The School Leadership and Student Outcomes BES found that the most effective home-school partnerships are those in which:
- parents and teachers are involved together in children's learning
- teachers make connections to students' lives
- family and community knowledge is incorporated into the curriculum and teaching practices.
The Family and Community Engagement BES found that the most effective partnerships:
- treat families with dignity and respect and add to family practices, experiences, values, and competencies (rather than undermining them)
- build on the strong aspirations and motivation that most parents have for their children's development
- offer structured and specific suggestions rather than general advice
- provide group opportunities as well as opportunities for one-to-one contact (especially informal contact)
- empower those involved by fostering autonomy and self-reliance within families, schools, and communities.
Home-school partnerships that are tailored to the unique needs of a particular school and community are more successful than those using a standard approach (Brooking and Roberts, 2007). However, some ways of working with families and communities are effective across a wide range of contexts.
Research in schools (for example, Bull, Brooking and Campbell, 2008; Taylor, 2008) suggests that partnerships work best when actions are:
- the result of shared reflection on current practice
- planned for and embedded within whole-school development plans
- goal-oriented and focused on learning
- evaluated and reflected upon by both partners as part of ongoing improvement.
Evidence (such as from Gorinski, 2006; Taylor, 2008; Bull, Brooking, and Campbell, 2008) shows that successful partnerships:
- have collaborative and mutually respectful relationships
- are responsive to different community characteristics
- adapt, rather than adopt, new ideas
- involve two-way engagement in which each partner learns from, and teaches, the other.
Source: NZC Update 10
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