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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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Teaching cases can be valuable tools in preparing early childhood educators to engage effectively with families. Because the case method presents a story in practice, it offers education students and educators an active learning opportunity. The teaching cases highlighted in this handout involve real-world situations and consider the perspectives of various stakeholders, including early childhood program and elementary school staff, parents, children, and community members. Through case-based discussion, educators can enhance their critical thinking and problem-solving skills and consider multiple perspectives.

This handout provides a detailed list of HFRP's teaching cases on family involvement, focusing on the earlier years of a child's learning and development. The teaching cases are sorted by topic, gender, ethnicity, and age-group of the students discussed; however, the lessons in all of these cases will likely apply to a wide variety of contexts.

Harvard Family Research Project’s (HFRP) research-based case studies reflect critical dilemmas in family–school–community relations, especially among low-income and culturally diverse families. As such, the case method is a useful strategy for helping educators learn to communicate and build relationships with families whose backgrounds may differ from their own. To access HFRP's complete teaching case series, including cases focused on elementary, middle, and high school years, click here.

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