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"LEADER" Online: Vol. 6, No. 2

The future of parent education

by Michael Popkin, Ph.D.
Founder and President, Active Parenting Publishers

I don't know how many of you remember when we launched the world's first video-based parent education program back in 1983, but it was exciting.

People would come by our exhibit at conferences and stare in amazement at the sheer innovation of using television and a VCR to teach parent education. I remember Dr. Benjamin Spock himself pointing at our brand-new Active Parenting Discussion Program and saying, "This is the future of parent education."

He was right. These days video-based parent education is everywhere. It works because it was a better delivery system for the information and skills that people need for parenting children in a democratic society. It remains state of the art some 18 years later in spite of the fact that it only reaches about 5% of the parents who need it. And this is why it is time to innovate once again. There are just some parents, many parents, who for whatever reason will not GO to a parent education group. Many of these same parents would take such a course if they could do so without ever leaving home or their hotel room (business travelers have a hard time attending a traditional group).

The answer is online parent education. We are excited about introducing the first online Active Parenting Today web-based course, and have had two successful beta tests to confirm our enthusiasm. We are currently training online leaders, as well as parents, and would welcome your participation. To learn more about this cutting-edge educational technology, see the article in this issue. I have a feeling that Dr. Spock might smile and say once again, "This is the future of parent education."

Dr. Popkin is the founder and president of Active Parenting Publishers.

Reprinted from Leader magazine.
Copyright 2001 by Active Parenting Publishers, Inc.