario Response Sheet

Summative Assessment Strategies

  • Contract
  • Reflection Journal
  • Rubric

STUDENT WORK:

  • Graphic Organizer
  • Contract
  • Reflection Journal
  • Rubric for scoring

·


STUDENT PACKET
REFLECTION JOURNAL

Day #1
Identify your placement today on the Learning Continuum about the concept of advocacy and enabling.

Lost. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Getting There . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Arrived

Day #2
Identify your placement today on the Learning Continuum about the concept of advocacy and enabling.

Lost. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Getting There . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Arrived

What do the past two days tell you about the roles and responsibilities of parents?

Day #3
Identify your placement today on the Learning Continuum about the concept of advocacy and enabling.

Lost. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Getting There . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Arrived

How might this activity affect your view of parenting in the future?

Day #4
Identify your placement today on the Learning Continuum about the concept of advocacy and enabling.

Lost. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Getting There . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Arrived

If your contract was published, how would you explain how your plan makes your family a healthier place to live and love.

How has your idea of advocacy changed since the first day?


BRAINSTORMING COLLECTION SHEET



SCENARIO RESPONSE SHEETS

Scenario 1
A phone call was made home to Nancy’s mom, Mrs. Camden. The teacher explained that Nancy did not turn in her Advocacy Project which was now three days late. Nancy had told the teacher that there had been a death in the family and she could not complete it. If the project is not turned in by tomorrow, Nancy will receive a zero.

HOW WOULD AN ADVOCATE RESPOND?





THIS TEACHES THE CHILD. . . .

HOW WOULD AN ENABLER RESPOND?





THIS TEACHES THE CHILD. . . .

Scenario 2
Samantha Brady is an outstanding softball player. She is well known for her skill on the team. At the season play-offs, Samantha is called “out” at home base. Her parents, along with others, feel that she was “safe.”

HOW WOULD AN ADVOCATE RESPOND?





THIS TEACHES THE CHILD. . . .

HOW WOULD AN ENABLER RESPOND?





THIS TEACHES THE CHILD. . . .

Scenario 3
Elisabeth, a 4th grader, forgot her P.E. clothes again. Mr. Tanner noticed his daughter’s gym bag and clothes in the kitchen before work. Mr. Tanner knows that if Elisabeth does not have this for class she will stay in detention.

HOW WOULD AN ADVOCATE RESPOND?





THIS TEACHES THE CHILD. . . .

HOW WOULD AN ENABLER RESPOND?





THIS TEACHES THE CHILD. . . .

Scenario 4
Two first grade boys, Brandon and Garrett, got into a fight during recess. Garrett threw the first punch after Brandon kept calling him a “geek.” The principal called home to discuss the fight and the uniformity in punishment with both children’s parents.

Brandon’s parents?

HOW WOULD AN ADVOCATE RESPOND?





THIS TEACHES THE CHILD. . . .

HOW WOULD AN ENABLER RESPOND?





THIS TEACHES THE CHILD. . . .

Garrett’s parents?

HOW WOULD AN ADVOCATE RESPOND?





THIS TEACHES THE CHILD. . . .

HOW WOULD AN ENABLER RESPOND?





THIS TEACHES THE CHILD. . . .


CONTRACT


Dear Mom/Dad/Adult:

I am working towards becoming a capable and responsible adult.

__________________________________ I need assistance in working on:

In school / Out of school (select one)

This is important to me academically/socially because:

Could you please help me by agreeing to do the following:

1.

2.

If after your assistance I am not able to ____________________________________________________

then the following consequences will ensue:

(parent and student can negotiate the consequence(s) or the consequence(s) can be the one(s) that will occur at school)

I agree to the terms of the contract.

___________________________ ___________________________
Student signature Parent Signature

___________________________ ___________________________
Date Date



One week after signing this contract please comment on progress and amend the contract as necessary.

Parent comment:

Student comment:


USING BEHAVIORAL CONTRACTS FOR CHILD ADVOCACY

Dimension 4 Champion Advocate 3 Advocate 2 Starting to Enable 1 Enabler

Information Gathering
The extent to which the student utilizes a variety of strategies to visually demonstrate comprehension of key concepts.

H 1A, 1D, 2C, 3B
ELA 1.2C
CDOS 3a.2A, 3a.6A
NH 1.4, 3.1, 3.4, 5.4, 7.2


  • Definition, key words, examples and specific responses demonstrate comprehension of advocacy and enabling.
  • Webs demonstrate an understanding of a parent’s role in teaching children self-discipline and supporting the child’s acceptance of responsibility.
  • Complete and developed, showing skillful organization of thoughts.
  • Defines advocacy and enabling accurately with key words, examples and responses.
  • Webs demonstrate an understanding of a parent’s role in teaching children self-discipline and supporting the child’s acceptance of responsibility.
  • Complete and developed, showing organization of thoughts.
  • Definition and examples demonstrate confusion in defining advocacy and enabling.
  • Webs demonstrate an understanding of a parent’s role but do not relate to teaching children self-discipline or supporting the child’s acceptance of responsibility.
  • Provides some detail but lacks organization
  • Definition and examples are inaccurate or incomplete.
  • Webs do not relate to parent’s role, teaching self-discipline or responsibility.
  • Lacks detail and organization.

Parenting Knowledge
The extent to which student demonstrates parenting education knowledge and NYS performance indicators for health education standards.

H 1A, 1D, 2C, 3B


  • Scenarios and contract demonstrate insightful understanding that the consequences of behavior influence family health.
  • Advocacy responses demonstrate insightful understanding of human growth and development and show care, consideration and respect for self and others within cultural norms
  • Scenarios and contract demonstrate an understanding that the consequences of behavior influence family health.
  • Advocacy responses demonstrate an understanding of human growth and development and show care, consideration and respect for self and others within cultural norms.
  • · Scenarios and contract do not relate consequences of behavior to family health.

    or

  • Advocacy responses are not appropriately matched to growth and development of the child and/or show lack of care, disrespect, insensitivity to cultural norms.
  • · Scenarios and contract do not relate consequences of behavior to family health

    and

  • Advocacy responses are not appropriately matched to growth and development of the child and/or show lack of care, disrespect, insensitivity to cultural norms.

Behavior Contract
The extent to which the student can execute a collaborative response with parents to address responsibility and growth.

H 1A, 1B, 1D, 2C, 2B
ELA 4.2B
CDOS 3a.2A
NH 3.4, 5.4, 7.2


  • Demonstrates the use of personal and social skills in collaborating with a parent to identify strategies to reach possible solutions in promoting his/her healthy development.
  • States specific, realistic behavior.
  • Commitment to personal growth is evident and challenging.
  • Determines appropriate consequence(s) for behavioral goal.
  • Uses correct conventions of language.
  • Demonstrates the use of personal and social skills in collaborating with a parent to identify strategies to reach possible solutions in promoting his/her healthy development.
  • States specific behavior, appears realistic.
  • Behavior listed appears personal and challenging.
  • Determines appropriate consequence(s) for behavioral goal.
  • Uses correct conventions of language.
  • Appears to have identified personal strategies independently of collaborative conversations with parent.

    or

  • Behavior listed is very general, appears unrealistic.

    or

  • Behavior listed can be accomplished without challenge.

    or

  • Consequence is inappropriate for behavior goal.

    or

  • Uses conventions of language inaccurately.
  • Contract is not valid because it lacks the majority of the following: parental participation, specific behavior, personal connection, appropriate consequences, correct conventions of language.

Personal Reflection
The extent to which the student captures thoughts and feelings resulting from participation in the learning experience.

1D, 1B, 3B
H 2C
ELA 1.2D, 1.2F


  • Expresses information and opinions about health situation to improve the quality of his/her family environment.
  • Answers questions asked clearly with thoughtful answers supported with strong accurate evidence.
  • Uses correct conventions of language.
  • Expresses information and opinions about health situations to improve the quality of his/her family environment.
  • Answers questions asked clearly supported with accurate evidence.
  • Uses correct conventions of language.
  • Information expressed about health situations is limited.
  • Digresses from questions asked and/or answers questions with limited or sometimes inaccurate evidence.
  • Uses conventions of language inaccurately.
  • Information expressed about health situations is inaccurate or missing.
  • Does not answer questions asked and/or gives inaccurate evidence.
  • Uses conventions of language inaccurately.

Teacher Reflection:
The first time I facilitated this project, I was discouraged and frustrated. The first two lessons did not go as planned. Yet toward the culminating activity, students actually understood the concept. As a follow-up to this project, I invited a parent into class to discuss the use of contracts within her family and how she can/does advocate and at times enable her children. Students were very interested in hearing about the first hand application and understood the rationale and desired outcome. My students and I both recognized the need and importance of this type of instruction on advocacy.

The second time I facilitated this project in Health class, the process and materials were refined and the lessons went as planned. Advocacy is fundamental in the field of child development and health education and it was interesting to me that many of my grade 10 and 11 students did not know the term or understand the concept. However, in working within the family groups students were able to consult with each other and get off to a good start. Completion of the component was critical in order to move to the next lesson to create a graphic organizer. There were a few students who were weak in computer skills who struggled with the graphic organizer. Most students saw this as an opportunity to creatively explore new software and design and produce a unique product.

In the third lesson, students in their family groups, intelligently discussed the scenarios and possible parent actions. Students demonstrated an understanding of the rippling effect a parent’s advocating or enabling response has on a child. The power was in the dialogue. I excitedly proceeded into the last component of the learning experience – the contract. The first time, in Child Development class, I learned that some students were hesitant or reluctant to disclose to his/her parent what they were not doing academically. To create an honest, meaningful contract, the student would have to identify a behavior – or lack thereof – that would reveal a lie to the parent. To address this obstacle, the second time I taught this, I allowed students to identify an academic or social situation to address. Students had no problems identifying a situation to work on.

Student contracts were produced and brought home to discuss and sign. Some parents returned the signed contracts during Open House and others through their child. Overwhelmingly, parents were excited about the dialogue that the contract generated, the pro-active approach of the assignment and the critical place that parenting education has in our schools. It affirmed what a worthy and meaningful learning experience this was.


PARENTING EDUCATION LEARNING EXPERIENCES SEQUENTIAL PLAN

Parenting Standard(s):
III: Support Systems and Services

Grade: 9-12 Discipline:
Family and Consumer Sciences

Essential Question(s):

What are the traits of a healthy family and how are the traits sustained?

Title of Lesson: Using Behavioral Contracts for Child Advocacy

# of lessons:

__________4_____

Child Development

Length of periods: ­­­ 46 minutes


LESSON COMPONENTS DAY 1 DAY 2 DAY 3 DAY 4
Guiding Question(s)
3D. How do family members support and affirm one another?

1F. What are the roles/ responsibilities adults assume when they become parents?

3D. How do family members support and affirm one another?

3D. How do family members support and affirm one another?

3Q. How can advocacy be used to enhance child and family health?

3Q. How can advocacy be used to enhance child and family health?

1E. Where could/do parents learn what their roles and responsibilities are in relation to their children?

Instructional Questions

What is an advocate?

What is an enabler?

Can students process information visually?

What thoughts and behaviors does a parent’s enabling response/ advocating response foster in a child?

Can students successfully execute a collaborative response to address responsibilities and growth?

Activities

Brainstorming Collection Sheet: Define advocate, enabler and generate appropriate responses to teen situations according to cultural beliefs.

Review responses from Brainstorming Collection Sheet.

Computer lab: draw individual graphic organizer showing a parent’s response when advocating and enabling. The organizer demonstrates a parent’s role in teaching children self-discipline and supporting the child’s acceptance of responsibility.

Scenario Response Sheet: Using the academic or social situation described, students propose probable consequences to the child’s development of self-discipline and responsibility for a parent’s advocating response or enabling responses. Responses should be culturally appropriate for the student.

Students use the Contract template to identify a personal academic or social situation in which the student can make a contract with his/her parent to address his/her need for an advocating response from the parent. Make contract.

Teacher will solicit periodic informal checks on contract progress in the coming weeks.

Skills Assessed

Advocacy AD.C.1


Advocacy AD.C.1

Advocacy AD.C.5
Decision-Making DM.C.6

Advocacy AD.C.6; AD.C.8
Communication CM.C.2
Decision-Making DM.C.7; DM.C.10; DM.C.11
Planning & Goal Setting
PG.C.9; PG.C.12
Self-Management SM.C.2

Learning
Standards &
Performance Indicators

NYS Health 2B, 3B
NYS FACS 2D, 3A
NFCS 15.1.5, 15.2.1
NH 1.4, 3.4


NYS Health 1A, 1D, 2B, 3B
NYS FACS 2A, 3A, 2D
ELA 1.2C
NYS CDOS 3a.2A, 3a.6A
NFCS 15.1.2, 15.1.5, 15.2.1
NH 1.4, 3.1, 3.4, 5.4

NYS Health 1D, 2B, 3B
NYS FACS 2D, 3A
NYS ELA 1.2C
NFCS 15.1.3, 15.1.5, 15.2.1
NH 1.4, 3.4, 7.2

.

Student will submit lNYS Health 1A, 1B, 1D, 2B, 2C, 3B, 3E
NYS FACS 2A, 2D, 3A
NYS CDOS 3a.2A, 3a.3A
NYS ELA 1.2D, 1.2F, 4.2B
NFCS 15.1.2, 15.1.3, 15.2.1
NH 1.4, 3.4, 7.2

Assessment Tool(s)
  • Discussion
  • Brainstorming Collection Sheet
  • Teacher anecdotal
  • Content of and graphic organizer
  • Scenario Response Sheet
  • Teacher anecdotal


  • Contract

Reflection question(s)

What do the past two days tell you about the roles and responsibilities of parents?

How might this activity affect your view of parenting in the future?

If your contract was published, how would you explain how your plan makes your family a healthier place to live and love? (3A)

How has your idea of advocacy changed since the first day?

Standard and Commencement Level Indicators:
NYS Health, Physical Education and Family and Consumer Sciences

Standard 1: Students will have the necessary knowledge and skills to establish and maintain physical fitness, participate in a physical activity and maintain personal health.

HA. Understand human growth and development throughout the life cycle.

HB. Demonstrate the necessary knowledge and skills to promote healthy development into adulthood.

HD. Evaluate how the multiple influences which affect health decisions and behaviors can be altered.

Standard 2: Students will acquire the knowledge and ability necessary to create and maintain a safe and healthy environment.

HB. Evaluate personal and social skills which contribute to health and safety of self and others.

HC. Recognize how individual behavior affects the quality of the environment.

FCSA. Understand the stages of child development and apply this knowledge to activities designed to enrich the social, physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual development of a young child.

FCSD. Apply basic rules of health and safety to a variety of home and workplace situations.

Standard 3: Students will understand and be able to manage their personal and community resources.

HB. Analyze how cultural beliefs influence health behaviors and the use of health products and services.

HE. Demonstrate advocacy skills in promoting individual, family and community health.

FCSA. Analyze a wide range of factors related to managing personal resources to balance obligations to work, family and self.

NYS Health Education Skills Matrix – Commencement Level

Advocacy – Demonstrates the ability to apply advocacy strategies and skills to enhance personal, family and community health.

AD.C.1. Explores the concept of advocacy as it relates to health issues.

AD.C.5. Gathers, assesses and synthesizes evidence to support a health enhancing position.

AD.C.6 Demonstrates the ability to persuade others in making personal, family and community health choices.

AD.C.8 Works cooperatively and collaboratively to advocate for the health of self, families and communities.

Communication – Demonstrates the ability to apply communication strategies and skills to enhance personal, family and community health.

CM.C.2 Demonstrates effective verbal and non-verbal communication skills in real-life situations.

Decision-Making – Demonstrates the ability to apply decision-making strategies and skills to enhance personal, family and community health.

DM.C.6 Predicts short and long-term benefits and harmful consequences of personal decisions.

DMC.7 Maintains and accesses health-enhancing support systems at home; in school and/or in the community.

DM.C.10 Makes a commitment to carry out personal health-enhancing decisions.

DM.C.11 Assumes responsibility for personal decisions.

Planning and Goal Setting – Demonstrates the ability to apply planning and goal setting strategies to enhance personal, family and community health goals.

PG.C.9 Applies, evaluates and adapts a goal setting model in real life situations.

PG.C.12 Makes a personal commitment to achieve a short-term goal.

Self-Management - Demonstrates the ability to practice health-enhancing behaviors and reduce health risks.

SM.C.2 Analyzes personal health assessment to determine and apply strategies for health enhancement and risk reduction.

NYS English Language Arts

Standard 1: Students will read, write, listen and speak for information and understanding.

1.2C. Use a wide range of organizational patterns such as chronological, logical, cause and effect and comparison/contrast.

1.2D Support interpretations and decisions about relative significance of information with explicit statement, evidence and appropriate argument.

12.F Use standard English skillfully, applying established rules and conventions for presenting information and making use of a wide range of grammatical constructions and vocabulary to achieve an individual style that communicates effectively.

Standard 4: Students will listen and speak for social interactions.

4.2B Make effective use of language and style to connect the message with the audience and context.

NYS Career Development and Occupational Studies

Standard 3a: Students will demonstrate mastery of the foundation skills and competencies essential for success in the workplace.

3a-2A. Demonstrate the ability to organize and process information and apply skills in a new way.

3a-3A. Demonstrate leadership skills in setting goals, monitoring progress and improving their performance.

3a-6A. Use technology to acquire, organize and communicate information by entering, modifying, retrieving and storing data.

Context and Interdisciplinary Connection
This project was implemented in the Child Development curriculum immediately following an instructional unit on discipline and the topic of parents being the primary educators of their children. In Health class, this learning project was utilized prior to the Mental, Social and Emotional Health Unit. It is an effective activity that demonstrates a skills-based approach to instruction. This learning activity incorporates technology as well as addressing English/Language Arts and Career Development and Occupational Studies Learning Standards.


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