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March 26, 2019

 

 By A. Driscoll|N.G. Nagel Pearson Allyn Bacon Prentice Hall
 

New Thinking about Family Involvement

How many of you remember your parents going to conferences or to open house nights? How many of you remember your parent serving as a driver or chaperone for field trips or other events? Those are fairly common experiences. Educators now think much more holistically about family involvement. There's compelling information from research about the importance of that involvement, and there are both state and national policies recognizing and recommending that involvement.

When families are involved, there is a communication to children about the value of their families. Sometimes, that value may not be what is intended. When Keeley's mom, Kerry, assists in the computer lab at her school, Keeley may think that the school believes that her mom is smart and that Keeley's teacher appreciates her mom. However, if Keeley only observes her teacher communicating with her mom to talk about Keeley's problems in class, there is another message. If the only request for help is to bake a cake for the school fair, there is yet another message.

All children want to feel pride in their families, and that pride will probably influence how the child feels about herself. Extensive research, much of it very current, shows that families are critical to children's success. We think that the findings of some of those studies are an important foundation to your philosophy about family involvement and to your decisions about the role families will play in your future work.

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Resources to empower families and for professionals to share with families.

 

Research and resources on family involvement

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National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and resources for families