Thesis

Strengthening school-family partnerships in low socioeconomic areas: a teacher research study

Decades of research have shown the positive effects of parent involvement on
 student learning and success. However, studies have also shown that parent involvement
 is low among low socioeconomic families and minority families. This teacher research
 study seeks to show that when types of “involvement” other than in-school volunteering
 are considered, low socioeconomic and minority families are involved in communicating
 with the school, volunteering at home, and fostering their children’s learning at home.
 Examples of how families were building students funds of knowledge at home are included.
 Furthermore, this study aims to show that schools must do their part in meeting the challenges
 of low socioeconomic families and provide opportunities that tap into their unique expertise.
 This study uses Epstein’s (2011) definition of school, family, and community partnership–
 rather than involvement–to create interventions in the researcher’s kindergarten classroom.
 This thesis concludes with suggestions for improvement and implications for schools.

Decades of research have shown the positive effects of parent involvement on student learning and success. However, studies have also shown that parent involvement is low among low socioeconomic families and minority families. This teacher research study seeks to show that when types of “involvement” other than in-school volunteering are considered, low socioeconomic and minority families are involved in communicating with the school, volunteering at home, and fostering their children’s learning at home. Examples of how families were building students funds of knowledge at home are included. Furthermore, this study aims to show that schools must do their part in meeting the challenges of low socioeconomic families and provide opportunities that tap into their unique expertise. This study uses Epstein’s (2011) definition of school, family, and community partnership– rather than involvement–to create interventions in the researcher’s kindergarten classroom. This thesis concludes with suggestions for improvement and implications for schools.

Relationships

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