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The National Center on Dispute Resolution in Special Education

"Encouraging the use of mediation and other collaborative strategies to resolve disagreements about special
education and early intervention programs."

RAISE Article Details

Title: Challenges balancing collaboration and independence in home-school relationships: Analysis of parents’ perceptions in one district
Publication Date: 2010
Authors: Wanat, C. L.
Source: The School Community Journal
Volume #: 20       Issue: 1       Pages: 159-185
Abstract: Research has documented the important role that parental involvement plays in children's learning. Yet, it can be challenging for schools to establish appropriate relationships with parents. Is there an optimal balance of collaborative and separate relationships between parents and schools? Twenty parents in one K-12 public school district in the U.S. participated in semi-structured interviews to share their perceptions of ways in which their children's schools encouraged their involvement or created barriers that discouraged them from taking an active role through communication, volunteering, and other school-sponsored activities. Parents who had both positive and negative experiences with schools shared their opinions. his study is organized around themes from parents' comments: types of involvement that parents found meaningful; ability of all parents to contribute to schools; parents' involvement in decisions about student learning, curriculum, and classroom policies; and home-school relationships. Epstein's (2001) six types of parental involvement and the theories of social networking and influence provide a framework to explain the different experiences of parents who were satisfied and those who were dissatisfied. Satisfied parents' involvement focused on school activities and policy decisions, and they tended to have networks that led to greater influence of school practices, while parents who were dissatisfied with home-school communications valued involvement with their children at home. Implications for greater involvement of parents is discussed. [abstract]
Categories: Research - Qualitative

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