School–family partnership procedures in urban secondary education, part A: strengths and limitations
Publication of Urban Talent
M.E.A. Lusse, T. Notten, | Article | Publication date: 30 June 2019
School–family partnerships may contribute to students’ academic achievement. This is particularly relevant at schools in urban neighborhoods where children are at greater risk of educational disadvantages. Unfortunately, at urban schools (especially at urban secondary schools), barriers between the school and parents often exist. In an explorative field study at four urban secondary schools in the Netherlands, we examined to what extent conventional procedures in school–family partnerships contributed to three key topics: achieving a positive relationship between the school and parents, positioning the student in this partnership, and facilitating parents to support and guide their child’s school career at home. Our findings indicate that teachers acknowledge the importance of these three issues, especially the development of positive relationships with parents. However, this awareness does not always lead to adjusting conventional school–family partnership procedures. Furthermore, when managing school–family partnership practices, schools do not sufficiently address the role and influence of the student or the facilitation of parents in supporting their child’s school career at home. Based on our findings, we designed several alternative procedures to help schools improve their school– family partnerships. In a second study, we implemented and tested these alternative procedures in 10 schools for urban secondary education.