I work with parents, teachers, and principals in Wyoming schools to increase their Title I parent involvement efforts and move toward a model of true parent engagement. The Parent Education Network helps get things going in schools that need that extra nudge. We are here to lend a hand when teachers and parent groups want to know more about successful and effective practices. Most parents and teachers tell me that they know parent involvement is important. They really want parents to be involved but it just doesn’t happen all by itself. The most common complaint is always that the school tried “those things” and no one showed up. So there lies the problem. The answer for schools could be to start with the research.
Schools now are tuned in to using methods and curriculum that are research based, so it makes sense to also use a research based approach to find programs that work with families of our students. Some of the best information about the current research on parent engagement is available free on the web! Here are some recommendations on where to start looking:
- The Department of Ed http://edpubs.ed.gov/ website is a wonderful resource. A great booklet with the research on the effect of teaching parents how to read with their children is called The Effect Of Family Literacy Interventions On Children’s Acquisition Of Reading: From Kindergarten To Grade 3 . You can get a free copy from Ed Pubs or you can read it online at http://www.nifl.gov/partnershipforreading/publications/pdf/lit_interventions.pdf.
- SEDL (Southwest Educational Development Laboratory) has posted literature reviews and research syntheses on topics including family and community connections, parental involvement in schools, and school readiness at <http://www.sedl.org/pubs/catalog/items/family120.html>. The synthesis of parent involvement research is called A New Wave of Evidence.
- For great information on how to incorporate parent involvement in Title I schools, SEDL http://www.sedl.org/ also has A Toolkit for Title I Parental Involvement available on the website http://www.sedl.org/pubs/catalog/items/family120.html .
- Also check out the books listed in our April blog, In Search of that Great Resource on Partnership <insert link https://phpwy.wordpress.com/2009/04/23/in-search-of-that-great-resource-on-partnership/>. If you are in Wyoming, you can borrow books from our lending library. Email us!
So do your summer reading, and next fall we will all be ready to move toward Family School Partnerships that really work wonders in our local schools. Also let me know what resources and research on the web that you have found helpful.