Moving Forward: What Have We Learned to Improve Programs of School, Family, and Community Partnerships?
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Moving Forward: What Have We Learned to Improve Programs
of School, Family, and Community Partnerships?

Conducted by: Joyce L. Epstein and Steven B. Sheldon, National Network of Partnership Schools at Johns Hopkins University

Released: July 2006 (Download pdf)

Published in: Epstein. J.L. & Sheldon, S.B.(2006). Moving forward: Ideas for research on school, family, and community partnerships. Pp.117-138, in C.F. Conrad & R. Serlin (eds). SAGE handbook for research in education Engaging ideas and enriching inquiry. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Overview: How can all families become involved in their children’s education in ways that contribute to student success? Epstein and Sheldon have identified seven principles that have emerged from research to answer this question. These principles are intended to support further research and to help educators, parents and community partners work together better to support student success.

Key Findings:

Seven Principles that have emerged from research on school, family and community partnerships.

  1. School, family and community partnerships is a better term than parental involvement.
  2. School, family and community partnerships is a multidimensional concept.
  3. A planned program of school, family and community partnerships is an essential component of school and classroom organization.
  4. Programs of school, family and community partnerships require multi-level leadership.
  5. Programs of school, family and community partnerships must focus on increasing student learning and development.
  6. All programs of school, family and community partnerships are about equity.
  7. Methods of research on school, family and community partnerships must continue to improve.

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