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The World’s Largest Parents’ Evening
What is it all about?
Olli-Pekka Heinonen, Finnish National Agency for Education
The world around us is changing rapidly. Today, school children are flooded with information and face more technology than the previous generations. That is why schools are constantly changing, but parents’ perceptions of school often date back to when they were there themselves. It may sometimes be challenging to find common ground for discussion between the school and home.
Co-operation between the school and home is very important for students. The World’s Largest Parents’ Evening aims to bring schools and parents together to discuss all the good things happening in schools and how to provide the students with the knowledge and skills needed in the future.
The main focus of the concept is to provide schools with good materials that can be used as such or applied to your local area. The World's Largest Parents’ Evening consists of three parts: a joint event in the school’s assembly hall, discussions in smaller groups in the classrooms and an open discussion for everyone.
The World’s Largest Parents’ Evening event team is responsible for gathering theme ideas, making a program outline and materials the schools can take advantage of. By organizing the event simultaneously in dozens or hundreds of schools, the current themes in education can be brought to a wider debate that the event team can also manage through its resources.
The World’s Largest Parents’ Evening was held for the first time in Finland in January 2017 and it gathered more than 20,000 parents in schools across the country to discuss the future of schools. The evening got a lot of praise both from schools and the parents.
The innovation offers a clear and structured model for a parent-teacher conference that guides parents’ discussion into a future-oriented direction.Impact
Improving co-operation between homes and schools benefits parents, teachers and students.Scalability
The actual work is done in the participating schools, so the resources required for preparation are quite basic.