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Previous research indicates that, while parent involvement promotes student achievement, how teacher candidates are prepared to establish family–school partnerships (FSP) is not well documented and the roles of teacher educators are often neglected. Explorative studies including curriculum analysis and focus groups of primary and secondary teacher candidates and teacher educators were conducted in three universities, one each in the Netherlands, Belgium and the USA. Data collection was designed to identify opinions towards FSP and perceived preparation for FSP. The programmes showed limited attention to aspects other than communication and FSP was not assessed. The findings indicate training is largely dependent upon the proclivities of individual teacher educators. Although all respondents acknowledged the importance of FSP, respondents of primary education held a more positive attitude towards parents than others. Hardly any differences were found between the views of candidates and educators, regardless of the programme they followed or taught.
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European Journal of Teacher Education
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Preparing teacher candidates for
family–school partnerships
Erica J. de Bruïnea, T. Martijn Willemsea, Jeanne D’Haemb, Peter
Griswoldb, Lijne Vloeberghsc & Sofie van Eyndec
a Department of Education, Windesheim University of Applied
Sciences, Zwolle, The Netherlands
b College of Education, William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ,
c Department of Education, Leuven University College, Leuven,
Published online: 06 May 2014.
To cite this article: Erica J. de Bruïne, T. Martijn Willemse, Jeanne D’Haem, Peter Griswold, Lijne
Vloeberghs & Sofie van Eynde (2014): Preparing teacher candidates for family–school partnerships,
European Journal of Teacher Education, DOI: 10.1080/02619768.2014.912628
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Preparing teacher candidates for familyschool partnerships
Erica J. de Bruïne
, T. Martijn Willemse
*, Jeanne DHaem
, Peter Griswold
Lijne Vloeberghs
and Soe van Eynde
Department of Education, Windesheim University of Applied Sciences, Zwolle, The
College of Education, William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ, USA;
Department of Education, Leuven University College, Leuven, Belgium
Previous research indicates that, while parent involvement promotes student
achievement, how teacher candidates are prepared to establish familyschool
partnerships (FSP) is not well documented and the roles of teacher educators are
often neglected. Explorative studies including curriculum analysis and focus
groups of primary and secondary teacher candidates and teacher educators were
conducted in three universities, one each in the Netherlands, Belgium and the
USA. Data collection was designed to identify opinions towards FSP and per-
ceived preparation for FSP. The programmes showed limited attention to aspects
other than communication and FSP was not assessed. The ndings indicate train-
ing is largely dependent upon the proclivities of individual teacher educators.
Although all respondents acknowledged the importance of FSP, respondents of
primary education held a more positive attitude towards parents than others.
Hardly any differences were found between the views of candidates and educa-
tors, regardless of the programme they followed or taught.
Keywords: teacher training; familyschool partnerships; teacher candidates;
teacher educators
Theory and research demonstrate that effective parentteacher collaboration is a
critical factor in the academic and social-emotional development of students in pri-
mary and secondary education (Epstein [2001]2011; Henderson and Mapp 2002;
Desforges and Abouchaar 2003; Jeynes 2007; Uludag 2008; Hattie 2009; Evans
2013); hence, it is not surprising that national policies increasingly promote parent
teacher collaboration (e.g. Sanders and Epstein 2005; European Commission 2008;
Evans 2013). In many countries including the USA, the Netherlands and Belgium,
collaborating with parents is a legally required competency. For example, in the
USA, the No Child Left Behind Act (2002)requires schools to organise and imple-
ment programmes and practices to involve families in their childrens education
(Epstein and Sanders 2006, 82; Kroeger and Lash 2011; Evans 2013). More than a
decade ago, scholars argued that developing productive relationships with families is
part of a teachers professional role; however, creating familyschool partnerships
(FSP) is challenging for teachers (Hargreaves 2000). Nevertheless, teacher education
institutes (TEIs) seem to pay little attention to the preparation of prospective teach-
ers for FSP (Epstein and Sanders 2006; Denessen et al. 2009; Evans 2013; Miller
*Corresponding author:
© 2014 The Author(s). Published by Routledge.
This is an Open Access article. Non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original
work is properly attributed, cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way, is permitted. The moral rights of
the named author(s) have been asserted.
European Journal of Teacher Education, 2014
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et al. 2013). Little is known about how teacher candidates are prepared to establish
FSP and even less is known about how teacher educatorsperceptions
of FSP
inuence the preparation of candidates. Researchers like Graue and Brown (2003),
Sanders and Epstein (2005), Molina (2013) and Miller et al. (2013) have advocated
for more research on this topic.
This article is an analysis of an explorative study of how candidates in primary
and secondary education programmes are prepared for FSP. The research was con-
ducted by a team of Belgian, Dutch and American researchers who wanted a better
understanding of how their institutions prepared candidates for FSP. Formal curric-
ula and information from focus groups with a total of 65 candidates, all in their
senior year, and 32 educators were analysed.
Theoretical background
Insufcient preparation for FSP
Despite the positive effects of FSP upon student achievement (Epstein [2001]2011;
Henderson and Mapp 2002; Desforges and Abouchaar 2003; Jeynes 2007), many
studies show that preparation for it is not sufcient, and even absent in some teacher
education programmes (Shartrand et al. 1997; Epstein and Sanders 2006; Ingvarson,
Beavis, and Kleinhenz 2007; Hornby and Witte 2010; Evans 2013; Miller et al.
2013). According to Ingvarson and colleagues (2007), many novice teachers see
room for improvement in teacher education, especially in preparing them to work
with families (c.f. Hornby and Witte 2010; Evans 2013). Epstein and Sanders
(2006) state that, though faculty attached importance to this topic, TEIs pay little
attention to it and candidates were not well prepared. Based on a literature review,
Evans (2013) concludes that, despite increased attention to family engagement in
teacher education, teachers continue to feel unprepared and points out that teacher
education does not address FSP in a useful way. In sum, three main reasons can be
distinguished: (1) the mixed messages candidates receive in their eld experiences
from administrators and teaching staff, due to the diversity of denitions and atti-
tudes regarding parentsroles these professionals hold; (2) the specic characteristics
of the candidates inuencing their views and attitudes and often sowing a disconnec-
tion between parents and candidates; and (3) the limited opportunities for candidates
to interact directly with parents.
Mixed messages
It is not surprising that candidates receive mixed messages, given the ambiguity and
complexity of the concept of FSP. For example, Fan and Chen (2001, 3) use the
term parental involvementand note: Although parental involvement is often sim-
plistically perceived as unidimensional, in reality it is probably better to conceptual-
ise this construct as being multifaceted in nature, because parental involvement
subsumes a wide variety of parental behavioural patterns and parenting practices.
More and more researchers are pleading for a way of looking at parent involvement
that justies its multidimensional character and the fact that it consists of many
activities of parents, teachers and schools (Fan and Chen 2001; Hoover-Dempsey
et al. 2002). In this light Epstein (1995) describes home, school and community as
overlapping spheres of inuence, where members should collaborate for students
2E.J. de Bruïne et al.
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benet through six types of involvement: parenting at home; communicating; volun-
teering; learning at home; decision-making and advocacy; and collaborating with
community. She emphasises the reciprocity and equality of this relationship.
Although Epsteins model helps to dene the multidimensional concept of FSP,
other researchers have maintained that it is not sufcient for a full understanding of
its complexity. Kroeger and Lash (2011, 270) argue that Epsteins model contains:
[] ideologies of dominant power relations paralleling that of the larger society.
Because schooling is a major force in transmitting the dominant culture, the notion of
cultural capital creates wide disparities among parents depending on how school per-
sonnel respond to parent demands when parents attempt to advocate for children.
Generally, in these partnerships parents are placed in a position to listen to the
authorityof teachers [] and teachers in a position to speak(ibidem, 270). They
argue that within Epsteins conceptual framework, the roles of parents and teachers
implicitly mirror these existing power relations. Candidates encounter these relations
during their eld experiences and therefore educators should make these explicit for
Moreover, Hornby and Lafaele (2011) argue parents and teachers might have dif-
ferent goals, agendas and attitudes towards parent involvement, providing candidates
mixed messages too. For example, teachers might consider involvement of parents
as a way to improve student achievement, to reduce costs or to address cultural dis-
advantages. Parents, on the other hand, could consider involvement primarily as a
way to discuss their childrens progress or difculties and to share their concerns.
Additionally, they state that:
Teachers and parents each bring to the melting pot of parental involvement personal
attitudes that are deeply rooted within their own historical, economic, educational, eth-
nic, class and gendered experiences. There persists amongst many teachers a decit
model of parents which is manifested through attitudes whereby parents are viewed as
problems,vulnerable,orless ableand are therefore best kept out of schools.
(Hornby and Lafaele 2011, 45)
They even emphasise that language can inuence attitudes towards FSP and point
out that the words used to dene teacherparent relations affect those relations. For
example, placing teachers in the role of professionals and experts implies that par-
entsrole is that of non-expert. Candidates need to become aware that these differ-
ences in goals, agendas and attitudes provide mixed messages and might, according
to Hornby and Lafaele, become a barrier for FSP.
The complexity of the concept and the unacknowledged power relations between
parents and teachers contribute to the challenges TEIs face to address FSP. Candi-
dates need to be aware of this complexity in order to understand the mixed messages
provided by schools and teachers. In fact educators should encourage and support
candidates to develop their own concepts and views about FSP to manage those
mixed messages.
Specic characteristics of candidates
In facilitating candidates to understand mixed messages and to develop their own
views educators should consider the specic characteristics of the candidates. Their
European Journal of Teacher Education 3
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status (mostly single, white, middle-class and childless females in their early twen-
ties) is likely to inuence these views, as pointed out by Flanigan (2007, 96) when
she underlines that preservice teachers have difculty transferring their need for
independence from their parents to the need for involvement with the parents of
their students. Graue and Brown (2003) emphasise that, even before entering their
training programme, candidates have opinions about education and FSP, often based
on their memories of going to school, their concepts of good teachers and them-
selves as prospective teachers. The socialcultural background of candidates inu-
ences those opinions. If candidates expect relationships with parents will be
stressful, characterised by conicts and criticism(Baum and Swick 2008, 580) and
if little attention is paid to these already existing views, it is not likely these views
will change during teacher preparation (Graue and Brown 2003; Souto-Manning and
Swick 2006; Baum and Swick 2008). Therefore, candidates should be encouraged to
become aware of their pre-existing opinions.
In addition, Graue and Brown (2003, 721) argue: Without content knowledge
focused on family school relationships, preservice teachers must rely on what they
already know, which is likely to mirror their own experience. In other words, facili-
tating these young and middle-class candidates to understand the mixed messages
and to develop grounded views, knowledge should be provided. Researchers have
supported inclusion of knowledge regarding various components of FSP in the cur-
riculum: models and factors related to working with families (Hoover-Dempsey and
Sandler 1997; Driessen, Smit, and Sleegers 2005; Baum and Swick 2008; Bartels
and Eskow 2010; Hornby and Lafaele 2011), the benets of FSP (Epstein [2001]
2011; Hattie 2009) and theories supporting communication with parents (Henderson
and Mapp 2002; Graham-Clay 2005; Bartels and Eskow 2010). However, little is
known how this inclusion of knowledge in the curriculum is perceived by these can-
didates and their educators.
Opportunities for interaction with parents
Gaining knowledge merely from reading textbooks doesnt automatically lead to
comprehension. Candidates should have opportunities for simulated and real
encounters with parents. Field experiences help them to develop the skills needed to
establish effective partnerships, to give meaning to the knowledge they gained and
to deepen and ground their views (e.g. Shartrand et al. 1997; Epstein and Sanders
2006; Bingham and Abernathy 2007; Flanigan 2007; Uludag 2008; Bartels and
Eskow 2010; Lunenberg, Dengerink, and Korthagen 2013). Field experiences should
include comprehensive and prolonged interactions with parents (Baum and Swick
2008; Pushor 2011). Graue and Brown (2003) maintain that a variety of such
experiences allows candidates to discover the complexity of parenting and gather
knowledge about the diverse cultural backgrounds of parents. According to Miller
et al. (2013), eld experiences should not only take place within the school, but in
community and home settings as well. However, most candidates have limited
opportunities for this kind of direct interaction with parents (Evans 2013).
Next to the content of the curriculum, educators are a dening factor for successful
preparation for FSP, because they bring the curriculum to life. Little is known,
4E.J. de Bruïne et al.
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however, about how educators feel about FSP and knowledge about their concepts
is lacking. If they do not think it is important, it will inuence their teaching. Educa-
tors should be aware of mainstream practices of parentteacher partnerships as a
visible set of discourse practices that reproduce a set of power relations embodied
in technical processes(Kroeger and Lash 2011, 270). They are considered role
models (e.g. Loughran and Berry 2005; Pushor 2011) and if they hold negative
opinions about FSP, their students may adopt a similar attitude. Willemse,
Lunenberg, and Korthagen (2008) argue that educators express their personal values
and opinions in their teaching. The language used in lectures referring to parents
affects the attitudes and assumptions of their students as much as the content of the
curriculum, or even more (Kroeger and Lash 2011). If educators merely talk about
difcult parents, they implicitly teach that parents are a problem, thus contributing
to a negative attitude towards FSP on the part of candidates.
This study
Teacher preparation is failing to adequately address FSP and more research on this
topic is needed (Evans 2013). Little is known about what according to candidates
will facilitate their development in working with families and how educators per-
ceive their role. In order to gain a better understanding how candidates are prepared
for FSP, an explorative study was conducted in three universities focusing on the
perceptions of candidates and their educators. Formal curricula were examined; can-
didates and educators were asked how they perceived candidatespreparation to
work with parents and their level of preparedness. The central question in this study
concerns: How are teacher candidates in these three universities prepared for FSP?
(1) What can be found in the formal curriculum regarding FSP?
(2) What are the views and opinions of both candidates and educators concern-
ing FSP?
(3) How do candidates and educators perceive the preparation for FSP in their
training programmes?
In 2012 explorative studies were conducted in the teacher education departments in
three universities, one each in Belgium, the Netherlands and the USA. The Belgian
university is a university of applied sciences in the northern part of Belgium
(Flanders). The Department of Education prepares approximately 2300 candidates
within three-year bachelor programmes for pre-school, primary and secondary
education and one advanced programme in special education. In the Netherlands, a
university of applied sciences in the north-eastern part of the country participated.
Within the Department of Education approximately 7000 candidates are prepared for
different positions within primary, secondary, vocational or special education at
bachelor and masters level in several four-year bachelor and one-year master pro-
grammes. The US university is a comprehensive public institution on the East coast
where 1551 undergraduate and graduate students participate in pre-school, primary,
secondary or special education programmes for teacher training, leading to bachelor
European Journal of Teacher Education 5
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and master degrees. In contrast to the other two universities, all candidates must take
two years of general education classes and complete an academic major before
entering the two-year teacher education programme.
The choice of this international study was based on several factors. In all three
countries, working with parents is legally required and questions occurred about
how teachers are prepared to meet this mandate. Besides, the universities are linked
by mutual partnerships including regular international exchange of students and edu-
cators. We assumed that based on cultural differences, teacher preparation on FSP
could differ and perhaps adaptations of the curriculum were needed for the exchange
students. Thus, the selection of cases was a result of convenience (Miles and
Huberman 1984).
Data collection
Data were collected by examining the required teacher education courses at each
university. Focus groups were conducted with both educators and senior teacher can-
didates to obtain information about their opinions concerning FSP, the curriculum
and if they felt their preparation was sufcient.
The formal curriculum
Curricula were examined by reviewing course syllabi in the compulsory courses in
order to determine what topics were covered, what kind of teaching strategies were
used and if competencies in any aspect of FSP were assessed. In addition, electronic
databases were studied to explore programme parts, using search terms like parents,
parent involvement or communication with parents. Two researchers checked the
course overview.
The perceived curriculum and concepts concerning FSP
Because the aim of this study was to examine the perceptions of educators and can-
didates regarding preparation for FSP, focus groups were conducted. A focus group
is, according to Rabiee (2004, 655) citing Lederman, a technique involving the use
of in-depth group interviews in which participants are selected because they are a
purposive, although not necessarily representative, sampling of a specic population,
this group being focusedon a given topic. In other words, the focus groups are
considered to be what Swanborn (2008, 61; e.g. Miles and Huberman 1984;
Eisenhardt 2002) calls cases of high intensity, consisting of a rich illustrative vari-
ety of information to understand the phenomenon more in depth. Due to the explor-
ative nature of this study, focus groups were conducted, because interaction between
the group members is encouraged and this interaction could provide deeper and
richer information than could be obtained from individual interviews (Cohen,
Manion, and Morrison 2000). Each university conducted four focus groups, a
primary and a secondary group for at least 5 educators and 10 candidates each.
Educators who were engaged in the topic of FSP were invited to participate, on
the assumption that these educators in particular could provide information about
educatorsviews and opinions. Senior teacher candidates were invited by email and
because it was difcult to nd 10 participants, a second invitation was sent. All
focus group meetings were held in 2012 and took from one to two hours. All
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questions were grouped around three topics: views and opinions, the perceived
curriculum and opportunities to learn about FSP in real-life experiences within k-12
To elicit respondentsviews and opinions they were asked what came to mind
when thinking about collaborating with parents, if they considered it important and,
if so, why it was important. To gather information about the perceived curriculum,
respondents were asked what topics related to FSP were covered by the curriculum.
In addition, topics as proposed by Epstein, Sanders, and Clark (1999) were pre-
sented, because according to them these topics are necessary to address in teacher
preparation. The aim of presenting these topics was to verify whether they were
actually recognised as part of the curriculum. Respondents were asked if candidates
were encouraged to develop a view of FSP and if their programmes provided possi-
bilities for contacts with parents. Finally, both educators and candidates were asked
if they thought the programme prepared candidates sufciently for FSP and what
changes on this topic were needed. The meetings were recorded and answers were
written on ip charts during the meetings. A total of 65 candidates and 32 educators
participated in the focus groups held at the three universities (Table 1).
Of the candidates 84% were female; 95% were between 20 and 25 years old.
Thirteen educators mentioned being parents themselves. Most had been primary or
secondary teachers and taught general subjects in educational and pedagogical
Data analysis
Data were analysed in two stages. First, two researchers at each university analysed
and ordered data obtained by the focus groups. An inductive analysis (Patton 2002)
was followed to nd out if the data would provide categories (Cohen, Manion, and
Morrison 2000). Building on individual coding of the texts, categories were devel-
oped in relation to the research questions. Within each university one researcher
took the lead in the analysis. A second researcher checked the analysis at random
points. If the two researchers agreed on the analysis, the rst researcher continued
analysing; if they did not agree on the analysis of this random points, the second
researcher analysed the other parts as well.
In the second stage, all researchers came together. Results and categories
obtained were compared and differences were discussed and resolved. Categories
were adjusted, results were ordered by research questions, conclusions were drawn
by pairs of researchers and then checked by other pairs. In summary, triangulation
of data sources, data analysis and researchers was used (Patton 2002;Yin2002).
Table 1. Respondents focus groups.
Belgium the Netherlands USA Total
Primary candidates 16 8 18 42
Secondary candidates 11 9 3 23
Total 27 17 21 65
Primary educators 4 4 10 18
Secondary educators 4 5 5 14
Total 8 9 15 32
European Journal of Teacher Education 7
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FSP in the formal curriculum
Though there were no specic courses on this topic, all three universities had a few
required courses containing subjects linked to FSP (Table 2). Apart from these com-
pulsory courses, elements of FSP occurred in a few non-compulsory courses.
A close examination of courses (Tables 3and 4) reveals that attention is limited
to elements of FSP, particularly to communication. For example, in courses about
general competencies these elements concerned teachersability to communicate
with parents in order to inform them about their child or the school programme.
There were no references made to partnerships with parents (Epstein [2001]2011)
or to the power relations Kroeger and Lash (2011) describe.
In terms of teaching strategies, the US and Belgium put an emphasis on lectures
and discussion, whereas the Netherlands uses mainly role-playing and non-compul-
sory assignments in eld experiences. There was no assessment of a students ability
to work with families in any of the universities.
In summary, there was an amazing similarity in the curricula of the universities
in the United States and Europe. Developing reciprocal partnerships with families
was not mentioned, one way communication from teacher to parent was the norm
and there were no graded assignments on this topic. This is remarkable, since in all
three countries, collaborating with parents is one of the teacher competencies
required by law.
Focus groups
Opinions and views
During the focus groups, respondents were asked for their opinions and views con-
cerning FSP and if they considered it important. When asked what comes to
mind?, candidates as well as educators primarily mentioned communication and
giving information to parents. At the primary level, candidates and educators empha-
sised the mutual character of this communication, using words like consulting par-
entsor using the expertise of parents. In contrast, secondary respondents used
more phrases like parents should support the school(Table 5).
Both educators and candidates expressed myriad concerns about difculties with
parents. They felt that parents might be scary and intimidating, partly because they
are older than candidates and of the same age as their own parents. Teachers are
fearful about working with parents. Schools are scapegoated and blame is put on
teachers for students who fail to learn or have behaviour problems, an educator in
Table 2. Courses (overview).
Primary Secondary
Length programme in
years (primary and sec-
amount of
FSP linked to
other courses
amount of
FSP linked to
other courses
BE 3 40 6 37 1
NL 4 56 5 60 2
US 2 10 4 7 4
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Table 3. compulsory courses (primary), connecting subject with FSP.
Content in the context of a course concerning Teaching strategy
General profess-
sional competen-
Consulting parents
of at risk students SEN Inclusion
discussion Other
BE 6 2 1 1 1 1 1 4 1
NL 5 2 1 1 1 4 1
US 5 1 3 1 1 4
Table 4. Compulsory courses (secondary), connecting subject with FSP.
Content in the context of a course concerning Teaching strategy
General profess-
sional competen-
General profess-
sional competen-
Consulting parents
of at risk students SEN Inclusion
discussion Other
BE 1 1 1
NL 2 1 1 11
US 4 2 2 1 3
European Journal of Teacher Education 9
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the US reported. Many secondary candidates and educators stated FSP is mainly an
issue for primary, not for secondary teachers. They made an exception for students
with problems: Yes, with students with special needs you have to collaborate with
parents, with other students I dont think its that necessary, a secondary candidate
(the Netherlands) said. Some even argued that parent involvement for teenagers is
not necessary any more. Primary respondents related FSP with volunteering, while
secondary respondents did not. They felt parents hardly ever come to secondary
schools, though they mentioned parents serving on school committees and exerting
inuence on school governance. When asked if and why they thought FSP is impor-
tant, all respondents stated that it is important and an essential part of the teachers
profession, saying, for example, You can achieve a lot more when parents are
involved(secondary candidate, Belgium), or even: It makes you a better teacher
(primary educator, the Netherlands).
Only modest differences were found between candidates and their educators, and
between the respondents of three universities. Most differences however were found
between the primary and secondary respondents. All respondents expressed fear
towards parents; however, primary candidates and educators at all three universities
stated that collaborating with parents is needed and can be a positive, valuable con-
tribution to everyday teaching. Parents and teachers have to collaborate as a team
said an educator (primary level, the Netherlands). Generally, respondents at the sec-
ondary level did not articulate general positive opinions like that.
Curriculum as perceived, perceived preparedness and proposed changes
To explore the perceived preparation of candidates, respondents were asked what top-
ics related to FSP were covered by the curriculum, how these were taught and
assessed and if there were opportunities for eld experiences. Moreover, they were
asked if candidates were encouraged to develop a view concerning FSP and their pro-
spective role in these partnerships. Finally, the discussion was brought up if they felt
preparation for FSP was sufcient and if they have suggestions for improvement?
All respondents reported topics related to communication. Only a few respon-
dents mentioned other topics such as diversity. This corresponds with the focus on
communication found in the formal curricula. However, when given some topics
mentioned by Epstein, Sanders, and Clark (1999)
most respondents at the primary
level, candidates as well as educators, suddenly recognised nearly all as part of the
Table 5. Opinions; views.
Primary Secondary
Candidates Educators Candidates Educators
Communication xxxx
Two-way communication x x
Using parentsexpertise about their child x x
Useful for primary education- and SEN-
Volunteering x x
Involved in governance and decision-
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programme. Secondary respondents recognised only a few of them, mainly as a part
of a non-compulsory course. Interestingly, these Epstein topicswere not found in
the formal curricula. This seems to suggest there is a difference between the formal
curriculum and the curriculum as performed and might indicate that preparing for
FSP also depends on the unplanned teaching practices of individual educators. Many
respondents emphasised the inuence of individual educators. Generally, educators
saw themselves as role models for their students, realising the impact of their views:
We are sometimes negative role models ourselves, because we often refer to parents
as being difcult(primary level, the Netherlands). Some educators said they were
using, often unintentionally, their own experiences as a parent in their lectures.
Moreover, educators pointed out that they never discuss their vision of parent
involvement with their colleagues. An educator in the Netherlands wondered:
Whats actually our shared view of FSP? We never discuss that in our team.
When asked if the preparation for FSP was adequate, all respondents indicated
that candidates were not sufciently prepared, saying there is little attention paid to
it in the teacher-training programme, nor at the schools. Many respondents offered
suggestions for improvement (Table 6). They said there should be more and above
all less noncommittal attention to FSP. According to the educators, however, more
attention might be a problem, due to the already heavily loaded programme. They
suggested integrating FSP in other courses.
Educators in all focus groups mentioned candidates should gain more theoretical
knowledge about the benets of FSP on student achievement, about working with
minority families and the legal position of parents in schools. Moreover, they recom-
mended additional attention to the development of opinions, views and attitudes for
example, seeing parents as experts on their child. They advised that candidates
needed to become more aware of cultural differences and of their susceptibility to
stereotyping. Moreover, educators argued that candidates should develop a vision
about education that connects their future role as a teacher with FSP. This is remark-
able because their own views hardly differed from the views of candidates.
In general, candidates placed less importance on the development of opinions
and knowledge than did their educators. Quite the contrary, they seemed content
with the degree to which they were encouraged to develop a vision and a positive
attitude regarding FSP. What they wanted was more training of their (communica-
tion) skills, like making and maintaining contact, giving positive feedback to parents
and dealing with parents in difcult, problematic situations. A candidate wanted
Table 6. Suggestions for improvement.
Changes needed
Primary Secondary
Candidates Educators Candidates Educators
More compulsory courses xxxx
More time x x
More attention, integrated in existing
More skills (communication) x x
More knowledge x x
More development of views; positive
Field experiences xxxx
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more role playing, because you learn to dare it; then you feel less shy or anxious
when you actual do it(primary level, the Netherlands).
All respondents wanted more meetings with parents at school. Learning by
doing, they all thought, was the best, most powerful and realistic way to learn about
FSP: Its less scary when you have trained with parents before you start working as
a teacher(candidate, secondary level, Belgium). However, respondents said con-
tacts between candidates and parents are rare, not signicant, and often unplanned,
depending upon school policy, mentoring teachers at schools or the candidates them-
selves. It is difcult to show this competency, because we hardly ever practiced -
my coach at school just said: I know you didnt have the opportunity, but Im sure
youre able to collaborate with parents, so Ill give you a good mark for it’’ , said a
candidate (secondary level, the Netherlands).
Conclusions and discussion
In this explorative study, preparation of pre-service teachers for FSP was examined
within three teacher education institutions. Findings indicate that preparation for
FSP is integrated in other courses. Attention is mainly focused on communication,
there is no attention to models of FSP or to address underlying power relationships
or barriers and there is no assessment on this topic. In primary programmes, more
attention is paid to FSP then in secondary progammes. In addition, secondary
respondents articulated fewer positive opinions than primary respondents. Moreover,
differences were found between the formal curriculum and the curriculum as per-
formed. Preparation for FSP seemed to depend on concepts and (unplanned) teach-
ing practices of individual educators. Educators and candidates considered FSP
important, but difcult to establish, often describing parents as frightening. Remark-
ably, hardly any differences were found between the opinions of candidates and their
educators. Finally, all respondents felt preparation was inadequate. They called for
more and less noncommittal attention to FSP and more actual experience.
In this explorative study, only 65 candidates and 32 educators participated; there-
fore, no generalisations can be made to all candidates and educators at the three uni-
versities, or to all teacher education institutions in the three countries. Nevertheless,
the lack of attention to FSP in the curricula in this study and the insufcient prepara-
tion for FSP as perceived by candidates and educators are consistent with other stud-
ies (Epstein and Sanders 2006; Denessen et al. 2009; Evans 2013) and seem to
conrm that preparing teachers for FSP is a difcult, persistent and widespread
This study reveals that limited concepts concerning FSP are included in the for-
mal curricula and expressed by candidates and their educators. Two examples might
illustrate this. First FSP is merely regarded as communication with parents. In fact
candidates and educators requested even more training of communication skills, role
playing and eld experiences with opportunities to meet parents. Adding only more
communication training and encounters with parents, however, is not sufcient for
adequate preparation (Kroeger and Lash 2011). Secondly, another limited concept is
expressed by secondary respondents emphasising that FSP is above all meant for
primary education. The university curricula mirrored that view, and concomitantly
FSP was hardly a topic in secondary programmes. Evans (2013) has solid reasons to
ask for more research on FSP in relation to secondary education.
12 E.J. de Bruïne et al.
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Yet preparation for FSP fails if the concept is not grounded in an understanding
of the needs and aims of establishing valuable partnerships (Epstein [2001] 2011),
the levels of involvement, the complexity of parentteachers relations and existing
barriers (c.f. Hoover-Dempsey et al. 2002; Hornby and Lafaele 2011; Kroeger and
Lash 2011). In this study, these aspects were hardly ever mentioned in the focus
groups, nor did they show up in the formal curricula. Candidates should be encour-
aged through the curriculum to gain knowledge about these aspects of FSP in order
to develop a more grounded view. Reconsidering the curricula on these points will
improve preparation for FSP.
Moreover, the age of candidates should be taken into account, as shown by
Flanigan (2007) and Graue and Brown (2003). In line with their results, candidates
in this study often saw parents as scary and intimidating. Teacher education institu-
tions should provide opportunities for candidates to meet parents within and outside
the schools (Evans 2013; Miller et al. 2013), coached by educators, who can prepare
them for these encounters and encourage them to reect on these experiences after-
wards, in order to relate these experiences to their role as (prospective) teacher (e.g.
Kroeger and Lash 2011). Real-life experiences, taking place in authentic situations,
were one of the improvements suggested by nearly all respondents. TEIs and
schools should collaborate, not only in order to realise these eld experiences, but
even to design the FSP-part of the programme. This might lead to a shared sense of
responsibility between TEIs and schools upon candidatesdevelopment of compe-
tencies needed for FSP and impact the views of all involved, of educators, candi-
dates, and of the schools as well.
The call of Kroeger and Lash (2011) for more awareness of educators of main-
stream parentteacher partnerships including the underlying power relations seems
to apply to this study too. In this study, especially educators who felt engaged in
FSP were invited for the focus groups. However, even their views and opinions did
not really differ from the views of candidates, and even they struggled with the
question of how to prepare candidates for FSP and support them to develop their
views and attitudes. They acknowledged their own, sometimes negative, modelling;
for example, by the language they used in talking about difcult parents. This
illustrates that even teacher education may contribute to the barriers to FSP distin-
guished by Hornby and Lafaele (2011). If the mixed messages candidates get from
schools are not addressed by educators, if educators do not encourage candidates to
explore their own preconceptions and develop a positive view and if they continue
to refer to parents as being troublesome and difcult, candidates will see their pre-
conceived notions conrmed (Graue and Brown 2003; Hornby and Lafaele 2011;
Kroeger and Lash 2011).
Although educators in this study emphasised the need for more attention to FSP,
they also mentioned a loaded curriculum and suggested integrating FSP in other
subjects. This may however continue the current fragmented and limited attention
paid to it (Epstein and Sanders 2006). Moreover, integration in other courses and
addressing FSP sufciently needs educators who are convinced of the importance of
FSP and know how to combine and integrate their own subject with FSP. In this
study engaged educators already struggled addressing FSP. In other words, educators
who are not that engaged to this subject might struggle even more or simply omit
FSP in their teaching practises, in particular when, as emphasised by the participat-
ing educators, a shared vision on preparing for FSP is lacking.
European Journal of Teacher Education 13
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In line with Flanigan (2007), focus group discussions appear to be a useful way
to foster educators awareness. During the focus groups and the presentation of the
Epstein-topics, some of the educators became more aware of their opinions and
practices and realised they paid more attention to FSP than was prescribed by the cur-
riculum and even more than they thought they did, bringing, for example, their own
experiences as parents into their lectures. These ndings show that teaching about
FSP appears partly unplanned and unconscious, depending on the educatorsindivid-
ual experiences. Repeating focus groups could have provided a deeper understanding
of educatorsopinions and perceived practices, but did not t in the scope of this
explorative study. Nevertheless, if discussing about FSP and exchanging experiences
in a well-structured way leads to a greater sense of awareness, than conducting meet-
ings like these focus groups might be a powerful tool for improving the preparation
for FSP. Exchanging teaching experiences, views and opinions concerning FSP with
colleagues might even support nonengaged educators to develop a (shared) vision.
However, in this study educators emphasised a shortage of time for meetings like this
and exchanging these opinions and experiences. Hence, integration FSP in other
courses without giving teams of educators the opportunity to develop a well-balanced
and shared view on this topic hardly guarantees good preparation for FSP.
The lack of shared views and the important role of individual educators might
indicate an even more extensive issue in teacher education, namely the absence of
improvement of educatorsteaching practices by collaborating and exchanging expe-
riences. In this study, educators emphasised there is hardly any time for collabora-
tion and development of shared visions. This may lead to individual unplanned and
unconscious practices of educators as found in this study. These practices are, for
example, also described in relation to moral education and citizenship (Willemse,
Lunenberg, and Korthagen 2008) and to modelling (Lunenberg, Korthagen, and
Swennen 2007). The critical role of individual educators and the lack of collabora-
tive exchange about educatorsvisions and practices refer to a bigger issue. More
research is needed about how changes can be made in teacher education and how
educators can be supported, through collaboration, to address issues such as FSP in
a more meaningful way.
1. In this article teachers educatorswill be referred to as educatorsand teacher candi-
datesas candidates.
2. Examples of those topics are: How to conduct parent meetings;Answering parents
questions about raising children. These questions correspond with the Epsteinssix types
of involvement.
Notes on contributors
Erica de Bruïne is a senior lecturer at Windesheim University of Applied Sciences, Depart-
ment of Education, Zwolle, the Netherlands. Her areas of expertise are inclusive education,
positive behaviour support and curriculum design. Her research focuses on parent involve-
ment and familyschool partnerships.
Martijn Willemse is a senior research fellow and teacher educator at Windesheim university
of applied sciences, Department of Education, Zwolle, the Netherlands. His areas of expertise
and research are (the professional development of) teacher educators, civic and moral educa-
tion, and familyschool partnerships.
14 E.J. de Bruïne et al.
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Jeanne DHaem is an associate professor of Special Education at William Paterson Univer-
sity, Wayne, NJ. Her areas of expertise are behaviour management, positive behaviour sup-
port, disability law and the inclusion of children with disabilities in general education
programmes. Her research focuses on the use of simple interventions that prevent problem
behaviours, working with parents and inclusion of children with developmental disabilities.
Peter Griswold is an associate professor of Special Education at William Paterson University,
Wayne, NJ. His areas of expertise are learning disabilities and teaching strategies for inclu-
sive classrooms. His research focuses on familyschool partnerships with a particular interest
in the relationship between parents of children with disabilities and the school.
Lijne Vloeberghs is a lecturer in the Special Needs Education Teacher Education programme
at University College Leuven in Belgium. Her areas of expertise are autism and social-emo-
tional difculties, inclusive education and preparing teachers to work with children with spe-
cial educational needs. Her research centres around familyschool partnerships and inclusive
Soe Van Eynde is a lecturer in the Special Needs Educational Teacher Education pro-
gramme at University College Leuven in Belgium. Her expertise centres around autism and
social-emotional difculties, coaching of pre-service teachers in Special Needs Education and
inclusive education. She conducts research on familyschool partnerships.
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... A pesar de lo anterior, la formación de docentes para el trabajo con familias y comunidades, al igual que los programas de investigación y plataformas de formación inicial y formación permanente docente en torno a la relación familia-escuela han tardado en arraigarse dentro del campo educativo (Cárcamo y Jarpa, 2021;De Bruïne et al., 2014;Epstein, 2018;Willemse et al., 2016). Evans (2013) evidenciaba cierta escasez de investigaciones educativas que se ocuparan de la relación entre compromiso familiar (family engagement) y aprendizaje en escolares. ...
... Por otra parte, Epstein y Sanders (2006) en Estados Unidos, así como estudios que han replicado sus métodos en otros países (De Bruïne et al., 2014;Lehmann, 2018;Mutton et al., 2018;Willemse et al., 2016), han enfatizado en el gran desafío actual que representa para la política pública la formación ini-cial de docentes para el trabajo con familias y comunidades. Si bien se ha avanzado en la generación de marcos legislativos nacionales y regionales, gracias a los cuales el trabajo para la promoción de la agencia entre escuelas, familias y comunidades se ha integrado al núcleo central del ejercicio profesional docente, tales marcos no han logrado impulsar tantas experiencias de formación efectivas como pudiera esperarse, pues tales experiencias para su realización dependen mucho del interés y voluntad de quienes administran los programas de formación docente en cada contexto local. ...
... El mayor aporte del citado programa de Epstein a los estudios en educación ha sido, en cualquier caso, poner a operar las variables que, a pesar de su influencia en los procesos de escolarización de niños y niñas, no habían sido consideradas suficientemente por la investigación académica y, por lo tanto, se hallaban ajenas a las consideraciones dentro de la oferta escolar para la promoción de la participación familiar. Gracias a los resultados obtenidos por Epstein y otros estudios semejantes (De Bruïne et al., 2014;Thompson et al., 2018;Willemse et al., 2018), las expectativas educativas de padres y madres, los procesos de apoyo académico familiar en casa y de base comunitaria, la direccionalidad y el contenido de la comunicación entre familia, escuela y comunidad, la efectiva participación familiar y comunitaria en la toma de decisiones dentro de los espacios escolares y la formación docente en torno a estos temas, podrían considerarse ahora asuntos de mucha importancia para la generación de conocimiento profesional docente. ...
Full-text available
Objetivo: identificar las estrategias pedagógicas utilizadas en la última década (2011- 2021), en la preparación de docentes para el trabajo con familias y comunidades. Método: revisión sistemática de artículos académicos de referencia, extraídos del conjunto de colecciones de Web of Science (WoS), Scopus y SCielo, cuyos abordajes, objetos y resultados informaron sobre procesos de preparación de docentes en la promoción de las relaciones entre escuelas, familias y comunidades. Resultados y discusión: las principales estrategias identificadas se basan en la generación de cambios curriculares a pequeña escala, que se encuentran vinculados al uso del aprendizaje basado en problemas y las simulaciones. Conclusiones: los cambios curriculares a pequeña escala resultan alternativas mediadas por el máximo aprovechamiento de recursos e intervienen efectivamente en la generación y promoción de las relaciones entre familias, escuelas y comunidades. Al respecto, el docente en formación y en ejercicio resultan agentes clave como educadores dotados de una suficiente preparación para el liderazgo educativo y la justicia social
... This is understandable as the literature also shows that teacher training, again in several countries, does not cover parental engagement in any depth, or highlight its value (Baum and Swick 2008, Patte 2011, Robinson 2019. Research in the field would suggest that few teachers are adequately trained in relation to the nature and value of parental engagement, or how to support that engagement (Baum and Swick 2008, de Bruïne, Willemse et al. 2014, Willemse, Erica de et al. 2017. Parental engagement, where it is a part of teacher training, tends to be taught as optional courses or stand-alone modules rather than being a concept that is integrated into ITE as a whole (Saltmarsh, Barr and Chapman, 2015). ...
... This research project has shown that there is a lack of consistent practice in ITE in Wales around this topic. While this is in no way an isolated or unique situation, as other locales also struggle with this issue (Lewis and Forman 2002, Baum and McMurray-Schwarz 2004, Macgregor 2005, Baum and Swick 2008, de Bruïne, Willemse et al. 2014, Berkowitz, Astor et al. 2017, Author 2021, it is still of concern, particularly as school staff and families struggle to return to routines of in person schooling after the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021. Therefore, based on the data from this project, we make the following recommendations: ...
This paper presents a unique view of the perceived value of parental engagement with children’s learning within Initial Teacher Education (ITE) in Wales, the first such investigation of its kind. This paper arises from a research project sponsored by Welsh Government and undertaken by teams from Swansea and Bangor Universities. The paper reports the views of ITE providers, student teachers, mentors, parents and external stakeholders, regarding their experiences during the pandemic lockdown. The research found that while parental engagement was valued by all stakeholders, there was a lack of consistency about how this was defined and enacted. The paper proposes a disjuncture between espoused theory and theory in action, in relation to parental engagement in children’s learning, and ends with recommendations for policy, practice and further research.
... While student academic success has been linked to specific family engagement strategies (Fan & Chen, 2001;Jeynes, 2010), research has also unearthed specific barriers to preparing teachers with these critical components of family engagement. These include: (a) teacher education curriculum, (b) the uneven nature of candidates' clinical experiences, (c) a growing cultural mismatch between candidates and the students and families they are likely to serve, and (d) the complexity of social interactions (de Bruïne et al., 2014;Evans, 2013). ...
... To understand the impact of virtual student teaching settings on candidates' interactions with students' families, we use the Deweyan framework of whether their experience was educative versus mis-educative. Dewey (1938) defined an experience as educative when it creates the conditions that lead to further growth. In other words, an experience is educative when it draws on past experience in order to modify the quality of future experience through the creation of helpful habits and emotional/intellectual attitudes as well as the ability to respond to present conditions. ...
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Traditionally pre-service teachers are undersupported as they develop culturally sustaining family engagement strategies through teacher preparation programming. As COVID-19 forced teachers, and in turn student teachers, to teach virtually, we explored how this setting affects student teacher access to students’ home lives and families and impacts their view of future family engagement and teaching. We interviewed six elementary preservice teacher candidates who completed a semester of virtual student teaching. The shift to virtual instruction gave student teachers unprecedented access to students’ personal lives and also gave families access to student teachers’ practices. This newly acquired access presented multiple opportunities, challenges, and implications for candidates’ teaching and development. This study highlights the need for teacher preparation programs to leverage student teachers’ experiences to elevate culturally sustaining family engagement practices in their curriculum.
... While student academic success has been linked to specific family engagement strategies (Fan & Chen, 2001;Jeynes, 2010), research has also unearthed specific barriers to preparing teachers with these critical components of family engagement. These include: (a) teacher education curriculum, (b) the uneven nature of candidates' clinical experiences, (c) a growing cultural mismatch between candidates and the students and families they are likely to serve, and (d) the complexity of social interactions (de Bruïne et al., 2014;Evans, 2013). ...
... To understand the impact of virtual student teaching settings on candidates' interactions with students' families, we use the Deweyan framework of whether their experience was educative versus mis-educative. Dewey (1938) defined an experience as educative when it creates the conditions that lead to further growth. In other words, an experience is educative when it draws on past experience in order to modify the quality of future experience through the creation of helpful habits and emotional/intellectual attitudes as well as the ability to respond to present conditions. ...
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Adolescent literature has the power to positively impact and support the identity development of all adolescents, regardless of ability, gender, race, cultural, or linguistic background. Yet, we contend that this is only possible through the intentional, purposeful, and cognizant selection of texts that accurately and respectfully portray characters with whom students can relate and connect. To that end, this article explores the sociocultural needs of adolescents, their challenges in today’s society, and the ways that literature can support their adolescent identity development to leverage rather than deter their reading skills.
... Despite evidence of the impact of parental involvement on children's learning and development (DCSF 2008;Castro et al. 2015), it seems initial teacher education programmes (ITE) do not prepare thoroughly enough their future teachers for such an important work (De Bruïne et al. 2014;Epstein 2013). In fact, pre-service teachers' preparation for family-school partnerships (FSP) in ITE is still a challenge . ...
... In fact, the use of simulations has been revealed to have many advantages in adult education (Jones, Passos-Neto, and Bragiroli 2015). According to De Bruïne et al. (2014), pre-service teachers could benefit from simulated parentteacher conferences to develop partnership skills, practice and foster their communication competences (Walker and Legg 2018; see also De Coninck, Valcke, and Vanderlinde 2018 for an instrument to measure student teachers' parent-teacher communication competences) and deepen their knowledge about effective family involvement practices (Epstein and Sanders 2006). This body of research has shown the importance of improving pre-service development concerning FSP ). ...
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The aim of the study is to investigate the impact of embedding the computer-based 'Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Simulation Series' within teacher education curricula in higher education institutions in the US and in Spain. A quantitative survey design was used to explore student teachers' perceptions of the simulation experience. The sample consisted of 95 undergraduate education students from Chicago State University (US) and Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (Spain). Participants attended a session where they played a 21-34-minute simulation, and afterwards completed an online questionnaire. As a result of the study, it was found that the simulation helps students learn strategies to promote family engagement and deepen their knowledge to promote positive, goal-oriented relationships with families. Based on the results, it can be asserted that the simulation also supports student teachers' in-depth learning when practicing active listening skills and relationship-building strategies.
... Estos resultados coinciden con los de Linde-Valenzuela et al. (2019) en Andalucía, pero también se aprecian en EE. UU., Bélgica y Países Bajos (Bruïne et al., 2014) y en Chipre (Symeou et al., 2012). ...
The participation of families in educational centers is essential to achieve democratic institutions. It is the teacher's job to foster this relationship, but this requires adequate training. Currently, the training offered is scarce for both teachers and families. The aim of this study is to find out how teachers in Torre Pacheco promote the training of families and their own in relation to family participation. To this end, a validated questionnaire was applied to achieve a representative sample and the data were analyzed with SPSS using descriptive and non-parametric statistics. The results show that teachers are mainly responsible for ensuring that families are informed of the training offer. With respect to their own, although they are informed, they do not participate frequently, although they consider that they need it. In spite of the fact that family participation is similar in both types of centers, those with concerted ownership affirm that they motivate more the training of families and their own. It is necessary to rethink the training offered to teachers to improve the relationship with families and how they encourage families to collaborate efficiently for common objectives. La participación de las familias en los centros educativos es imprescindible para conseguir instituciones democráticas. Es labor del docente propiciar esta relación, pero ello exige estar adecuadamente capacitado. Actualmente, la formación ofertada es escasa tanto para docentes como familias. El objetivo del estudio es conocer cómo el profesorado de Torre Pacheco fomenta la formación de las familias y la suya en relación con la participación familiar. Para ello se aplica un cuestionario validado logrando una muestra representativa y se analizan los datos con el SPSS mediante estadística descriptiva y no paramétrica. Los resultados muestran que los docentes principalmente se encargan de que las familias estén informadas de la oferta formativa. Con respecto a la propia, aunque están informados no participan con frecuencia, aunque consideran que la necesitan. A pesar de que la participación de las familias es similar en ambos tipos de centros, los de titularidad concertada afirman motivar más la formación a las familias y la suya propia. Se hace necesario replantear la formación que se ofrece a los docentes para mejorar la relación con las familias y cómo fomentan la de las familias para que logren colaborar de forma eficiente por los objetivos comunes.
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Znanstvena monografija «Osnaživanje obitelji – izazovi i perspektive» rezultat je kontinuiranog bavljenja obitelji kao tematikom s pozitivnog aspekta. Većina dosadašnjih istraživanja su otpornost i osnaživanje obitelji promatrala pretežito iz perspektive ugroženih obitelji i u riziku iako i ove obitelji iz našeg fokusa nisu izuzete. Sadržaj monografije je orijentiran na karakteristike koje obitelji čine jakima i otpornima, odnosno na pitanja kakve su to emocionalno zdrave, sretne, uspješne obitelji, a odnose se na opću populaciju. Doprinos monografije je u nastojanju da se znanstvenim diskursom ponudi objašnjenje i rasvijetli ova marginalizirana tema s kojom se, zbog njene kompleksnosti i izazovnosti rijetki autori odlučuju baviti.
Teamwork and partnerships are inextricably related. They are the critical elements necessary for any institution pursuing its vision, achieving its goals, and accomplishing its objectives. For schools, this is especially true, and the makeup of a school's team must include those members of the educational community who are impacted by outcomes resulting from decisions made by the team. While conventional wisdom has the school's principal playing the role of the school team's leader, in fact, the leadership of a school's team is shared by the principal and distributed throughout the educational community, which includes parents. This chapter focuses on the concept of family/school partnerships and the inclusion of parents who are essential members of the leadership team. And, while this applies to parent representatives throughout the school's general population of families, it is critical to ensure that the parents of CLD children are included among the leadership team.
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Περίληψη Η Παιδεία του Πολίτη αναγνωρίζεται ως παιδαγωγική μάθησης που αναπτύσσεται παράλληλα με το αναλυτικό πρόγραμμα και στοχεύει στην καλλιέργεια ενεργών και δημοκρατικών πολιτών στην πα- γκόσμια κοινωνία. Η αξία τέτοιων παιδαγωγικών πρακτικών έχει τονιστεί ιδιαίτερα την τελευταία δε- καετία από πλήθος διεθνών οργανισμών. Παρόλο που σχετικές πρακτικές μάθησης έχουν εφαρμοστεί εκτεταμένα σε εκπαιδευτικές μονάδες σε όλο τον κόσμο, δεν έχει υπάρξει εκτενής μελέτη σχετικά με το ελληνικό σχολείο. Σκοπός της παρούσας μελέτης είναι να αναδείξει τις εκπαιδευτικές πρακτικές Παιδείας του Πολίτη καθώς και τις προεκτάσεις που μπορεί να έχουν για την ενσωμάτωση της παιδα- γωγικής αυτής στο ελληνικό δημοτικό σχολείο. Η συγκεκριμένη έρευνα χρησιμοποιεί τη μεθοδολογία της έρευνας δράσης και κατά κύριο λόγο ποιοτικά εργαλεία συλλογής δεδομένων και εστιάζει στις πρακτικές διδασκαλίας που χρησιμοποιήθηκαν από τους εκπαιδευτικούς. Τα αποτελέσματά της αναδεικνύουν τις προκλήσεις και τις ευκαιρίες εφαρμογής της Παιδείας του Πολίτη στο αναλυτικό πρόγραμμα και της επαγγελματικής εξέλιξης των εκπαιδευτικών. Abstract Global citizenship education is recognised as a pedagogical approach used alongside the curricu- lum application, aiming to cultivate active and democratic citizens within our global societies. The importance of promoting a global agenda in education has been highlighted by many international organisations. Although many countries have been working towards mainstreaming this approach in formal education there has not been substantial research evidence coming from the context of Greece. Hence, this study aims to explore how Global Citizenship Education practices can be incorporated within the context of one Greek primary school. This study adopts an action research methodology and predominantly uses qualitative methods. The findings present the challenges and the opportunities of incorporating Global Citizenship education in one Greek primary school. Furthermore, it reveals the teaching and learning practices that were implemented by the teach- ers, as well as opportunities for their professional development.
In Australia, pre-service teachers are those enrolled in an accredited teaching training course (four years undergraduate and two years postgraduate) to become a qualified teacher. The term ‘classroom ready’ is a common description when discussing pre-service teachers’ capabilities upon completion of their course. In the Australian context, classroom ready means being equipped with curriculum content, pedagogical knowledge and skills, as well as catering for students with highly diverse needs and cultural backgrounds, and working in partnership with their families. This paper critiques recent policy developments, including the Australian Professional Standards for Teaching. These reforms will be outlined, together with key literature and current research on why developing family–school partnerships is a critical skill for pre-service teachers. We suggest that some of these reforms have led to the privileging of curriculum knowledge over the ability of pre-service teachers to work effectively with students and families in front-line contexts. Pre-service teachers need quality practical opportunities to exercise family–school partnership skills and become professionally competent to work with students and families from diverse backgrounds. With adequate attention to family–school partnerships in education policies and training courses, pre-service teachers can be better prepared to impact students’ learning and contribute to quality teaching classrooms.
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This article responds to the theme issue by providing a glimpse of the historical and contemporary efforts in the area of developing school, family, and community partnerships, a long-standing area of need and inquiry in the literature. It reports on the collective learning from these articles where implications of the findings pointed to the importance of elevating the importance of these partnerships. Implementation ideas of strong family, school, and community partnerships are considered along with areas that require continued attention including, but not limited to providing professional development learning opportunities, inviting voices from all stakeholders involved, shifting the paradigm of family and community involvement from a deficit model to a resource-rich model, and promoting a more free flowing sharing of research-based practices between the research community and those who are in the frontlines of these partnerships.
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Effective family, school, and community partnerships enhance the academic, social, and emotional development of children. As a result, colleges, schools, and departments of education are increasingly addressing the topic. Unfortunately, teachers continue to report that the most significant challenge encountered when entering the profession is the establishment of relationships with families and communities. This article reviews existing literature on the outcomes of efforts to prepare educators who are capable of successfully engaging a broad range of families and communities. Based on a comprehensive literature review, the findings reveal a narrow sample of empirically based research; however, these studies offer insights regarding pedagogical approaches that increase teachers’ confidence and self-awareness, improve educators’ knowledge of diverse families, and enhance teachers’ ability to use knowledge about families and communities to improve instruction. This review examines efforts in higher education to address family engagement and the impact of various pedagogical approaches on preservice teachers. It concludes with recommendations for research in the field based on identified knowledge gaps.
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An extensive international literature now supports the potential of parental involvement (PI) for improving children’s academic achievements and social outcomes. This research also suggests that involvement which schools organize themselves is more effective than externally imposed PI programmes. It is therefore important to investigate PI practices in schools so that guidance on effective PI can be based on actual evidence from schools. This article reports the results of a survey of parental involvement (PI) practices in 21 secondary schools in New Zealand. Interviews were conducted with school principals using a schedule that focused on 11 aspects of PI. Analysis of data from the interviews indicates that all 21 secondary schools had a variety of PI practices in place. Notable gaps in PI provision were: a lack of written school policies on PI; the ad hoc nature of the organization of PI by schools; the lack of specific strategies to involve diverse parents; a limited focus on parent education; and, a lack of training for teachers on PI. Implications for improving the practice of PI in secondary schools and for the role of school psychologists in this, are discussed.
ANDY HARGREAVES Department of Teacher Education, Curriculum and Instruction Lynch School of Education, Boston College, MA, U.S.A. ANN LIEBERMAN Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Stanford, CA, U.S.A. MICHAEL FULLAN Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Canada DAVID HOPKINS Department for Education and Skills, London, U.K. This set of four volumes on Educational Change brings together evidence and insights on educational change issues from leading writers and researchers in the field from across the world. Many of these writers, whose chapters have been specially written for these books, have been investigating, helping initiate and implementing educational change, for most or all of their lengthy careers. Others are working on the cutting edge of theory and practice in educational change, taking the field in new or even more challenging directions. And some are more skeptical about the literature of educational change and the assumptions on which it rests. They help us to approach projects of understanding or initiating educational change more deeply, reflectively and realistically. Educational change and reform have rarely had so much prominence within public policy, in so many different places. Educational change is ubiquitous. It figures large in Presidential and Prime Ministerial speeches. It is at or near the top of many National policy agendas. Everywhere, educational change is not only a policy priority but also major public news. Yet action to bring about educational change usually exceeds people's understanding of how to do so effectively.
- This paper describes the process of inducting theory using case studies from specifying the research questions to reaching closure. Some features of the process, such as problem definition and construct validation, are similar to hypothesis-testing research. Others, such as within-case analysis and replication logic, are unique to the inductive, case-oriented process. Overall, the process described here is highly iterative and tightly linked to data. This research approach is especially appropriate in new topic areas. The resultant theory is often novel, testable, and empirically valid. Finally, framebreaking insights, the tests of good theory (e.g., parsimony, logical coherence), and convincing grounding in the evidence are the key criteria for evaluating this type of research.
Preface Part I. Foundations of Research 1. Science, Schooling, and Educational Research Learning About the Educational World The Educational Research Approach Educational Research Philosophies Conclusions 2. The Process and Problems of Educational Research Educational Research Questions Educational Research Basics The Role of Educational Theory Educational Research Goals Educational Research Proposals, Part I Conclusions 3. Ethics in Research Historical Background Ethical Principles Conclusions 4. Conceptualization and Measurement Concepts Measurement Operations Levels of Measurement Evaluating Measures Conclusions 5. Sampling Sample Planning Sampling Methods Sampling Distributions Conclusions Part II. Research Design and Data Collection 6. Causation and Research Design Causal Explanation Criteria for Causal Explanations Types of Research Designs True Experimental Designs Quasi-Experimental Designs Threats to Validity in Experimental Designs Nonexperiments Conclusions 7. Evaluation Research What Is Evaluation Research? What Can an Evaluation Study Focus On? How Can the Program Be Described? Creating a Program Logic Model What Are the Alternatives in Evaluation Design? Ethical Issues in Evaluation Research Conclusions 8. Survey Research Why Is Survey Research So Popular? Errors in Survey Research Questionnaire Design Writing Questions Survey Design Alternatives Combining Methods Survey Research Design in a Diverse Society Ethical Issues in Survey Research Conclusions 9. Qualitative Methods: Observing, Participating, Listening Fundamentals of Qualitative Research Participant Observation Intensive Interviewing Focus Groups Combining Qualitative and Quantitative Methods Ethical Issues in Qualitative Research Conclusions 10. Single-Subject Design Foundations of Single-Subject Design Measuring Targets of Intervention Types of Single-Subject Designs Analyzing Single-Subject Designs Ethical Issues in Single-Subject Design Conclusions 11. Mixing and Comparing Methods and Studies Mixed Methods Comparing Reserch Designs Performing Meta-Analyses Conclusions 12. Teacher Research and Action Research Teacher Research: Three Case Studies Teacher Research: A Self-Planning Outline for Creating Your Own Project Action Research and How It Differs From Teacher Research Validity and Ethical Issues in Teacher Research and Action Research Conclusions Part III. Analyzing and Reporting Data 13. Quantitative Data Analysis Why We Need Statistics Preparing Data for Analysis Displaying Univariate Distributions Summarizing Univariate Distributions Relationships (Associations) Among Variables Presenting Data Ethically: How Not to Lie With Statistics Conclusions 14. Qualitative Data Analysis Features of Qualitative Data Analysis Techniques of Qualitative Data Analysis Alternatives in Qualitative Data Analysis Computer-Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Ethics in Qualitative Data Analysis Conclusions 15. Proposing and Reporting Research Educational Research Proposals, Part II Reporting Research Ethics, Politics, and Research Reports Conclusions Appendix A: Questions to Ask About a Research Article Appendix B: How to Read a Research Article Appendix C: Finding Information, by Elizabeth Schneider and Russell K. Schutt Appendix D: Table of Random Numbers Glossary References Author Index Subject Index About the Authors
The present study focuses on current efforts underway in one western US state to prepare educators’ for meaningful participation with families. Directors and faculty from 43 accredited Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) preparing pre-service teachers, administrators, and student support personnel were asked to complete an online survey regarding current family–school partnering coursework, practice requirements, and resources. Responses were obtained from 63% of the identified programs. Similar to prior studies, our results indicate that current course offerings and field practice requirements may not match prevailing views regarding the need for and importance of family engagement in promoting student success. Specific recommendations include refocusing coursework, providing alternative field experiences, offering interdisciplinary coursework and projects, and developing ongoing avenues for continued professional development to improve the preparation of future educators to partner with families.