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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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Lee Shumow
Northern Illinois University

Course Description

Examination of how the relationship between schools, families, and communities impacts the school adjustment of children during middle childhood and early adolescence as well as the roles of school personnel, parents, and community agents. Models and methods for facilitating positive relationships are considered. Resources for the education of children within families and communities are investigated.

Course Requirements and Grading

Attendance and Class Participation
It is important that you come to class prepared to participate in class discussion. This means that you must read the required reading prior to attending class. To receive credit for the course, both attendance and participation are expected. Class members who are absent more than twice need to make a specific written agreement with the instructor in advance (if possible) about making up the absence.

Class Presentations
Each participant will make two class brief class presentations (one with a partner). A handout or other form of accessible visual aid is required for each presentation.

Presentation One (15 minutes) entails a review of information about parents/families from specific populations, thus enabling the class members to receive broader exposure to information about diverse parents/families than would be practical without sharing. Class members will work with a partner. Choices include but are not limited to: fathers, divorced or divorcing parents, step parents/blended families, low-income parents, immigrant parents (and/or ESL parents), parents/families from specific ethnic or racial groups (choose one group), multiracial families, parents with low literacy levels, parents of special needs children (may limit to type of disability), adoptive parents, gay and lesbian parents, parents gifted/talented, dual employed parents, alcoholic parents, violent parents, neglectful parents, unemployed parents, or families dealing with catastrophic problems. See list below. Other choices may be suggested and approved by the instructor. Each class participant will select a specific population and complete some out-of-class reading on the topic. The presentation should include the following information: incidence of this type of parent/family (local, state, or national), particular characteristics typical of this type parent or family (but avoid stereotyping), special issues faced by such parents/families, influences of the selected parent or family type on child/adolescent school success/development, and special considerations for teachers/schools in working with parents/families from selected population. In addition, identify one or more organizations, support groups, or websites for such parents with contact information. List sources consulted in preparing presentation. 2/27 15 points

Presentation Two (10 minutes) entails an overview of a specific school-based program that is for parents/parent involvement or that uses a community resource to support student learning or development. Each class member will present a different program to enable exposure to the widest possible variety of programs. A list of program names and references are included under April 10. The presentations should include: the goals or purpose of the program, a description of what was done and how, and information about program evaluation (evidence of success or failures of program, relative success for certain populations, thoroughness of evaluations). List sources consulted in preparing presentation. Teachers are encouraged to select a program that would be appropriate for the group on which their school/community study and project focuses. 15 points

Presentations will be evaluated by fellow class members and by the instructor. The evaluation will be based on:


  • Delivery – talk to/look at the class (don't read), pace don't race, use inflection, relax
  • Organization
  • Clarity
  • Response to questions of class members


  • Thoroughness of information requested in assignment
  • Elaboration with examples (without getting lost in details)
  • Avoidance of stereotypes/overgeneralizations
  • Identification of references
  • Handout or accessible visual aid


The purpose of the assignment is to design a parent involvement or community connections project to implement in your classroom or professional area. Class members may work in collaborative groups on the project. Expectations for the extent of the project depend on the number of group participants. Most projects will address one group of students within the school (e.g., kindergarteners, eighth graders, primary grade Title One, high school work/study program). The project should focus on one area of student learning/curriculum (e.g., history or reading) and can be for a specific unit (Civil War or folk tales), or student development (e.g., social skills, conflict resolution), or a school issue/need (transition to high school, problem prevention). I will be requesting your permission (separate document) to post your projects (with or without your names, your choice) on the website I am creating about the parental engagement project supported by AACTE/MET LIFE Foundation, NIU, and Kaneland School District (so I will request electronic copies of your projects which I will transfer to HTML code).

Part One. 30 points

a. Explain the focus of your project. Why did you select that focus (e.g., 25 % of the students enter kindergarten with limited reading readiness, or the number of fights in the middle school have increased, or students scored below expectations in academic area)? Provide background information about the focus of your project.

b. Describe the group of students/parents that the project will involve (e.g., number, demographics, current involvement, history of issue or need in the district).

c. Identify the goals of your project.

d. Gather information (interview, questionnaire, focus group) about the perspectives of parents, administrators, other teachers, students (if appropriate) on the current situation as it relates to your project (knowledge, attitudes, beliefs about the types, amount, and success of parental involvement or community connections as they exist now or are needed and the importance of/commitment to the particular area of student learning, development, or need you are addressing). Try to ascertain how the parties understand the current situation, funds of knowledge available, and efficacy of the parties.

e. What resources are available in this community to promote the particular area of learning and development or the issue/need you are addressing? For example, in the case of history, is there a historical society, historical group, or section of the public library with resources? What expertise/interest exists in the school district and broader community that could be tapped? What resources do parents or families have (e.g., computers, time)?

Part Two. 40 points

Write up your plans for implementation—what will be done and how it will coordinate with curriculum or other existing systems. Gather together or create materials you need to implement the project. Annotate your plans (include citations or summaries from the reading we have done in class) to explain why this is a good practice. (Use insert comment function in Word or italics or post it notes or use some other system that works for you.) Within the plans the following elements should be present:

a. Clearly identify a family or community resource that will help your students learn this topic, contribute to their development or address the current issue/need that you identified. What is this resource and how will it be used (make the connections with the proper people to check this out, e.g., the parents are willing to contribute family pictures and help children make the family timeline, you can have space on the server and a link on the district webpage, the historical society has agreed to archive your students' oral histories, the Future Educators club at the high school has agreed to help with the family book making stations you designed, and so on).

b. A fun or motivating family activity or event to go with this project. The event/activity can be held at school, in the community, or completed by families independently. It can be an opportunity to learn about/elaborate on the topic or to show off student work.

c. Establish homework assignment(s) to go with the project or home-based ways for parents to be involved (can be preparatory or follow up).

d. Create positive communications to send home

  1. Informing parents about the project activities
  2. And informing parents (and students) about student's learning, development, progress

e. Design an evaluation—how will you know whether you met your goals?

Class Topics and Readings (tentative schedule)

January 30 – Introduction

February 6 – Theoretical Basis/Underlying Issues
Hoover-Dempsey, K., & Sandler, H. (1995). Parental involvement in children's education: Why does it make a difference. Teacher's College Record, 97, 310–331.

Guiding questions:
Why is parental involvement important?
Why do parents become involved?
How do the parents of your students think of their role in their children's education?
What is the range of personal efficacy that you notice among parents? In Kaneland, what might influence their efficacy (four sources)?
What are the opportunities and demands in your situation and how do parents react?
How do (your) parents choose to be involved? Why do you think they so choose?
How does parental involvement influence students?
What is the fit between the involvement of (your) parents and your expectations? How is that fit negotiated?

Epstein, J., Coates, L., Salinas, K., Sanders, M., & Simon, B. (1997). School family and community partnerships (pp. 2–12, 122–125). Thousand Oaks: Corwin Press.

Guiding Questions:

Epstein locates the student at the center of her model. Do you agree with her assumption (bottom of p. 3)? What are the problems with expecting students to be the main conduit of information?
How does the theory sound to you, in practice?
What are the implications of the research finding for Kaneland?
Please study Table 1.1. How is your team doing in each of these areas?
Examining Table 1.2, what challenges and redefinitions are appropriate here?
Please examine Table 1.3. Choose three results for each of students, parents, and teachers that would be your top priorities to influence, if you could, in your job.

Entwisle, D., Alenxander, K., & Olsen, L. (2001). Keep the faucet flowing: Summer learning and home environments. American Educator, 11–15, 47.

Guiding Questions:

Are there differences among families in Kaneland pertaining to educational resources and “capital”?
Do you notice the summer gap in your students?
What strategies could be implemented to address this gap?

February 13 – Types of Parent Involvement

Price, G., & Hatano, G. (1991). Toward a taxonomy of the roles home environments play in the formation of educationally significant individual differences. In S. Silvern (Ed.), Literacy through family, community and school interaction. Advances in Reading/Language Research, 5, 49–62.

(The beginning of this article is very theoretical, deriving from cognitive science, so we will start on p. 44. Please ask me if you want to read the beginning of the article).

Guiding Questions:

Roles of Family Environments. For each of the roles they describe:
How do you observe these roles operating in the families with whom you work?
What are the positive and negative effects that you observe for each of these roles?
What opportunities or information could be offered by the school to support the positive/mitigate the negative?

Chapter 1, Things Have Changed & Chapter 2, School Power 38–41.
Comer, J. (1980) School power: Implications of an intervention project. New York: Free Press.

Guiding Questions:

Have things changed in the ways that Comer suggests since you were in school?
Do you agree with Comer about what is needed to address school problems?
What do you think of the representative management group idea? What should such groups do? (See next article as well.)

Shumow, L. (2001). Parents' educational beliefs: Implications for parent participation in school reforms. In S. Redding & L. Thomas (Eds.), The community of the school. Lincoln, IL: Academic Development Institute.

Guiding Questions:

Some suggest that involving parents in decision making is a good idea. This often entails having parent representatives help select curriculum, determine policy, and hire and evaluate teachers and administrators. Thinking about the findings of this study, what are the limitations of that approach? What are alternatives? How can/should parents be enlisted in decision making?
Do you think parents in Kaneland have beliefs similar to those expressed by parents in this study? How do you know? In what ways is it appropriate to honor such beliefs?
Have parents objected to any school practices in Kaneland? Which ones? Did the squeaky wheel phenomenon occur here?

February 20 – Social Context of Parent Involvement

Eccles, J., & Harold, A. (1996). Family involvement in children's and adolescent's schooling. In A. Booth & J. Dunn (Eds.), Family-school links: How do they affect educational outcomes (pp. 3–34). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Guiding Questions:

What characteristics that Eccles & Harold identify as influential have meaning for your work? In what ways?
Please look at Table 1.3; do you do these things?
Did any of the findings surprise you? Why?
Please evaluate the ideas for increasing communication and involvement at home. What would you need to implement these ideas?

Dornbusch, S., & Glasgow, K. Structural context of family-school relations. In A. Booth & J. Dunn (Eds.), Family-school links: How do they affect educational outcomes (pp. 35–44). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Guiding Questions:

Do teachers want more parent involvement? Why or why not?
Do the tracking concerns expressed in the article occur in Kaneland?
Think about the information flow in Kaneland. How could this be used positively?

Lareau, A. (1996). Assessing parent involvement in schooling: A critical analysis. In A. Booth & J. Dunn (Eds.), Family-school links: How do they affect educational outcomes (pp. 57–64). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Guiding Questions:

Are Lareau's findings and perspectives on social class enlightening?
Do you agree with her suggestions on who and what? How might these be implemented?

Finders, M., & Lewis, C. (1994). Why some parents don't come to school. Educational Leadership, 50–54.

Guiding Questions:

Please evaluate the suggestions they gathered from parents.

February 27 – Diverse Families Presentation 1

Scott-Jones, D. (1993). Families as educators in a pluralistic society. In N. Chavkin (Ed.), Families and schools in a pluralistic society (pp. 245–254). Albany, NY: SUNY.

Ritter, P., Mont-Reynaud, R., & Dornbusch, S. (1993.) Minority parents and their youth. In N. Chavkin (Ed.), Families and schools in a pluralistic society (pp. 2107–2119). Albany, NY: SUNY.

Options and sample readings about specific populations (not exhaustive list):

Nord, C., Brimhall, D., & West, J. (1997). Father's involvement in their children's schools. Washington, DC: United States Department of Education.

Shumow, L., & Miller, J. (2001). Father's and mother's school involvement during early adolescence. The Journal of Early Adolescence, 21, 69–92.

Russell, G. (1999). Primary caregiving fathers. In M. Lamb (Ed.), Parenting and child development in nontraditional families (pp. 57–82). Mahweh, NJ: Erlbaum.

McLanahan, S., & Teitler, J. The consequences of father absence. In M. Lamb (Ed.), Parenting and child development in nontraditional families (pp. 83–102). Mahweh, NJ: Erlbaum. (Provides insight into importance of fathers for outcomes in adolescence and early adulthood by looking at consequences of not having father present.)

Divorced Parents
Selections from Hetherington, M. (1999). Coping with divorce, single parenting and remarriage. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Part 3: How is changing family structure affecting school outcomes. In A. Booth & J. Dunn (Eds.), Family-school links: How do they affect educational outcomes (pp. 139–208). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Hildebrand, V., Phenice, L., Gry, M., & Hines, R. (2000). Divorced single parent families. In Knowing and serving diverse families (pp. 223–254). Upper Saddle River, NJ.

Springate, K., & Stegelin, D. (1999). Children of divorced and blended families (ch. 6). In Building School and community partnerships through parent involvement. Columbus: Merrill Prentice Hall.

Hetherington, E. M., & Stanley-Hagan, M. Stepfamilies. In M. Lamb (Ed.), Parenting and child development in nontraditional families (pp. 137–160). Mahweh, NJ: Erlbaum.

Low-Income Families
(1997, Summer/Fall). Children and Poverty. Future of Children, 7(2).

Brooks-Gunn, J., Britto, P., & Brady, C. (1999). Struggling to make ends meet: Poverty and child development. In M. Lamb (Ed.), Parenting and child development in nontraditional families (pp. 279–304). Mahweh, NJ: Erlbaum.

Dauber, S., & Epstein, J. (1993). Parents' attitudes and practices of involvement in inner-city elementary and middle schools. In Chavkin (Ed.), Families and schools in a pluralistic society (pp. 53–71). Albany, NY: SUNY Press.

Furstenberg, F., Cook, T., Eccles, J., Elder, G., & Sameroff, A. (1999). Managing to make it: Urban families and adolescent success. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Chapter 1: Parenting in the inner city and Chapter 4: How parents manage risk and opportunity.

Hispanic Families
Moreno, R., & Lopez, J. (1999). Latina parent involvement: The role of maternal acculturation and education. School Community Journal, 9, 83–101.

Arzubiaga, A., Ceja, M., & Artiles, A. (2000). Transcending deficit thinking about Latinos' parenting styles: Toward an ecocultural view of family life. In C. Tejeda, C. Martinez & Z. Leonardo (Eds.), Charting new terrains of Chicano(a)/Latina(o) education. Creskill, NJ: Hampton Press.

Goldenberg, C., Gallimore, R., Reese, L., & Garnier, H. (2001). Cause or effect? A longitudinal study of immigrant Latino parents' aspirations and expectations, and their children's school performance. American Educational Research Journal, 38, 547–582

Moreno, R. P., & Lopez, J. A. (1999). Latina parent involvement: The role of maternal acculturation and education. School Community Journal, 9, 83–101.

Reese, L., & Gallimore, R. (2000). Immigrant Latino's cultural model of literacy development: An evolving perspective on home-school discontinuities. American Journal of Education, 108, 103–134.

Valdes, G. (1996). Con respeto. Chapter 1 and 9. New York: Teachers College Press.

African-American Families
Hildebrand, V., Phenice, L., Gry, M., & Hines, R. (2000) African-American families. In Knowing and serving diverse families (pp. 59–77). Upper Saddle River, NJ.

Multiracial Families
Rosenblatt, P. (1999). Multiracial families. In M. Lamb (Ed.), Parenting and child development in nontraditional families (pp. 263–278). Mahweh, NJ: Erlbaum.

Parents of Children With Special Needs
Hildebrand, V., Phenice, L., Gry, M., & Hines, R. (2000) Families with special needs children. In Knowing and serving diverse families (pp. 223–254). Upper Saddle River, NJ.

Sanders, M. (2000). Creating successful school-based partnership programs with families of special needs students. School Community Journal, 10, 37–56.

Springate, K., & Stegelin, D. (1999). Creating community and school linkages for children with special needs (ch. 5). In Building school and community partnerships through parent involvement. Columbus: Merrill Prentice Hall.

Lake, J., & Billingsley, B. S. (2000). An analysis of factors that contribute to parent-school conflict in special education. Race: Remedial & Special Education, 21, 240–251.

Adoptive Families
Grotevant, H., & Kohler, J. (1999). Adoptive families. In M. Lamb (Ed.), Parenting and child development in nontraditional families (pp. 161–190). Mahweh, NJ: Erlbaum.

Springate, K., & Stegelin, D. (1999). Chosen children (adoptive families) (ch. 7). In Building school and community partnerships through parent involvement. Columbus: Merrill Prentice Hall.

Gay and Lesbian Parents
Patterson, C., & Chan, R. (1999). Families headed by lesbian and gay parents. In M. Lamb (Ed.), Parenting and child development in nontraditional families (pp. 191–220). Mahweh, NJ: Erlbaum.

Springate, K., & Stegelin, D. (1999). Alternative and future family forms (gay and lesbian) (ch. 8). In Building school and community partnerships through parent involvement. Columbus: Merrill Prentice Hall.

Immigrant Families
Board on Children and Families. (1995). Immigrant children and their families: Issues for research and policy. In Critical issues for children and youth. The Future of Children, 5(2), 72–89.

Rich, D. (2001). How my immigrant experience shaped my work with families and schools. In S. Redding & L. Thomas (Eds.), The community of the school (pp. 25–27). Lincoln, IL: The Academic Development Institute.

Lindeman, B. (2001). Reaching out to immigrant parents. Educational Leadership, 58, 62–66.

Ruiz-de-Velasco, J., & Fix, M. (2001). Overlooked & underserved: Immigrant students in U.S. secondary schools. Washington, DC: The Urban Institute.

Parents of Gifted and Talented Children
Csikszentmihalyi, M., Rathunde, K., & Whalen, S. (1997). Talented teenagers: The roots of success and failure (ch. 8). How families influence talent development (pp. 152–176). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Bloom, B. (1985). Developing talent in young people. New York: Balantine Books.

Employed Mothers
Mensing, J. F., Desiree, F., Fuller, B., & Kagan, S. L. (2000). How mothers balance work requirements and parenting. Early Education and Development, 11, 573–596.

Gottfried, A, Gottfried, A., Bathurst, K., & Killianm, C. (1999). Maternal and dual-earner employment: Family environment, adaptations, and the developmental impingement perspective. In M. Lamb (Ed.), Parenting and child development in nontraditional families (pp. 15–38). Mahweh, NJ: Erlbaum

Lerner, J., & Abrams, A. (1994). Developmental correlates of maternal employment influences on children. In C. Fisher & R. Lerner (Eds.), Applied developmental psychology (pp. 174–206). New York: McGraw Hill.

Baker, C. (2000). A parents' and teachers' guide to bilingualism. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Violent Families
Milner, J. S. (1998). Individual and family characteristics associated with intrafamilial child physical and sexual abuse. In P. K. Trickett & C. J. Schellenbach (Eds.), Violence against children in the family and the community (pp. 141–170). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

English, D. (1998) The extend and consequences of child abuse. Protecting children from abuse and neglect. The Future of Children, 8(1).

Sternberg, K., & Lamb, M. (1999). Violent families. In M. Lamb (Ed.), Parenting and child development in nontraditional families (pp. 305–326). Mahweh, NJ: Erlbaum.

Families of Neglected Children
Dubowiz, H. (1999). In M. Lamb (Ed.), Parenting and child development in nontraditional families (pp. 305–326). Mahweh, NJ: Erlbaum.


Unemployed Families
Voydanoff, P. (1983). Unemployment: Family strategies for adaptation. In C. Figley & H. McCubbin (Eds)., Stress and the family coping with catastrophe (vol. 2, pp. 90–102).

Families and Catastrophic Events – Death in the Family
Crosby, J., & Jose, N. (1983). Death: Family adjustment to loss. In C. Figley & H. McCubbin (Eds.), Stress and the family coping with catastrophe (vol. 2, pp. 76–89).

Families and Catastrophic Events – Member of Military Returns Home From War
Hagancamp, V., & Figley, C. (1983). War: Bringing the battle home. In C. Figley & H. McCubbin (Eds.), Stress and the family coping with catastrophe (vol. 2).

March 6 – Educational Activities Based on Family and Community Resources

Wiggington, E. (1991). Foxfire: 25 years. New York: Doubleday. Introduction, Chapters: The First Classes, Transplanting Foxfire, The circle grows. Optional: Then I left high school.

Guiding Questions:

Based on Wiggington's reflections and those of his former students, does Foxfire sound like an approach worth doing? Why, why not?
From, the Circle Grows, what is the essence of the approach?
How could you use the approach?

Moll, L., & Greenberg, J. (1990). Creating zones of possibilities: Combining social contexts for instruction. In L. Moll (Ed.), Vygotsky and education (pp. 319–348). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Guiding Questions:

What do they mean by funds of knowledge? What funds of knowledge do parents in Kaneland have? Think about your most difficult to teach student? How about their families?
How could you find out what funds of knowledge families possess?
Did these case studies provide examples of valuable educational practice? Why or why not?
How might you use funds of knowledge in your class or in your project?

Written by teachers about activities done in their classrooms using family and community:

Christensen, L. (2000). Reading, writing, and rising up. Where I'm from: Inviting students' lives into the classroom (pp. 18–22), Sweet learning (pp. 23–26), To say the name is to begin the story (pp. 10–13). Milwaukee, WI: Rethinking schools.

Peterson, B. (2001). Teaching math across the curriculum. In Rethinking our classrooms (vol. 2, pp. 84–88). Milwaukee, WI: Rethinking Schools.

Memorial and Meaning (from the Internet) – Activity on Civil War graves (could be WWII, too)

Donahue, M., & Baumgartner, D. Having the timeline of my life!: Using personal timelines to connect home and school. Unpublished document. UIC

Guiding questions for these activity descriptions:

Do these spark ideas for you to use in your classroom?


March 13 – School Outreach & Communication

Epstein, J. (1986). Parents' reactions to teacher practices of parent involvement. The Elementary School Journal, 86, 277–294.

or (depending on what level you work at)

Simon, B. (2001, April). Effects of high schools' outreach on family involvement. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Seattle, WA.

Guiding Questions:

Does your school do the things identified in Table 3 in both Epstein and Simon articles? How?
Do parents respond as they reported doing in these research articles

Warner, C. (1997) Everybody's house the schoolhouse: Best techniques for connecting home, school, and community (pp. 37–110). Thousand Oaks: Corwin.


Lueder, D. (1998). Creating partnerships with parents: An educator's guide (pp. 59–223). Lancaster: Technomic Publishing.

Guiding Questions for Warner and Lueder:

What is your purpose/goal for involving parents?
From each chapter listed—Warner 4, 6 and all Lueder chapters—choose three top priority ideas for you (either that you do and have found very successful or that you would like to implement).
What controversial issues have you encountered with parents, how have you handled them, and do you find any new ideas to try?
Chapter 5 – Warner: Do you currently get enough positive press from media for parents, nonparents? What stories should be told that have not been told or told effectively about your classroom/school?

March 20 – Homework

Cooper, H., Lindsay, J., Nye, B., & Greathouse, S. (1998). Relationships among attitudes about homework, amount of homework assigned and completed, and student achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 90, 70–83.

Guiding Questions:

What were the differences in effects of homework by grade level?
What are the implications for practice of the findings about homework completion? Is this an issue for you?
Do the authors practical implications have relevance for you, why or why not?

Palardy, J. (1995). Another look at homework. Principal, 74, 32–33.

Tovey, R. (1997). Rethinking homework. The Harvard Education Letter, 13(6), 6–8.

Guiding questions for both articles:

What is the purpose of homework in your view?
What kinds of homework are appropriate? Why?
How can the problems with homework be overcome?
What do/should you include in your classroom's (school's) homework policy?

Shumow, L. (1998). Promoting parental attunement to children's mathematical reasoning through parent education. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 19, 109–127.

Guiding Questions:

Should parents help with homework?
How important is it that parents understand their child's academic learning/development?
Would you want to provide parents with information like the newsletters if it was available?

March 27 – Spring Vacation – Kaneland

April 3 – American Educational Research Association

No class – use as workday to complete projects.

April 10 – Parent Involvement Programs Presentation Two

Recommendations for readings about programs (not exhaustive list)

Family Literacy
Baker, P., & Moss, R. (2001). Creating a community of readers. In S. Redding & L. Thomas (Eds.), The community of the school (pp. 319–333). Lincoln, IL: The Academic Institute.

Shockley, B., Michalove, B., & Allen, J. (1995). Engaging families: Connecting home an school literacy communities. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Select a program from Section 4: Program Descriptions of Family Literacy: An annotated bibliography. U.S. Department of Education.

Parent Programs for Preschool Children At-Risk
McBride, B., Bae, J., & Rane, T. (2001). Family-school partnerships in prekindergarten at-risk programs: An exploratory study. In S. Redding & L. Thomas (Eds.), The community of the school (pp. 229–245). Lincoln, IL: The Academic Development Institute

KEEP: (Reading)
Au, K. (1979). Using experience-text-relationships with minority children. Reading Teacher, 32, 677–679.

Videotape in Learning Center: Graham Hall

FAST for parents of academically and behaviorally struggling 6–9 year olds.

Hernandez, L., Hernandez, A. N., Lopez, M., Kreider, H., & Coffman, J. (2000). Local and national implementation of the families and schools together (FAST) program. School Community Journal, 10, 85–110.

For primary children:
Newsletters available at:
Ask Professor Shumow for homework samples.

Ferreira, M. (2001). Building communities through role models: mentors, and hands on science. School Community Journal, 11(2), 27–37.

Physics program at Great America

Chicago Academy of Sciences, Nature Museum online, Peregrine Falcon Project

Educational programs for students and families at Fermi Lab:

Moll: Funds of Knowledge
Moll, L., Amanti, C., Neff, D., & Gonzalez, N. (1992). Funds of knowledge for teaching: Using a qualitative approach to connect homes and classrooms. Theory Into Practice, 31, 132.

Moll, L., Tapia, J., & Whitmore, K. (1993). Lived knowledge: The social distribution of cultural resources for thinking. In G. Salamon (Ed.), Distributed cognitions: Psychological and educational considerations (pp. 139–163). New York: Cambridge University Press.

School Power
Comer, J. (1980). The parent program (ch. 8). In School power: Implications of an intervention project. New York: Free Press.

Cook, T. et al. (1999). Comer's school development program in Prince George County, Maryland: A theory-based evaluation. American Educational Research Journal, 36(3), 543–598 and rejoinder by Comer & Haynes pp. 599–608.

TIPS – Middle School Parent Involvement
Epstein, J., Coates, L., Salinas, K., Sanders, M., & Simon, B. (1997). School family and community partnerships (pp. 199–210). Thousand Oaks: Corwin Press.

Epstein, J., & Dauber, S. (1995). Effects on students of an interdisciplinary program linking social studies, art, and family volunteers in the middle grades. Journal of Early Adolescence, 15, 114–144. – click on national network of partnership schools

Chavkin, N. A home-school program in a Texas-Mexico border school: Voices from parents, students, and school staff. School Community Journal, 10, 127–137.

Rich, D. (1992) Megaskills. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Rich, D. (1992). The new Megaskills bond. Washington, DC: Dorothy Rich Associates.

Schools Reaching Out
Davies, D., Burch, P., & Johnson, V. (1991). A portrait of school's reaching out. Institute for Responsive Education.

Service Learning
Petersen, A., & Ramirez, F. (2001). An investigation of student and adult docents during guided school tours. School Community Journal, 11(2), 65–74.

Profile of Successful Approaches (select several)
U.S. Dept of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement. (1998). Family involvement in children's education: Successful local approaches. Appendix A & B.

Collaborative School-Linked Services
Dolan, L. (1995). An evaluation of family support and integrated services in six elementary school. In Rigsby, Reynolds, & Wang (Eds.), School community connections (pp. 395–420). San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

Wang, M., Haertel, G., & Walberg, H.(1995) The effectiveness of collaborative school-linked services. In Rigsby, Reynolds, & Wang (Eds.), School community connections (pp. 283–309). San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

Levy, J., & Shepardson, W. (1992). A look at current school-linked services. School-linked services. The Future of Children, 2(1), 44–55.

USED, AERA, OERI. (1995, April). School-linked comprehensive services for children and families. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education.

Community Youth Development
Dubas, J., & Snider, B. (1993). The role of community-based youth groups in enhancing learning and achievement through nonformal education. In R. Lerner (Ed.), Early adolescence: Perspectives on research, policy, and intervention. Hillsdale: Erlbaum.

Perkins, D., Borden, L., & Villarruel, F. (2001). Community youth development: A partnership for action. School Community Journal, 11, 39–56. (See also Search Institute asset book and SRCD policy brief.)

Use of Technology
Huseth, M. (2001, October). Using technology to increase parent-to-teacher communication. Learning and Leading with Technology, 29(2), 6–9, 16–17.

Bauch, J. Parent-school phone system. Folder available from Prof Shumow.

Programs for Hispanic Families
Scribner, J., Young, M., & Pedroza, A. (1999). In P. Reyes, J. Scribner & A. Scribner (Eds.), Lessons from high-performing Hispanic schools (pp. 36–60). New York: Teachers College Press.

Duran, R., Duran, J., Perry-Romero, D., & Sanchez, E. (2001). Latino immigrant parents and children learning and publishing together in an after-school setting. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk (Jespar), 6, 95–113.

Niska, K. J. (2001). Therapeutic use of parental stories to enhance Mexican-American family socialization: Family transition to the community school system. Public Health Nursing, 18, 149–156.

Peña, D. C. (2000). Sharing power? An experience of Mexican American parents serving on a campus advisory council. The School Community Journal, 10, 61–84.

Parents of Special Needs Students
Epstein, M. H, Munk, D. D., Bursuck, W. D., Polloway, E. A., & Jayanthi, M. (1999). Strategies for improving home-school communication about homework for students with disabilities. Journal of Special Education, 33, 166–176.

Sperry, L. A., Whaley, K. T., Shaw, E., & Brame, K. (1999). Services for young children with autism spectrum disorder: Voices of parents and providers. Infants & Young Children, 11, 17–33.

April 17 – Complete presentations from previous week

April 24 – Conferences

Benson, B., & Barnett, S. (1999). Student led conferencing using showcase portfolios (pp. 49–90). Thousand Oaks: Corwin.

Orlosky, D. (199 ). Parent-teacher conferences and teachable moments. In L. Kaplan (Ed.), Education and the family (pp. 141–157). Needham Heights, MA: Ally & Bacon.

Guiding Questions:

Have you found any of the ideas presented in these readings to be helpful? Do you find any ideas you would like to try?
Would student led conferences work for you? Why, why not?
What do you do/could you do to pave the way for conferences?
What is the appropriate parent educational role of a teacher?
What can you learn from parents? How can you set up conferences to gather information from parents?

May 1 – Problem Solving: Project Due

Dealing with difficult parents and situations.

May 8 – Wrap Up and Sharing Projects

Free. Available online only.

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