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ERIC Number: ED529790
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 15
Abstractor: ERIC
Fostering Parent and Professional Collaboration. Research Brief
Technical Assistance ALLIANCE for Parent Centers
Over the past 60 years, many changes have occurred in the ways parents and professionals have learned to work together to improve outcomes for children with disabilities. Perhaps the most notable change has been a shift from services based solely on professional expertise to services that incorporate the knowledge of parents as part of coordinated planning on behalf of children. Initially, professionals were considered the true experts on the needs of children with disabilities, and parents played a secondary role. As parents began to participate more actively in planning their children's education and care, collaborative working relationships built on mutual respect and shared knowledge began to emerge. A large body of research has confirmed the positive benefits of parent-professional collaboration on the education of children with disabilities (Henderson & Mapp, 2002). This article summarizes historical trends in parent-professional collaboration; explains the research behind such collaboration; describes potential barriers to effective partnerships; and provides strategies for successful collaborations. The strategies listed are useful for various types of parent-professional collaboration. Some reference the relationships that emerge between a parent and teacher or other member of an Individualized Educational Program (IEP) planning team. Others relate to systems-wide collaboration, such as that which occurs on state or district-level policymaking committees or school committees. A bibliography is included.
Technical Assistance ALLIANCE for Parent Centers. Available from: PACER Center. 8161 Normandale Boulevard, Minneapolis, MN 55437. Tel: 888-248-0822; Tel: 952-838-9000; Fax: 952-838-0199; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of Special Education Programs (ED/OSERS)
Authoring Institution: ALLIANCE National Parent Technical Assistance Center at PACER