ERIC Number: ED318817
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Building Parent-Teacher Partnerships. Prospects from the Perspective of the Schools Reaching Out Project.
The Schools Reaching Out project attempts to demonstrate that urban public schools can improve their students' academic and social success by fundamentally changing their relationship with low-income parents and their communities. The project began in 1988 with two elementary schools in Boston and New York serving as laboratory schools. The following themes form the basis of the program: (1) a blend of good theory and practice can help schools improve; (2) school reform requires changes in teachers, administrators, families, communities, and social service agencies; (3) all children can learn and achieve social and academic success through collaborative effort; (4) efforts to improve families and teachers should build on their strengths; and (5) organizational change in schools is best seen as a slow, developmental collaborative process by all individuals involved. The following challenges to program implementation are discussed: (1) the structure and time constraints in schools make collaborative inquiry, reflection, and participatory planning difficult to achieve; (2) isolation of teachers from other teachers, teachers from administrators, and teachers and administrators from families and other parts of the community are "school traditions" and "mind sets" that are difficult to overcome; (3) urban families face multiple economic and social problems; (4) many urban families fear schools and educators and resist efforts to have them conform to many of the traditional forms of parent involvement; and (5) many educators and parents do not see the connection between school-family-community collaboration and improving academic and social success. A list of 115 references is appended. (FMW)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: J.M. Foundation, New York, NY.; John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chicago, IL.; Leon Lowenstein Foundation, New York, NY.; Boston Globe Foundation, MA.
Authoring Institution: Institute for Responsive Education, Boston, MA.