Parent Involvement Research

Teaching the Teachers: Preparing Educators to Engage Families for Student Achievement

To be effective, teachers must be prepared to collaborate with families to support student success. By giving teachers the support they need to work with families, teacher education programs can have an even greater impact on student achievement. Some institutions of higher education are already taking innovative steps to prepare teachers to work with families through coursework and hands-on experience in schools during preservice and into their early years of teaching. Teaching the Teachers highlights those promising strategies through five case studies, and examines how teacher education programs can create the foundation for meaningful and effective family engagement.

Investments in student data systems

This brief describes how investments in student data systems are taking family engagement and student achievement to a whole new level. In addition to addressing areas where a student most needs improvement, the data can serve as a catalyst for home–school communication.

Beyond Random Acts

This paper, authored by Harvard Family Research Project, served as the foundation for panelists’ discussions at the National Policy Forum for Family, School, and Community Engagement. Beyond Random Acts provides a research-based framing of family engagement; examines the policy levers that can drive change in promoting systemic family, school, and community engagement; and focuses on data systems as a powerful tool to engage families for twenty-first century student learning.

Family engagement strategies

Maria C. Paredes, Director of Community Education at Creighton School District in Arizona, discusses one of the district’s family engagement strategies that was developed—in part—from data she collected demonstrating that parents were more interested in attending academically-oriented activities than other types of events such as potlucks or family-fun nights.

Policy Issue Briefs: Seeing is Believing
Promising Practices for How School
Districts Promote Family Engagement

There is widespread consensus that family engagement is a critical component for children’s school success. Although it is clear that family engagement matters, less well understood is the role that school districts play in promoting this engagement. This brief examines promising practices for how districts promote family engagement and reviews the core components to systemic engagement at the LEA level.