Children whose parents are involved in their education get better grades, are better behaved and have better futures. In other words, your involvement can make a big difference for your child today and tomorrow (Henderson and Mapp, 2002). Building family-school partnerships take time and can be challenging. Recognizing the importance of family engagement in student learning, the U.S. Department of Education has created the Dual Capacity Building Framework for Family-School Partnerships.
This framework, best represented by the image here, is meant to provide schools and organizations with a logical model to follow in constructing, implementing, and assessing family-school partnerships. The model highlights the different foundational needs of family-engagement initiatives, the structural requirement needed by the school in order to execute and sustain these initiatives, and the goals and outcomes for these initiatives. The framework highlights concepts such as interactive and collaborative learning, sustainable infrastructural support, and adult capacity.
In fact, much of the framework is built off this idea of “adult capacity.” Adult capacity, or the capacity of staff and families to engage in partnership, is considered THE issue that keeps student-focused engagement from happening. The framework breaks down adult capacity into four components:
- Capabilities (skills and knowledge of staff and families),
- Connections (relationships and networks between staff and families),
- Confidence (individual self-efficacy of staff and families), and
- Cognition (the world views of staff and families).
These components also operate as the framework’s goals. Staff and families should aim to see positive growth in each of these four components. The hope is that this framework will provide schools and organizations with research-based stepping stones to begin creating long-term change.
The Indiana Center for Family, School and Community Partnerships is hosting a one-day conference that will highlight Best Practices for Family Engagement on Monday, June 9th. The conference will help schools and organizations “see” both sides of family engagement—what it looks like when families aren’t welcome in the learning process as well as what linking families to learning really looks like. To register, click here.