Co-op education

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Co-op education

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There are cooperative schools all over the country, and the idea behind a cooperative school or a parent participation school sometimes they are called is parents and teachers teach the children together and that the community teaches them. So often the parent needs to work in the classroom up to maybe between six to 10 hours a month or more or less. Every parent participation school has different requirements. Often the whole community cleans the school one day. There´s usually a board that makes up that runs the school and it´s parents volunteering but in a co-op you will see usually two credentialed teachers in the classroom and up to three parents in the classroom as well, an extra set of eyes or hands to help with the kids. They are not there to teach necessarily but an extra adult in the room. And a cooperative school is often developmental and child centered. They believe that children develop on their own rates at their own times and the classroom is usually set up in that way too to reinforce developmental philosophy.

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Joanna Port

Educational Specialist & Executive Director of PEL

Joanna Port is Executive Director of the Parents Education League (PEL) of Los Angeles. She holds a master's degree in Education from Pepperdine University and a master's degree in Social Work from University of Southern California. Before having four children of her own, she worked as a social worker with families and children in residential treatment. After she obtained her teaching credential, she worked as a teacher for four years. Coming back to work as PEL's Executive Director, she is able to combine her degrees and interest in education and children's mental health in her hometown, Los Angeles.

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