State of the Art Session

State of the Art Session

Strengthening cooperation and collaboration between families, pupils and schools to improve educational quality and equity: lessons learned and possibilities for change 

The COVID 19 pandemic transformed the role of home learning and with it, a new configuration of school-family relationships h around the world appears to be underway. The online learning experienced during the pandemic reasserts opportunities to leverage home and community settings as reservoirs of knowledge deserving greater attention for teachers and teacher educators and consider how educational technology can be used to support pedagogies that are more centered on students’ interests, assets, and needs (Means et al, 2013). In turn, this also offers an opportunity to rethink the role of students in the school-family relationship. 

Parental involvement in education, also known as parental or family engagement (Garbacz, et al., 2017; Ferlazzo, 2011; Weist, Garbacz, Lane, y Kincaid, 2017) is a multidimensional construct that encompasses home-based strategies, such as providing structure and support with regard to learning and education at home, and school-based strategies, such as communicating with the teacher or attending school events (Epstein 2011). While the literature has shown that parental involvement with children’s learning has a positive relationship with academic achievement (Boonk et al., 2018), there is an academic debate around the type and amount of parental involvement associated with the positive impact on learning outcomes (Garbacz, Herman, Thompson & Reinke, 2017; Mapp, Hernderson & Hill 2014 in Chavkin, 2017), challenging the idea that greater parental involvement improves learning outcomes (see Robinson & Harris, 2012).  These studies postulate the need to understand the effectiveness and scope of different strategies focused on family engagement, as well as to identify the practices of families that have a greater impact on the learning and socio-emotional development of students. The literature also highlights the challenges involving families from disadvantaged communities’ (Menheere & Hooge, 2010). 

The session will explore theoretical aspects and initiatives aimed at impacting on strengthening family-school relationships.  

This State-of-the-Art session will deal with the following questions: 

  • What emerging approaches/practices/lenses do we have available to increase a stronger relationship between families, students and schools?  
  • What are the barriers to strengthen partnership between families, students and their schools for all communities, in particular for those who are more disadvantage? What do we know or need to know in order to address these barriers  
  • What are the most critical changes as result of the COVID19 pandemic in the school-family relationships? How these changes inform our understanding of this topic?