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“The Best Research Available On Parent Engagement”

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There is a substantial amount of research available on parent engagement/involvement, and I thought bringing together a few of the best resources would be useful. You can also see all my parent engagement-related “The Best” lists here.

Here are my picks for The Best Research Available On Parent Engagement:

The Harvard Family Research Project has a wealth of resources.

I discovered a very good article in the “Middle School Journal” that’s about three years old. It’s titled “What Research Says: Varieties of Parent Involvement In Schooling” and was written by Vincent A. Anfara, Jr. & Steven B. Mertens. It gives a good overview of parent involvement research, but what makes this piece particularly unique is its discuss of historical patterns of family involvement in schools over the years.

Awhile back, I wrote a post about a very unusual study. The post, titled Parental Involvement Is Equal To Spending $1,000 More Per Student?, concluded:

“Parental effort is consistently associated with higher levels of achievement, and the magnitude of the effect of parental effort is substantial. We found that schools would need to increase per-pupil spending by more than $1,000 in order to achieve the same results that are gained with parental involvement.”

You can read more about it at that post. Even though it supports my position on the importance of parent engagement, I wrote that I was a little wary of quantifying it in that way.So I contacted Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post about it. She had invited readers to submit research that they had questions about, and she would have other experts review it. Well, she followed through immediately but, for some reason, I missed it then and just by chance discovered what she found. You can read everything she wrote about it here, but this is an excerpt:

The Washington Post’s expert pollster, Jon Cohen, looked at the research and gave it a nod.

He said the methodology is sound and that it is legitimate to estimate in dollar terms the value of parental help in the context of per-pupil school spending.

A belated thank you to Valerie. It seems to me that this research, and that fact that it’s been “validated” can be a very useful tool in encouraging parent involvement/engagement efforts.

Great Expectations Create the Best Young Scholars is an article from Miller-McCune that has some good information about recent parent involvement studies.

Parent Engagement Literature is the title of a useful page on the America’s Promise Alliance website. I was less-than-impressed with their other resources in their “Parent Engagement Toolkit,” but the literature list looks good, and I learned about one or two resources that I hadn’t known before…

Feedback is welcome.

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You might also want to explore the 780 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

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