The initial literature review of the current state-of-the-art served two primary purposes: To assist researchers in the refinement of the plan for further research and as part of Studies of Education Reform: Parent and Community Involvement in Education, this review -- in combination with information gained through commissioned papers and a national conference -- provided the basis for fieldwork.
To inform practitioners, policymakers, and other interested parties of the current state-of-the-art in parent and community involvement programs (where available, the review focuses on middle grade populations).
While a summary of the what you have read is contained within the literature review, it goes well beyond merely summarizing professional literature.
It focuses on a of the relationship among different works, and relating this research to your work.
The conceptualization of parent and community involvement programs in Chapter 3 of this review involves the roles of parents and families (well established in research and practice), and community members (emerging as an important field of study) as they are facilitated in schools and school districts.
In 1991 the United States Department of Education commissioned twelve studies of different aspects of national educational reform.It is often difficult to separate those aspects pertaining to the middle grades from studies that include the early elementary grades (K-3) and/or secondary school grades (9-12). In our review of research and practices in the schools, we found considerable overlap among these topics.When appropriate, we have indicated where issues under one topic are related to the other two.This summary review of the literature synthesizes the current state-of-the-art in parent and community involvement; looks at the programs, practices, and their effects in the research and practice literature, especially since 1980; and ends with implications, conclusions and recommendations for research.The literature on middle grade (i.e., Grades 4 through 8) parent and community involvement programs and practices is highlighted throughout this review since activities in the middle grades are less well-developed and understood than those for earlier grades.The conceptual framework proposed for this study indicated three areas of interest: the context of parent and community involvement programs; the roles that parents, families, and community members assume in the education of their children; and the effects of promising programs on parents, students, school staff, schools, and school districts. What key resources are needed to design, develop, implement, and sustain these roles?This framework guided the review of the literature: How are these roles facilitated? Chapters 2, 3, and 4 contain a detailed discussion of parent and community involvement programs and practices.This summary review was prepared from the larger literature review prepared as one of the major tasks of this study (Rutherford, Billig & Kettering, 1993).Additionally, we conducted another search of the literature since 1993 and source materials from this search are included here.Such comprehensive programs might use innovative methods of communicating with parents on various educational and child development issues; on recruiting community members as volunteers in new, meaningful ways; and on developing other ways to make the programs attractive to different kinds of parents and community members.Collaboration with businesses and community service agencies such as flextime for school conferences or other school-related activities may also be considered. At the building level, schools may change their practices and structure in significant ways to encourage more parent involvement with emphasis on school initiated activities to promote contacts with all parents. Parents can extend their children's school learning through home activities such as reading; assisting with homework; encouraging family games, activities, and discussions; and improving their own parenting skills.