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Nina Hamilton-Grundy


This presentation is aboutestablishing some methods

in which we can use to foster positive parent
a)With the teacher b) Within the classroom c) Within
the school community.
In order to develop some methods to do so, we need to first
define what some of the..
general teacher assumptions in regards to dealing with
parents are.
what research says about developing positive
relationships with parents.
identify some practical examples of how these
relationships can be developed
We also need to incorporate the Australian Professional
Standards for Teachers numbers 2.6, 3.4, 3.7, 5.5 and 7.3.

There are a number of general teacher assumptions in regards to dealing with parents that
have been made.
Parents tend to take such as Art, Music, Cooking, PE and Outdoor Ed less seriously as they see them as not
real subjects, and are not as important as English, Maths and Science.
That parents will either support or defend teachers opinions about schooling or individual subjects
Parents job occupations e.g. farmers, lawyers, doctors, make an impact on their involvement in their
childrens school and their childrens learning.

Henderson and Mapp (2002) include key points that were mentioned in a number of other readings (p. 44-5).
They also state that a schools enthusiasm regarding parent involvement can influence a parents decision in
becoming involved (Henderson & Mapp (2002))
parents decisions to be involved are often determined by

experiences of their other demands on time and energy,; and

perception of their own skills, interests, and abilities;

It also is affected by social and school factors influence how and why they are involved in their childrens
education. Social factors from parents own experiences and history included. This includes
parents own school experiences,
their own parents involvement when they were students,
their beliefs - cultural or their values.
their time limitations and their own family responsibilities
Harris & Goodall (2008) stated that pupils, parents, teachers and principals believe that parental
engagement is agreed to be something worth being included (p. 277).

What research actually says about developing positive relationships with parents;
- Henderson & Mapp (2002) stated that relationships really do matter and the
stronger they are the greater impact they have (p. 42).
- Harris & Goodall (2008) found within their research that parents make such a
difference in the impact on students achievements through either being
involving with their childrens learning at home or getting involved with school
based activities at the school(p. 277).
- Caspe et al (2011) expands this further by explaining that stronger
relationships with families positively impact students achievement.
They also suggest the idea of having teacher programs which prepare all
teachers to communicate and work collaboratively with families.
- Goodall & Montgomery (2014) highlight a number of valid researched points
particularly, their main idea of a involvement to engagement continuum.

Goodall & Montgomerys (2014) continuum

Epstein and Sheldon suggest that the idea of involvement and engagement
should be replaced by the term School, family and community partnership as
this emphasises the shared responsibility for childrens learning (Epstein and
Sheldon 2006).

Another point of consideration here is the approach of teachers to the

engagement process. Rudney (2005) explains that teachers can often make
assumptions about groups of parents based on very little actual knowledge
about them or their situation; this is particularly the case when parents and
teachers do not share the same worldviews, experiences or social values.
(Sourced from Goodall & Montgomery (2014) (p. 400))

Parental engagement can boost childrens self-esteem, increase motivation and

engagement with learning and can lead to increased learning outcomes (Fan
and Williams 2010; Fan,Williams, and Wolters 2011; Joe and Davis 2009;
Kennedy 2009; Kim 2009; Lopez and Donovan 2009; Goodall and Vorhaus,
2011). (Sourced from Goodall & Montgomery (2014) (p. 401-2))

Bryk and Schneider (2002) discuss the lack of relational trust that can exist
between parents and teachers, due to the social distance between teachers and
poor parents, explaining that neither party has a full understanding of what
each other is trying to achieve. (Sourced from Goodall & Montgomery (2014) (p.

Practical examples of how these relationships can be

Main sources for these practical examples are:
The Victorian Department of Education and Training (2008) state a number of
great examples that can could be developed in our school.
McDevitt & Ormrod (2010) include section of 17 pages about forming family
partnerships in their publication.

With the teacher

- use a variety of ways to communicate with the families individually or as a
group. This especially includes the families that have a lot other pressures that
may hinder their involvement.
- Face-to-face meetings,
- Written communications such as letters or emails
- Telephone conversations
- Video Conferences such as Skype, Viber or Zoom,
- Narrated Presentations
- Parent discussion groups set up in either meetings or video conferences
- Surveys
- Home visits
- Year level parent-student-teacher evenings
- Including the use of the schools Ultranet system, where feedback and
comments can be made by parents.
- By accommodating language and literacy differences. You may need to use
translations or someone to get your information across to specific families.
- By trying to communicate with both parents/carers of each child.
- Develop a number of ideas to help address many barriers that are hindering
some families involvement.
Lastly, it is important to explain to parents that can they still have a role at home
in their childrens learning.

Within the classroom

- Utilise parents to show their specific skills and teach these
to students.
E.g. woodwork, art, gardening, calligraphy, storytelling etc
- Conduct surveys and self-evaluation for the families to
- Organise family days and grandparents days
- Organise families to be involved in the classroom
- Classroom Weekly Updates either online, written
newsletter or as videos.

Within the school community.

- Include families into the decision-making process of a range of events,
policies, school camps etc.
- Explain about all the support services available.
- Having a place where families can drop in at the school. This may allow
families to connect with each other.
- Provide parenting seminars or classes in collaboration with community
service organisations
- Having a mini-school, meaning a school within a school that involves
families of all kinds of backgrounds and diverse needs.
- Whole-school barbeques or picnics
- Working Bees

- Create phone applications

- School Fairs or festivals run by committees, families and students.
- Bear in mind that many of these suggested school events bring the school
community together and need to be held during times that suit more families.
- Dont forget the online school newsletter.
- School Magazine

Caspe, M., Lopez, M., Chu, A., & Weiss, H. (2011). Teaching the teachers: Preparing Educators to
engage families for student
achievement. PTA & Harvard family research project.
Retrieved from
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (2008). Family-school partnerships framework. Retrieved
Epstein, J. (2010). School, family, and community partnerships: Preparing educators and improving schools. Boulder: Westview
PressFamily School and Community Partnerships Bureau.
Goodall, J., & Montgomery, C. (2014). Parental involvement to parental engagement: a
continuum. Educational Review 66(4),
Retrieved from
Harris, A., & Goodall, J. (2008). Do parents know they matter? Engaging all parents in learning,
50(3), 277-289.
Retrieved from

Educational Research,

Henderson, A.T., & Mapp, K.L. (2002). A New Wave of Evidence. Studies on Effective Strategies to Connect Schools, Families, and
Community (p. 42-52). Retrieved from
Marsh, C.(2000). Working Effectively With Parents. In Handbook for Beginning Teachers (2nd ed.)(pp.121-139). Australia: Pearson
Education Australia Pty Lim. Retrieved from
McCashen, W. (2005). The Strengths Approach. Bendigo: St. Luke's Innovative Resources.
McDevitt, T. M., & Ormrod, J. E. (2010). Child development and education (4th ed.) (pp. 84-107). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson

Successful Schools Solicit Family Engagement (Education

Victorian Department of Education and Training. (2013). Family and Community Partnerships. Retrieved from
Victorian Department of Education and Training. (2008). Effective Strategies to Increase School Completion Report.
Retrieved from
(2012). Family School and Community Partnerships Bureau. Retrieved from