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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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ASCD logoThe article On Board With Helicopter Parents, published in the February 2015 issue of Education Update from the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), discusses how schools can use the “right mix of education and expectations” to help parents and schools share responsibility for children’s learning.

Heather B. Weiss and M. Elena Lopez of Harvard Family Research Project outline four key strategies for engaging all families in meaningful ways, including:

  • Looking at how the school and its leadership are meeting the needs of all parents on the continuum—from the hyper-involved to the under-involved.
  • Understanding whether certain issues—such as the curriculum or teacher professional development—are contributing to particular groups of parents becoming “helicopter parents.”
  • Starting conversations with families around developing students’ sense of autonomy and sharing specific strategies that parents can take to support independent learning.
  • Instituting student-led conferences to create a dialogue among parents, teachers, and students.
  • Viewing parents’ interest from a strengths-based perspective to put teachers and parents on common ground.

Read On Board With Helicopter Parents by subscribing to ASCD’s Education Update.

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