ERIC Number: ED484762
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Nov
Preparing Teachers to Engage Parents
Harris, Mary M.; Jacobson, Arminta; Hemmer, Rebecca
Harvard Family Research Project
Teacher education has the potential to serve as an important forum for overcoming barriers to the engagement of parents in their children?s education. Nevertheless, parent involvement has yet to hold a central role in the teacher education curriculum (Chavkin & Williams, 1987; de Acosta, 1996; Epstein & Dauber, 1991; Hiatt-Michael, 2001) and in continuing professional development for educators (Moles, 1993). Teacher candidates report the belief that they do not possess the skills to implement parent involvement strategies in the classroom (Tichenor, 1998). Studies of interventions in preservice teacher education have reported improvement in candidate knowledge, attitudes, and skills for working with parents (Katz & Bauch, 1999; Morris, Taylor, Knight & Wasson, 1996). The research reported here is based on the first year of field testing of six modules. Each teacher educator devoted one 80-minute class period to pilot-testing one module. The lesson plans provided included an introductory discussion of the topic, cooperative learning group discussion of one of the case studies, and candidate completion of an authentic or simulated teaching task. The authors addressed whether teacher candidate knowledge of parent involvement increased with study of the modules in teacher education classes, how teacher educators reacted to use of the modules in their classes, and what suggestions they had for future development of the modules. Data collected in the pilot tests included pre and post knowledge assessments and written reactions of the teacher educators to use of the modules. The knowledge assessments were developed from stated goals of the modules and included open ended questions that were identical for the pre and post assessments. The case studies offered flexibility and choice for instructors and candidates. Use of case studies in the modules enabled them to feature teachers who work at a variety of grade levels in a variety of schools and teach a variety of subjectsssing additional situations of new teachers can be easily added to the modules.
Descriptors: Teacher Education Curriculum, Teaching Methods, Teacher Educators, Preservice Teachers, Parent Participation, Parent School Relationship, Field Tests, Case Studies
Harvard Family Research Project, Harvard Graduate School of Education, 3 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138. Tel: 617-495-9108; Fax: 617-495-8594.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: Harvard Family Research Project, Cambridge, MA.