ERIC Number: ED387273
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Oct
Parent, Family, and Community Involvement in the Middle Grades. ERIC Digest.
Rutherford, Barry; Billig, Shelley H.
From a synthesis of findings culled from a study that examined partnerships of families and communities with middle schools at multiple sites, researchers derived eight "lessons" that can help foster understanding of the nature of family-school partnerships in the middle grades. Researchers also elaborated implications of these lessons, which are highlighted by examples from specific middle schools. The lessons are: (1) the stakes are high and immediate for everyone in the middle grades, and schools can create programs that respond to the unique needs of middle-grade students and their parents; (2) challenges can become opportunities for parent and family involvement, implying that schools can make available specific educational opportunities geared to the interests of middle-grade families; (3) relationships are the essence of middle-grade family and community involvement, implying that schools can encourage direct contact between middle-grade families and teachers; (4) responsibility and decision making are shared by many individuals, including the child, implying that schools need to include families, teachers, and students in decisions about curriculum and instruction; (5) sustained parent, family, and community involvement depend on active advocacy by leaders, implying that schools need to look for a whole array of community connections and to use creative approaches in defining leadership and solving problems; (6) a system of supports for teachers and school staff is critical to parent and family involvement, implying that schools can provide professional development on promising practices and family involvement programs; (7) families need connections to the curriculum, implying that families need to create an environment that values achievement; and (8) schools need connections to the community, implying that schools need to seek opportunities to invite the community to participate in school activities. (BC)
Descriptors: Community Involvement, Curriculum, Family School Relationship, Intermediate Grades, Junior High Schools, Middle School Students, Middle Schools, Parent Participation, Parent School Relationship, Parent Teacher Cooperation, Participative Decision Making, Professional Development, School Community Relationship
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Urbana, IL.