Saturday, March 10, 2012

My Research Journey

The topic I have chosen for my simulation is teen parenting.  After reading the resources this week, particularly the course text chapter 2, I have narrowed my topic down to the effect parenting classes have on the children of teen parents.  I chose this topic because I am a teen parent educator at a large urban high school in San Antonio, Texas.  Over the years, I have had many students succeed and others who have simply disappeared.  I want to know for personal and professional reasons the effect my class has on the children of the teen parents. 

The statistics on teen parents are not good.  Teen parents are more likely to drop out of school and more likely to end up on welfare. Their children are at risk for low birth weight, abuse, and neglect. Children born to teen mothers are more likely to perform poorly in school than children who are born to adult parents. (Family First Aid, n.d.). Sons of teen mothers are three times more likely to be incarcerated during their lifetime than sons born to adult women. Daughters of teen mothers are more likely to give birth themselves as a teenager. Most children born to teen mothers will live in poverty and will struggle in school (Teen Parent Child Care Quality Improvement Project, 2005). The effects of teenage parenting will continue to affect the child for a lifetime.

I recently showed this to my teen parents and asked them "what are you going to do to prevent you and your child from becoming another statistic?"

Some of them got mad and didn't believe me.  I pointed out the references and told them "I didn't make this stuff up."  I then went on to explain that just by being in my class they were already taking steps to prevent them and their child from becoming a statistic.  It really made them think about the future.
I am excited and anxious about this course.  I really feel like I am out of my element.  However, I know that this is a skill that is necessary in order to fulfill my professional goals.  I am looking forward to learning more about the research process and welcome any advice my colleagues can offer. 

References:

Family First Aid. (n.d). Teen Pregnancy: Stats, Facts, and Prevention. Retrieved March 3, 2012 from http://www.familyfirstaid.org/teen-pregnancy....

Teen Parent Child Care Quality Improvement Project. (2005). The Children on Teen Parents. Retrieved March 4, 2012 from http://www.cpeip.fsu.edu/resourceFiles/resour...

1 comment:

Kathryn Price said...

Christine,
What an interesting topic to research! I teach in an area where many of my students have teen parents. I find that sometimes these parents are unaware of classroom expectations and what their child should know prior to entering school. For the most part, I feel like I have to “teach the parents”. I am also anxious about this class. I feel like I am always second guessing myself on all of my assignments and wondering if I am doing what is expected. Hopefully, we will all succeed!
Kathryn