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www.HFRP.org

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.

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WORKING WITH TEACHERS AND FAMILIES DEVELOPMENT PERIODS
COMPLEMENTARY LEARNING CONNECTIONS

Four Important Things Research Tells Us About the Transition to School

The transition to school is a process—not just a one-time event—and begins during children’s preschool years and continues into and on through the early elementary grades. Find out four important things research tells us about the transition.

Margaret Caspe, M. Elena Lopez, and Chalatwan Chattrabhuti (March 19, 2015) Research Report

Improve Family Involvement in After School Programs

Growing evidence tells us that parent involvement in after school programs can make a difference in children's lives, as well as benefit families, schools, and after school programs themselves. This article by Ellen Mayer and Holly M. Kreider draws from research conducted by HFRP in partnership with Build the Out-of-School Time Network and the United Way of Massachusetts Bay. It describes four strategies for engaging elementary school families in after school programs and provides examples of promising practices from family-focused programs serving ethnically diverse families. The article also offers implications for parents and parent leaders as they select and design after school programs.

Ellen Mayer , Holly M. Kreider (October/November 2006) Research Report

Tomasito's Mother Comes to School/La mamá de Tomasito visita la escuela

Spanish Translation Available in Storybook Corner. This online bilingual storybook about family involvement at school is designed to engage children and their families. For educators, the printable online storybook is an easy-to-use family involvement tool that supports literacy. The story was developed from research and is based on the real experiences of one Latino boy and his family who are acculturating to the U.S.

Ellen Mayer , Joe Cepeda (2007) Research Report

After School for Cindy: Family, School, and Community Roles in Out-of-School Time Teaching Case

Second grade teacher Nikki believes that participation in a formal after school program would help her student Cindy academically at school. However, Cindy's single working mother Marla prefers to keep Cindy with her in the afternoons after her numerous struggles with securing quality affordable care in the community. What are the roles of family, school, and community in promoting children's learning and development in out-of-school time?

Ellen Mayer (2005) Teaching Case

What's Going on With Tomasito?

Tomasito's embarrassment at having his parents drop by the school limits the development of a strong, trusting, and communicative parent-teacher relationship. Shy and quiet Tomasito does not share information about his home life with his teacher who in turn holds many misconceptions about his home context. How can teacher and family communicate better?

Ellen Mayer (2001) Teaching Case

The Family Involvement Storybook: A New Way to Build Connections With Familes

This article describes five ways for teachers to use family involvement storybooks in their early childhood education classrooms. The article also includes a vignette about the impact of sharing a family involvement storybook in one third-grade class.

Ellen Mayer , Martha Kateri Ferede, Elaine D. Hou (November 2006) Research Report

Culture Clash at Intermediate School #91

Disciplinary problems at an intermediate school in the Bronx are compounded by the lack of experienced teachers whose race and class backgrounds differ from their students'. When two students get into a fight, the new teachers seek solutions that sharply contrast with the norms of the students and their families. How can teachers come to understand the families and communities in which they teach?

Mary Katherine Moss (2002) Teaching Case

Family Involvement in the Education of Secondary-School-Age Students With Disabilities

This study shows how families of students with disabilities are involved in their children’s education both at home and school, and how characteristics of children and families are related to families’ level of participation.

Lynn Newman (September 2005) Research Report

Co-Constructing Family Engagement Roles in Federal Way, Washington

Through open communication and a mutual investment in solving a problem, one parent, school principal, and district-level family advocate helped bring about positive change in a Federal Way, Washington, middle school. Kelley O’Carroll and Angela Griffin write about the shared responsibility of co-constructing an effective solution and how this effort inspired a parent to advocate for the entire student body, not just her own child.

Kelley O'Carrol , Angela Griffin (November 2009) Research Report

We Were a "Hard-to-Reach" Family

Former Head Start parent, Nikia Parker, started out as a “hard-to-reach” parent but developed a strong, positive relationship with her family’s Early Head Start home visitor, which enabled her to not only effectively support her own children, but also take on advocacy and leadership roles within the larger Head Start community.

Nikia Parker (September 20, 2012) Research Report

The Transition to Afterschool: One City’s Approach to Connecting Young Children and Their Families to Learning and Enrichment Opportunities

What steps can programs take to help families successfully transition to school and afterschool? How can families make informed choices about afterschool opportunities? What information do families need in this process? This video demonstrates how Cambridge, Massachusetts, is addressing these and related questions to help connect families to afterschool learning and enrichment opportunities prior to school entry. 

Christine Patton (June 9, 2014) Research Report

Transition as a Shared Responsibility: The Bridging Worlds Reader’s Theater

By coupling the Bridging Worlds case with a Reader’s Theater, we helped students examine the complexities involved in sharing responsibility for student learning during the transition to school.

Pérsida Himmele, Marcia Nell (August 25, 2015) Research Report

Family, Child & Teacher Interaction in Diverse and Inclusive Educational Settings

We will examine the role of the teacher in the classroom and school community with the intention of developing insight, understanding, and personal style which will support the teacher in his/her interaction with families. The class will study the techniques of family-school collaboration, constructive methods of evaluation, and the parameters of the federal law (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act).

Rena Rice (Spring 2002) Syllabus

Foundations and Multicultural Aspects of Parenting

This course focuses on developing competency in a variety of areas surrounding parenting education including the following: understanding of parental issues and concerns within diverse family systems, understanding the dimensions of parenting from birth to adolescence, family literacy, and knowledge of multicultural perspectives in parenting.

Leo Sandy (Summer 2002) Syllabus

Helping Families Pave the Path to College: Supporting the Developmental Processes That Facilitate College Readiness

Mandy Savitz-Romer is director of the Prevention Science and Practice Program and a faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Suzanne Bouffard is a research project manager and writer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In this article, Bouffard and Savitz-Romer discuss findings from their recent book, Ready, Willing, and Able: A Developmental Approach to College Access and Success.

Mandy Savitz-Romer , Suzanne Bouffard (September 20, 2012) Research Report

Suspension at Aurora Middle School

Khoi, a well behaved student who recently emigrated from a Vietnamese refugee camp, is suspended from Aurora Middle School because he stood near a fight. His mother Mai feels helpless because she speaks limited English, and only knows that her son was unjustly suspended. What is the school's role in supporting culturally diverse families?

Sylvia Sensiper (1999) Teaching Case

Supporting Latino Families: Lessons From Exemplary Programs Vol. 1

This report investigates 11 family support programs that have addressed the needs of vulnerable Latino families. The report clearly demonstrates the need to incorporate culture and family values into the very design of a program. Volume One provides detailed analysis of the various strategies and distills lessons for practitioners; Volume Two provides an in-depth profile of each program.

Angela Shartrand (1996) Research Report

Supporting Latino Families: Lessons From Exemplary Programs Vol. 2

This report investigates 11 family support programs that have addressed the needs of vulnerable Latino families. The report clearly demonstrates the need to incorporate culture and family values into the very design of a program. Volume One provides detailed analysis of the various strategies and distills lessons for practitioners; Volume Two provides an in-depth profile of each program.

Angela Shartrand (1996) Research Report

Successful Family Engagement in the Classroom: What teachers need to know and be able to do to engage families in raising student achievement

HFRP invited the Flamboyan Foundation—a private foundation focused on improving educational outcomes for children in Washington, DC and Puerto Rico—to share its classroom family engagement rubric with FINE. This rubric, and accompanying article, provides districts, school leaders, and teachers with a clear picture of what effective family engagement looks like in the classroom through concrete descriptions of how teachers demonstrate strong family engagement through their conversations and daily practice.

Lela Spielberg (March 2011) Research Report

Voices from the Field: How Can Elementary Teachers Collaborate More Effectively with Parents to Support Literacy Learning?

In this FINE Newsletter Voices from the Field article, Carol St. George, EdD, a visiting assistant professor at the University of Rochester and Title I Family Involvement Coordinator for the Greece Central School District in New York, discusses her use of the Collegial Circle, a professional development activity that engages teachers with parents.

Carol St. George, EdD (March 2011) Research Report

“Do Your Best and Make Us Proud”: Family Engagement and Latino Students’ Decisions About College

Sylvia Acevedo, chair of the Early Learning Subcommittee of the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, writes about the struggles first-generation students and their families face when making decisions about college, interwoven with her own personal story.

Sylvia Acevedo (March 8, 2016) Research Report

Valuing Parents as Co-Educators: A Teacher-Parent Partnership Project in Cyprus

A classroom-based family involvement project in Cyprus offers multiple roles for parents in the classroom, and benefits students, parents, and the teacher.

Loizos Symeou (November 2002) Research Report

Math Is Everywhere, When We Know What to Look For

Learning mathematics starts in infancy and happens anywhere, anytime. In this commentary, Taniesha Woods explores what young children need to know about math, what environments rich in mathematics learning look like, and how families can support children’s math development.

Taniesha A. Woods (May 24, 2016) Research Report

Can We Talk About Family?

Latoya Roberts, a new first grade teacher, worries about Keon, a student being raised by his grandmother, when he begins to share information about his family in school. Will encouraging such sharing strengthen Latoya's bond with Keon and help him succeed? Latoya wants his grandmother's permission to encourage his openness, but she wonders if pushing the issue might strain her relationship with Keon's grandmother.

Peggy Vaughan (2003) Teaching Case

Taking a Closer Look: A Guide to Online Resources on Family Involvement

This comprehensive resource guide compiles a wealth of information about family involvement from over 100 national organizations. It contains Web links to recent (published in and after 2000) research, information, and tools.

Heather Weiss , Kelly Faughnan, Margaret Caspe, Cassandra Wolos, M. Elena Lopez, Holly Kreider (2004) Research Report

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Published by Harvard Family Research Project