Why Would We Want Parents to Be Involved in Their Child's Learning

Why Would We Want Parents to Be Involved in Their Child's Learning

Why would we want parents to be involved in their child's learning?(What the literature says - ecological model)
  • Students do better in school and in life. They are more likely to earn higher grades and test scores, graduate from high school, and go on to higher education. Low-income and minority students benefit the most.
  • Parents become empowered. Parents develop confidence by helping their children learn at home. Many go on to further their own education and become active in the community
  • Teacher morale improves. Teachers who work with families expect more from students and feel a stronger connection to and support from the community.
  • Schools get better. When parents are involved at home and at school, in ways that make them full partners, the performance of all children in the school tends to improve.
  • Communities grow stronger. Families feel more invested in the school system, and the school system becomes more responsive to parent and community needs.

Joyce Epstein's Model for Six Types of Involvement

PARENTING: Assist families with parenting and child-rearing skills, understanding child and adolescent development, and setting home conditions that support children as students at each age and grade level. Assist schools in understanding families.
COMMUNICATING: Communicate with families about school programs and student progress through effective school-to-home and home-to-school communications.
VOLUNTEERING: Improve recruitment, training, work, and schedules to involve families as volunteers and audiences at the school or in other locations to support students and school programs.
LEARNING AT HOME: Involve families with their children in learning activities at home, including homework and other curriculum-linked activities and decisions.
DECISION MAKING: Include families as participants in school decisions, governance, and advocacy through PTA/PTO, school councils, committees, and other parent organizations.
COLLABORATING WITH THE COMMUNITY: Coordinate resources and services for families, students, and the school with businesses, agencies, and other groups, and provide services to the community.

CYFERnet resources:
Parental Involvement Contributes to Child's Success in School

Monitoring: Staying Involved in Your Teen's Life

Back to School, Moving Forward-What No Child Left Behind Means for Parents, Schools and Communities

Fathers' Involvement in Their Children's Schools

Working with Your Child's Caregiver

Parenting: Have We Arrived? Or Do We Continue to Change?

Participacion de los padres en las escuelas (Father Involvement in Schools) [Spanish]

What to Know About Dropping Out of School

Reduction of Risk Behaviors for Youth

The Role of the Family in Adolescent Development: Preventing Risk, Promoting Resilience

Serving Families With Limited Resources

School Readiness and Success

Parent Involvement in Education: A Resource for Parents, Educators, and Communities

Literature Review on Parent Involvement

Joyce Epstein's model for Six types of involvement

Order posters:

Other resources:
National Network of Partnership Schools

North Carolina Parenting Education Network

National Extension Parenting Education Network

The National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education

. Epstein, Joyce. "A New Model for Comprehensive School Reform: Results of the Partnership Schools-CSR Pilot Study"Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Atlanta Hilton Hotel, Atlanta, GA, Aug 16, 2003 Online .PDF>. 2009-02-13 <

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This study reports the first major test of the implementation and results of the Partnership Schools-CSR model for school improvement. The model requires teams of teachers, parents, and community partners to work together plan and implement activities to improve the curriculum, instruction, and family and community involvement to address specific school goals. The pilot school formed five action teams to improve student behavior, test scores in math, reading, and writing, and the involvement of families from diverse cultural groups and implemented numerous activities to address these goals. The resulting program showed evidence of key policy attributes -- specificity, consistency, authority, power, and stability (Desimone, 2002) that explain the successful implementation of other CSR programs. The pilot school also demonstrated essential elements - teamwork, leadership, action plans, implemented activities, evaluation, and networking (Epstein, 2001) that identify high-quality partnership programs. Longitudinal data were collected to compare changes in student achievement on state tests in the pilot school, comparison schools, and district as a whole over three years. Students' test scores in math, reading, and writing improved over time in math, reading, and writing at the pilot school more than at comparison schools. The pilot school closed the gap in test scores between its students and the district as a whole, despite the fact that the district includes several schools in more affluent neighborhoods whose test scores started at a higher level in the base year. The school also reported dramatically fewer students suspended from school and improved student behavior.