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All Publications & Resources
WORKING WITH TEACHERS AND FAMILIES
COMPLEMENTARY LEARNING CONNECTIONS
This book supports teacher training and professional development in the area of family engagement. This volume helps prepare teachers and other professionals to partner with the families of elementary school children for student success and positive development. This second edition pairs child development theory with research-based teaching cases that reflect critical dilemmas in family–school–community relations, especially among families for whom poverty and cultural differences are daily realities.
Heather B. Weiss , Holly Kreider, M. Elena Lopez, Celina Chatman-Nelson (January 2010) Research Report
Evaluation plays a major role in shaping new directions for the field of family support. In her keynote address at the Participatory Evaluation and Parent Engagement Institute, sponsored by Family Support America and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, in Kansas City, Missouri, September 20–22, 2004, Heather Weiss, Founder and Director of HFRP, described how evaluation can support learning, continuous improvement, and innovation. The four components of a family support evaluation strategy that she outlined were experimental studies to show program impact on families, utilization-focused evaluation to support policy and practitioner decision making, action research and empowerment evaluation, and performance standards based on solid research and evaluation.
Heather Weiss (September 20, 2004) Conferences and Presentations
This article by Harvard Family Research Project in the April 2009 issue of Phi Delta Kappan offers research-based recommendations for federal education legislation.
Heather Weiss , Priscilla Little, Suzanne M. Bouffard, Sarah N. Deschenes, Helen Janc Malone (April 2009) Research Report
The goal of the module is to prepare educators to engage parents and family members in children's school success. Students enrolled in the module will learn about the major theoretical approaches to family involvement (e.g., developmental, sociocultural, psychological, and political). They will understand the range of ways families and schools can work together as well as the dilemmas of practice. The module will give students an opportunity to problem solve and reflect on the issues regarding family-school partnerships and to assess the benefits of family involvement for students, families, and schools.
Heather Weiss , M. Elena Lopez, Holly Kreider (Spring 2003) Syllabus
This book of research-based teaching cases and theoretical perspectives focuses on dilemmas in family-school-community relationships.
Heather B. Weiss , Holly Kreider, M. Elena Lopez, & Celina M. Chatman (2005) Research Report
Heather Weiss and Elena Lopez discuss the need to develop a broader definition of family engagement—one which focuses on the multiple contexts in which children grow and learn, from birth through adulthood—in this era of changing federal policy.
Heather Weiss , M. Elena Lopez (May 2009) Research Report
This paper presents the initial findings from an ethnographic case study, focusing on the mixed-method research strategy used in the MacArthur Comprehensive Child Development Project Follow-up Study. The aim of the study was to expand the understanding of children's developmental trajectories as they traverse the elementary school years. This paper presents three case study vignettes of children in the second grade, each highlighting a different aspect of family-school communication from the perspective of the children's parents, and highlights the methodological strengths of ethnography. The third vignette uncovered the complexity and contradictions and race, racism, and informal communication between home and child for one African-American child. (Available in ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED422111)
Heather Weiss , J. Dirks, K. Friedman, G. Hanley, H. Kreider, E. Levine, E. Mayer, C. McAllister, P. Vaughan, J. Wellenkamp (July 1998) Research Report
Written by Harvard Family Research Project's Heather Weiss and Naomi Stephen, this chapter presents a comprehensive, integrated family, school, and community partnership framework that can help level the playing field for disadvantaged children and ensure that they have access to the parental involvement and community engagement practices of their more advantaged peers in order to enhance their learning.
Heather B. Weiss , Naomi Stephen (May 2009) Research Report
Heather Weiss and M. Elena Lopez of Harvard Family Research Project sent the following letter in response to the Los Angeles Times article “Parents’ Involvement Not Key to Student Progress, Study Finds,” published on October 26, 2005.
Heather Weiss (October 27, 2005) Research Report
This research review, part of the Equity Matters research initiative at the Campaign for Educational Equity at Teachers College, Columbia University, argues that family involvement in education is a powerful but neglected tool to support children’s learning and development. Disadvantaged children are both more likely to benefit from increased family involvement and to come from families who face the greatest barriers to such involvement. To reframe public understanding of the benefits of family involvement in children’s education, this paper lays out a research-based definition and more equitable approach to family involvement and positions it as a key cross-cutting component of broader comprehensive or complementary learning systems.
Heather B. Weiss , Suzanne M. Bouffard, Beatrice L. Bridglall, Edmund W. Gordon (December 2009) Research Report
This comprehensive resource guide compiles a wealth of information about family involvement from over 100 national organizations. It contains Web links to recent (published in and after 2000) research, information, and tools.
Heather Weiss , Kelly Faughnan, Margaret Caspe, Cassandra Wolos, M. Elena Lopez, Holly Kreider (2004) Research Report
Four decades of research demonstrate that it is necessary to redefine learning—both where and when it takes place—if the country is to achieve the goal of educating all of its children. This report from Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP) makes a research-based case for federal provision of out-of-school complementary learning supports, so that all students gain the skills necessary for success in the 21st century.
Heather B. Weiss , Priscilla M. D. Little, Suzanne M. Bouffard, Sarah N. Deschenes, Helen Janc Malone (May 2009) Research Report
This research brief synthesizes the latest research that demonstrates how family involvement contributes to young children's learning and development. The brief summarizes the latest evidence base on effective involvement—specifically, the research studies that link family involvement in early childhood to outcomes and programs that have been evaluated to show what works.
Heather B. Weiss , Margaret Caspe and M. Elena Lopez (Spring 2006) Research Report
This study finds that maternal employment is associated with low-income mothers' involvement in their children's education in complex ways and that working mothers use a variety of strategies to stay involved in their children's education.
Heather B. Weiss , Ellen Mayer, Holly Kreider, Margaret Vaughan, Eric Dearing, Rebecca Hencke, Kristina Pinto (January 2007) Research Report
The purpose of this paper is to determine what the evidence and conventional wisdom say about scaling up home visiting as one of the best ways to support parents and promote early childhood development. To answer this question, we examined the available research evidence, interviewed leaders from six of the national home visiting models, and interviewed researchers who have studied home visiting. The area of interest for guiding future research, practice, and policy is whether home visiting can be delivered at broad scale and with the quality necessary to attain demonstrable, positive outcomes for young children and their parents.
Heather Weiss , Lisa Klein (May 2007) Research Report
This course will survey various models of community-based services that support students in schools. It will also cover implementation and evaluation of services.
Margot A. Welch (Fall 2002) Syllabus
Jane Werner and Lisa Brahms, from the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, discuss the Museum’s innovative MAKESHOP studio space, which invites children and families to co-create projects and transforms the traditional museum visit experience.
Jane Werner , Lisa Brahms (June 28, 2012) Research Report
Helen Westmoreland, Director of Program Quality for the Flamboyan Foundation—a private family foundation focused on improving educational outcomes for children in Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico—discusses how foundations and funders can support the development of effective family engagement practices in all schools.
Helen Westmoreland (May 2011) Research Report
We teamed up with the National PTA to bring you this ground-breaking policy brief that examines the role of school districts in promoting family engagement. The brief spotlights how six school districts have used innovative strategies to create and sustain family engagement “systems at work.”
Helen Westmoreland , Heidi M. Rosenberg, M. Elena Lopez, Heather Weiss (July 2009) Research Report
Families play important roles in supporting children’s learning not just in school but also in the many out-of-school contexts in which they learn. Harvard Family Research Project’s Helen Westmoreland talks about how families and nonschool learning settings, such as out-of-school time programs, museums, and libraries, can work together to promote student achievement.
Helen Westmoreland (August 2009) Research Report
How to Develop a Logic Model for Districtwide Family Engagement Strategies, a tool from Harvard Family Research Project, guides school districts to create a logic model that can aid in planning, implementing, assessing, and communicating about their systemic family engagement efforts.
Helen Westmoreland , M. Elena Lopez, Heidi Rosenberg (November 2009) Tool for Evaluation
As evidence mounts that family involvement can support children's learning, there is an increasing call in the field for common data collection instruments to measure home–school communication and other aspects of family involvement. This resource from Harvard Family Research Project compiles instruments developed for rigorous program impact evaluations and tested for reliability.
Helen Westmoreland , Suzanne Bouffard, Kelley O'Carroll, Heidi Rosenberg (May 2009) Research Report
Interviews with African American mothers of successful high school daughters show that mothers maintain intense interest and direct involvement in multiple aspects of their daughters' educational lives but keep little contact with school officials.
Barbara M. Williams (February 2006) Research Report
With the implementation of welfare reform, government's increasing reliance on block grants rather than categorical funding, increasing devolution of responsibility for service delivery to the state and local level, increasing use of contracted services, and growing budget shortfalls at all levels of government, the social safety net in the United States is undergoing rapid transformation. How well the emerging “system” will protect children and support families is unknown. This course is designed to examine current and proposed child and family policies.
Julie B. Wilson (Spring 2005) Syllabus
This paper examines whether youth who are at risk, according to child-, family-, school-, and neighborhood-level factors, are less likely to participate in out-of-school time activities, and whether the predictors depend on youth's age or socioeconomic status. Findings reveal that child- and family-level risks are most consistently related to youth's OST participation. However, these relationships emerge only in early and late adolescence, when youth have more autonomy in their decisions about non-school time use. For certain types of activities, namely those that require fees and financial commitments, contextual risks are more strongly associated with OST participation for higher SES families than for lower SES families.
Christopher Wimer , S. Simpkins, E. Dearing, S. Bouffard, P. Caronongan, H. Weiss (2006) Research Report