We review research on parent involvement on an ongoing basis. In reviewing the research, major educational studies, and overviews of the evidence, it is clear that parent involvement works and is a powerful determinant in whether or not a child succeeds in school.
The overwhelming research also concludes that the collaboration between parents and schools is the way to academic success for all students regardless of economic status or ethnic or racial background. One concept we found in our research is called “collective impact.” This occurs when all the stakeholders work together toward a common goal. It’s about building relationships with an emotional resonance that develops a bond between the school and parents. When parents trust that the school wants their involvement, a level of reciprocity between parents and teachers develops.
Parents know when a school is truly reaching out and building bridges of communication. The synthesis of the research on parent involvement stretches back decades and continues to build the case that there are certain core principles that make for successful parent involvement and family engagement practices.
Three essential elements in any successful parent involvement in education program include:
1) parents knowing that their involvement is critical to their children’s success in school;
2) parents believing that they can have a positive effect on their children’s education; and,
3) parents trusting that both the school and their children want them involved.
Getting to the place where parents are comfortable about engaging with the school and becoming involved doesn’t happen by accident. It is a process of guidance and support. It’s helping parents understand that the earlier they are involved in their children’s education, the better. It helps them understand that the most effective forms of parent involvement are those in which the parents learn to work directly with their children at home. It all starts with reading and moves on from there to other activities.
Here at The Latino Family Literacy Project™, we work with teachers and staff to help them provide the guidance and support that parents need to be fully involved and engaged in their children’s education.
For more information on our programs, visit our website.