Family-school collaboration practices at successful schools in disadvantaged environments

Inmaculada Egido Gálvez, Marta Bertran Tarrés

Abstract


Educational research indicates that family-school collaboration is an important factor for student achievement, especially among more socially disadvantaged groups. It is, therefore, interesting to explore collaborative practices between family and school developed in schools that, despite being located in disadvantaged urban contexts, are characterized by achieving good results. In this work, we have selected 24 schools with such characteristics and through interviews and focus groups, we have compiled the perceptions of school directors, teachers and families regarding the collaboration between family and school. The information obtained has been categorized according to the six dimensions identified in the theoretical model posited by J. Epstein (2001). The results show that the schools subject of our analysis undertake measures to promote collaboration with the families in all the areas defined by the model. However, some differences can be observed in the intensity of the work conducted in the different dimensions of collaboration and in the perceptions between parents and education professionals. Based on these results, it is possible to outline some of the features shared by schools in the study, which could help to explain their achievements, even if only in part. However, in contrast to the aforementioned theoretical model, it is also possible to identify areas whereby these schools could expand their strategies for collaborating with families. Therefore, the study reinforces the idea that collaboration with families is an important key for schools serving socially disadvantaged groups and the need to develop systematic and holistic projects of intervention, aimed at strengthening all areas of collaboration.


Keywords


Parent-school relations; disadvantaged environments; school success; family; school effectiveness

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7179/PSRI_2017.29.07

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