You are seeing this message because your web browser does not support basic web standards. Find out more about why this message is appearing and what you can do to make your experience on this site better.

The Harvard Family Research Project separated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education to become the Global Family Research Project as of January 1, 2017. It is no longer affiliated with Harvard University.

Terms of Use ▼

This section features an annotated list of papers, organizations, initiatives, and other resources related to the issue’s theme.

Allen, J. (2007). Creating welcoming schools: A practical guide to home–school partnerships with diverse families. New York: Teachers College Press. JoBeth Allen’s new book, which features a foreword by Concha Delgado Gaitan, is designed to help parents, teachers, and administrators create meaningful partnerships between schools and diverse families. The author describes the attitudes and everyday practices necessary to create an inviting school environment for diverse families—from recognizing families’ funds of knowledge to engaging in genuine dialogue.

Barton, P. E., & Coley, R. J. (2007). The family: America’s smallest school. Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service. This report reviews literature on the role of family in student achievement both in the U.S. and internationally and looks at how factors such as single parenting, reading to children at home, family finances and home–school partnerships predict student outcomes. The report suggests that, in addition to school improvement, attention be paid to home and family factors in order to improve student achievement.

Coleman, A. L., Starzynski, A. L., Winnick, S. Y., Palmer, S. R., & Furr, J. E. (2006). It takes a parent: Transforming education in the wake of the No Child Left Behind Act. Washington, DC: Appleseed. This report from Appleseed looks at how family involvement occurs in elementary and secondary schools and makes recommendations for future policy and practice, including increased funding of parent involvement initiatives. The report finds a strong link between parent involvement and children’s academic achievement and posits that link as key to closing the achievement gap.

Cosby, W. H., Jr., & Poussaint, A. F. (2007). Come on, people: On the path from victims to victors. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson. Comedian Bill Cosby and psychiatrist Alvin Poussaint offer their advice and suggestions to African American families and communities for overcoming the challenges of poverty. Among their messages, meant to empower their readers to take action, is a focus on strengthening African American families and education.

Enyeart, C., Diehl, J., Hampden-Thompson, G., & Scotchmer, M. (2006). School and parent interaction by household language and poverty status: 2002–03. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Dept. of Education. This issue brief draws on data from the Parent and Family Involvement in Education Survey of the 2003 National Household Education Surveys Program to compare communication practices and parent involvement opportunities at schools, as reported by parents of school-age students from English- and Spanish-speaking households.

Family Strengthening Policy Center. (2007). Youth service-learning: A family-strengthening strategy. Washington, DC: National Human Services Assembly. This policy brief from the Family Strengthening Policy Center of the National Assembly frames service learning as a strategy that promotes healthy families and communities. The brief synthesizes research on the benefits of service learning for a broad range of stakeholders, including children, youth, families, and communities. Benefits for families include connecting parents and siblings to community resources, helping youth become competent and effective contributors to the family, and helping family members learn new skills.

IRE Resources Archived at Harvard

In September 2007, the Institute for Responsive Education (IRE) closed its doors after 34 years in the family involvement field. “The place of parent involvement in the education landscape has changed dramatically since IRE began,” reflected Don Davies, IRE founder (and co-author of Beyond the Bake Sale, an excerpt of which is featured on page 35 of this issue). “From an abstract notion exemplified by limited school support activities like bake sales, parent involvement as a theory and practice has become a fundamental feature of American education…firmly institutionalized by law and even more clearly engraved in the attitudes and behavior of parents and educators.”

IRE’s papers are now being housed in the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Gutman Library, and much of the material is already inventoried and available to researchers. For more information about Gutman Library, its services, and its collections, visit

Hiatt-Michael, D. B. (Ed.). (2007). Promising practices for teachers to engage families of English Language Learners. Charlotte, NC: Information Age. This monograph provides a set of tools, resources, and activities that teachers and other practitioners can use to effectively engage families of English Language Learners. The monograph, which is part of the Family–School–Community Partnership Issues series, includes contributions from a diverse group of experts on family engagement.

Hoffman, E., & Ewen, D. (2007). Supporting families, nurturing young children: Early Head Start programs in 2006. Washington, DC: Center for Law and Social Policy. This policy brief from the Center for Law and Social Policy looks at 2006 for the Early Head Start program, which serves pregnant women and children under age 3. The brief describes how, in 2006, Early Head Start offered families a broad range of services, including medical, dental, and mental health services, and finds that, since 2004, more Early Head Start children and pregnant women received dental exams; more pregnant women had health insurance; and more pregnant women received mental health services.

Horowitz, A., & Bronte-Tinkew, J. (2007). Building, engaging, and supporting family and parental involvement in out-of-school time programs. Washington, DC: Child Trends. This brief from Child Trends summarizes the research on outcomes and best practices for family engagement in after school. It also offers suggestions for programs to plan for and sustain family involvement, and spotlights how the National Organization of Concerned Black Men has involved families in out-of-school time.

Lyons, S., & Winje, C. (2007). Helping families shine: Evaluation of the Family and Community Partnership, Palm Beach County, Florida. Chicago: Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago. This 3-year study by Chapin Hall Center for Children examines the Family and Community Partnership (FCP) in Palm Beach County, Florida—an initiative that sought to strengthen and increase collaboration among programs providing prevention and early intervention services high-need geographic areas. The report describes how the intervention increased service providers' knowledge about formal and informal resources for families, fostered better collaboration among service providers, and built service providers' capacity. The study finds that FCP facilitated service provider relationships by creating a communication structure and by fostering the use of common tools and approaches.

Mediratta, K., Shah, S., McAlister, S., Fruchter, N., Mokhtar, C., & Lockwood, D. (2008). Organized communities, stronger schools: A preview of research findings. Providence: Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University. This research brief from the Community Involvement Program at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform describes findings from a 6-year study of the benefits of community organizing for school reform. Using quantitative and qualitative data across 7 community organizing programs, the researchers found positive results for outcomes including family engagement and involvement, school climate and policies, and student achievement, engagement, and behavior.

Project Appleseed. (2007). Parental involvement toolbox. St. Louis, MO: Author. This tool kit contains a set of easy-to-implement ideas for improving parental involvement in public schools, as well as tips for building and sustaining a parent organizing database. The Toolbox can be accessed for a fee, which includes resources for schools for creating a parent involvement pledge website, parent involvement report cards and certificates, recruitment tools, and a parent organizer database.

Public Education Network. (2007). Open to the public: How communities, parents and students assess the impact of the No Child Left Behind Act: 2004–2007: The realities left behind. Washington, DC: Author. Through a series of consultations, surveys, public forums, and focus groups across the nation over a 3-year period, Public Education Network (PEN) engaged stakeholders in conversations about the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. They found that while stakeholders support the NCLB goals, they call for greater involvement of families and communities in the reform and systemic changes in “resources, capacities, and will” in order for the goals to be achieved.

RAND Education. (2007). Do Title I school choice and supplemental educational services affect student achievement? Santa Monica, CA: Author. This RAND research brief summarizes the results of a research study on how school choice and supplemental education services (SES)—core ingredients of NCLB's parent involvement provisions—impact student achievement. The brief concludes that SES positively affects student achievement, that school choice has no effect on student achievement, and that differences exist among those who use various services.

Rothman, R. (2007). City schools: How districts and communities can create smart education systems. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press. The book, a compilation by Annenberg Institute for School Reform scholar Robert Rothman and his colleagues, envisions the formation of “smarter” school districts through the creation of a comprehensive network of nonschool supports. Based on research from a number of districts, the authors provide examples and offer suggestions for how schools can build partnerships with families, community agencies, businesses, and nonprofits to best support children and youth.

Russ, S., Perez, V., Garro, N., Klass, P., Kuo, A. A., Gershun, M., et al. (2007). Reading across the nation: A chartbook. Boston: Reach Out and Read National Center. This report tracks parental practices in reading aloud to young children (under 5 years old) state-by-state and provides a set of resources for practitioners and policymakers regarding early language and literacy experiences of children. It finds that, nationally, less than half of the children in the birth to age 5 cohort are read to every day by parents or other family members. The report also points to significant variations across states.

Schumacher, R., Hamms, K., & Ewen, D. (2007). Making pre-kindergarten work for low-income working families. Washington, DC: Center for Law and Social Policy. This policy paper published by the Center for Law and Social Policy synthesizes research conducted on 29 state prekindergarten policies that include provisions for community-based care. The authors describe examples of models and strategies states are using to provide prekindergarten to their low-income working families, and offer recommendations for all state policymakers to improve access to and the quality of prekindergarten programs.

Sikes, M. E. (2007). Building parent involvement through the arts: Activities and projects that enrich classrooms and schools. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press; and Sikes, M. E. (2007, August/September). The creative bridge: How the arts connect parents and schools. Our Children Magazine. In this book and complementary article, Michael Sikes argues that parent involvement increases with arts education and that this can be used as a leverage point in advocacy for arts programming in schools. He synthesizes results from evaluations of arts education and suggests that arts can provide an opportunity for parents to feel welcomed in schools, connected to their children's education, and overcome common barriers to family involvement.

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Communications and Outreach. (2007). Empowering parents school box: Taking a closer look. Washington, DC: Author. This tool kit consists of a parent's guide to NCLB and additional tools that parents can use to help their children achieve academic success. Three publications in the tool kit provide parents with information about NCLB, school choice, supplementary education services, and financial aid. The tool kit also contains brochures, a bookmark, a door hanger, and a poster. Free copies, including in Braille, are available from the Department of Education at 1-877-4ED-PUBS.

WestEd. (2007). Engaging parents in education: Lessons from five Parental Information and Resource Centers. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education. This report, part of the Innovation in Education series, highlights Parental Information and Resource Centers’ best practices for building parents’ understanding of No Child Left Behind and for preparing educators and parents to collaborate in support of student learning.

Recent Journal Articles

Abd-El-Fattah, S. M. (2006). The relationship among Egyptian adolescents' perception of parental involvement, academic achievement, and achievement goals: A mediational analysis. International Education Journal, 7(4), 499–509.

Aremu, O. A., Tella, A., & Tella, A. (2006). Relationship among emotional intelligence, parental involvement and academic achievement of secondary school students in Ibadan, Nigeria. Essays in Education, 18, 1–14.

Barnett, R. C., & Gareis, K. C. (2006). Antecedents and correlates of parental after-school concern: Exploring a newly identified work-family stressor. The American Behavioral Scientist, 49(10), 1382–1399.

Barrera, J. M., & Warner, L. (2006). Involving families in school events. Kappa Delta Pi Records, 42(2), 72–75.

Chandler, G. R. (2006). Outstanding educators and citizens: Improving the connection between our public schools and our communities. National Civic Review, 95(2), 34–40.

Crozier, G., & Davies, J. (2006). Family matters: A discussion of the Bangladeshi and Pakistani extended family and community in supporting the children's education. Sociological Review, 54(4), 678–695.

Deplanty, J., Coulter-Kern, R., & Duchane, K. A. (2007). Perceptions of parent involvement in academic achievement. The Journal of Educational Research, 100(6), 361–368.

Doherty, W. J., Erickson, M. F., & LaRossa, R. (2006). An intervention to increase father involvement and skills with infants during the transition to parenthood. Journal of Family Psychology, 20(3), 438–447.

Epstein, J. L., & Sanders, M. G. (2006). Prospects for change: Preparing educators for school, family, and community partnerships. Peabody Journal of Education, 81(2), 81–120.

Fege, A. F. (2006) Getting Ruby a quality public education: Forty-two years of building the demand for quality public schools through parental and public involvement. Harvard Educational Review, 76(4), 570–586.

Green, C. L., Walker, J. M., Hoover-Dempsey, K. V., & Sandler, H. M. (2007). Parents' motivations for involvement in children's education: An empirical test of a theoretical model of parental involvement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 99(3), 532–544

Hayes, D., & Chodkiewicz, A. (2006). School–community links: Supporting learning in the middle years. Research Papers in Education, 21(1), 3.

Jeynes, W. H. (2007). The relationship between parental involvement and urban secondary school student academic achievement: A meta-analysis. Urban Education, 42(1), 82–110.

Lee, J., & Bowen, N. K. (2006). Parent involvement, cultural capital, and the achievement gap among elementary school children. American Educational Research Journal, 43(2), 193–218.

McIntyre, L. L., Eckert, T. L., Fiese, B. H., DiGennaro, F. D., & Wildenger, L. K. (2007). Transition to kindergarten: Family experiences and involvement. Early Childhood Education Journal, 35(1), 83–88.

Mitchell, A. D., & Bossert, T. J. (2007). Measuring dimensions of social capital: Evidence from surveys in poor communities in Nicaragua. Social Science & Medicine, 64(1), 50–63.

Mozumder, P., & Halim, N. (2006). Social capital fostering human capital: The role of community participation in primary school management in Bangladesh. Journal of International Development, 18(2), 151–162.

O'Connor, E., & McCartney, K. (2006).Testing associations between young children's relationships with mothers and teachers. Journal of Educational Psychology, 98(1), 87–98.

Ogoye-Ndegwa, C. Mengich, W. S., & Abidha, O. (2007). Parental participation in pupils' homework in Kenya: In search of an inclusive policy. International Education Journal, 8(1), 118–126.

Pomerantz, E. M., Moorman, E. A., & Litwack, S. D. (2007). The how, whom, and why of parents' involvement in children's academic lives: More is not always better. Review of Educational Research, 77(3), 373–410.

Quiocho, A. M. L., & Daoud, A. M. (2006). Dispelling myths about Latino parent participation in schools. The Educational Forum, 70(3), 255.

Seda, C. (2007). Parental involvement unlocks children's educational potential. Essays in Education, 19, 150-59.

Sheehey, P. H. (2006). Parent involvement in educational decision-making: A Hawaiian perspective. Rural Special Education Quarterly, 25(4), 3–15.

Sohn, S., & Wang, X. C. ( 2006). Immigrant parents' involvement in American schools: Perspectives from Korean mothers. Early Childhood Education Journal, 34(2), 125–132.

Souto-Manning, M., & Swick, K. J. (2006). Teachers' beliefs about parent and family involvement: Rethinking our family involvement paradigm. Early Childhood Education Journal, 34(2), 187–193.

Terrion, J. L. (2006). Building social capital in vulnerable families success markers of a school-based intervention program. Youth & Society, 38(2), 155–76.

Thomson, P. (2006). Miners, diggers, ferals and show-men: School–community projects that affirm and unsettle identities and place. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 27(1), 81–96.

Thompson, D, R., Iachan, R., Overpeck, M., Ross, J. G., & Gross, L. A. (2006). School connectedness in the health behavior in school-aged children study: The role of student, school, and school neighborhood characteristics. Journal of School Health, 76(7), 379–386.

Tobolka, D. (2006). Connecting teachers and parents through the Internet. Tech Directions, 66(5), 24–26.

Vieno, A., Nation, M., Perkins, D. D., & Santinello, M. (2007). Civic participation and the development of adolescent behavior problems. Journal of Community Psychology, 35(6), 761–777.

Wong, S. W., & Hughes, J. N. (2006). Ethnicity and language contributions to dimensions of parent involvement. School Psychology Review, 35(4), 645–662.


‹ Previous Article | Table of Contents | Next Article ›

© 2016 Presidents and Fellows of Harvard College
Published by Harvard Family Research Project