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Family and School Partnerships for Academic Success
Randi B. Wolfe
Emphasis is on continuous family-school teamwork efforts. Attention is given to family background and social context. The course will cover effective family involvement programs/models and current research underscoring the dynamic interaction between families and schools on the academic success of pre-K through grade 8 students.
On completion of the course, students will be able to
Documented disabilities and academic accommodations: If students need accommodations for any sort of physical or learning disability, they should speak with me during the first week of class. All discussions will remain confidential.
de Carvalho, M. E. P. (2001). Rethinking family-school relations: A critique of parental involvement in schooling. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Epstein, J. L. (2001). School, family, and community partnerships: Preparing educators and improving schools. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Wipfler, P. (1990). Listening to parents: Leading a parent resource group. Palo Alto, CA: Parents Leadership Institute.
|Attendance and Grading|
|100 Total Points|
|Class Participation (includes attendance)||10|
|Chapter Discussion Leader||25|
|85 – 92||B|
|77 – 84||C|
|less than 68||F|
Class Participation (10 pts.)
Students are expected to complete all reading assignments and contribute actively to class discussions. Given the limited duration of the class, students are expected to attend every class.
Chapter Discussion Leader (25 pts.)
Work with a partner to present an assigned reading. Distribute a one-page synopsis summarizing key concepts, implications for practice, questions for discussion, additional resources, etc. Plan a 15–20 minute presentation. You may approach your lesson in any way you and your partner choose—innovative methods are encouraged! Incorporate small-group activities and methods that encourage participation, interaction, and reflection. You don't have to confine yourself to the content of the article—feel free to bring in supplemental resources that augment the reading.
Book Reports (15 pts.)
Write up and present book reports on three children's books that explore some aspect of family life, family composition or structure, diversity, family relationships, culture, disability, lifestyle, etc. Format for write up will be distributed in class.
Final Project (50 pts.)
Students will given 10–12 minutes—including time for questions and discussion—to present the results of one of the following projects. Project theme must be proposed by May 24. Presentation should include a one-page handout that summarizes the findings.
Option 1: Interview 6–8 parents about a topic related to schools and families. Possible topics include (but are not limited to) involving parents in children's education, experiences with school-parent-community partnerships, methods of involving parents in classrooms, the challenge of working with diverse populations, parental attitudes and experiences with homework, parent-teacher conferences, transitioning from preschool to elementary school.
Option 2: Review the research about a particular group or category of parents, in terms of their experiences with schools, values and expectations regarding their children's education, successful models of parent involvement, or other information that would be useful for teachers to have in order to work effectively with families of this group. Possible groups include (but are not limited to) recent immigrants from a particular country (e.g., Mexico, Russia, Viet Nam), parents with limited English proficiency, single parents, fathers, gay and lesbian parents, mothers working outside of the home, African Americans, poor and/or working-class parents, parents in rural communities, foster parents, and parents of children with special needs and/or disabilities.
Week 1: Monday, May 10
Week 2: Monday, May 17
Week 3: Monday, May 24
Week 4: Monday, June 7
Week 5: Monday, June 14
Week 6: Monday, June 21
Week 7: Monday, June 28
Week 8: Monday, July 12
Week 9: Monday, July 19
NIU Conceptual Framework
This course ascribes to a conceptual framework for all courses offered by the College of Education and other programs at NIU that prepare professional educators. During the semester, you should be aware of what we do in this course that may reflect components of the following statement:
The NIU community of learners builds on knowledge, practice, and reflection to produce exemplary educators. The community encompasses scholars, education professionals, and preservice teachers in an interaction that develops the strengths that embody excellence in education. These strengths include creative and critical thinking, scholarship, and caring. Application of these strengths emerges through the collaborative efforts of a diverse community that supports lifelong learning.
Free. Available online only.