Family engagement in education has become a hot topic in the field of education. Researchers and schools have been working to get families involved in their children’s education in an effort to help students excel and reap the benefits of greater engagement. LivingTree was designed by social media innovators to create a private social network for schools that connects families and students with teachers, K-12 schools, and organizations. More information about this innovative family engagement education technology can be found at livingtree.com.
Increasingly, schools are recognizing the importance of family engagement. School districts in Nashville, Denver, and other cities have sharpened their focus on improving parent involvement in schools. A growing number of states are directing schools to implement policies for improvement of parental involvement and family engagement.
Educational associations, researchers, and policy makers are seeing that when parents are involved in schools, the students, schools, and families benefit. The National Education Association (NEA) has issued policy statements about the importance of partnerships between parents, families, and communities in childhood education.
How Family Engagement Helps Students
The NEA and school districts are encouraging family involvement for good reason. There is evidence that partnerships between parents, students, schools, and communities increase student achievement. The Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL) released a report entitled, A New Wave of Evidence, which synthesized 51 studies, ollected over a decade, about the effect of parent involvement on student learning.
The SEDL found that students with engaged parents reaped a range of benefits, regardless of economic status and background. The studies showed that students earned better grades in class and had higher average test scores. They also enrolled in higher level programs and attended school more regularly. In addition, these students tended to have better behavior and social skills, adapted better to the school environment, and were more likely to graduate and continue their education beyond high school.
The National Education Association reported similar findings. NEA research shows that partnerships between home and school result in higher grades and improved student attendance. Partnerships also may result in an increased likelihood that students will remain in school longer, enroll in advanced programs, and go on to college.
And it isn’t just students who benefit. Involvement by parents improves the entire school environment. Particularly for low performing schools, as parent engagement increases overall school environment also improves. Elementary and secondary schools alike show a similar improvement with parent engagement.
Schools and communities are beginning to understand the importance of high quality education for all students. Schools and districts throughout the country are creating positions to help engage parents, and they are implementing technologies designed to connect students, parents, teachers, and schools with the common purpose of increasing student success.
Family engagement educational technology is being used to overcome the barriers of engaging families in education. Schools and districts are using a range of methods to accomplish this goal, from emailing and texting to using a family engagement app and creating a private social network for schools, teachers, students, parents, and communities to collaborate and communicate.