This article from the Harvard Graduate School of Education explains how the Covid-19 pandemic has brought out even more clearly the benefits of strong family and community engagement in schools.
About 50 years of research has revealed the striking benefits of schools actively partnering with families to improve their children’s learning. For some educators though, it was not until COVID-19 blew the doors off their schools and the walls off their classrooms that the penny dropped… “During the pandemic, educators realized that families knew a lot more about teaching and learning than they had given them credit for,” especially when it came to understanding the needs of their own children, explained Karen Mapp, a senior lecturer at HGSE.
The article explains who benefits from family and community engagement (hint: everyone!) and sets out some strategies for successful engagement, including:
- Successful family engagement requires resources, infrastructure, and leadership.
- Educators need to be intentional about building relationships based on mutual respect and trust.
- Educators must be trained and supported to work with families from all backgrounds.
- Communicate clearly and consistently.