Reframing Family Involvement: Supporting Families to Support Educational Equity

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Teachers College, Columbia University
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Center for Educational Equity

Reframing Family Involvement in Education: Supporting Families to Support Educational Equity

December 3, 2009
Equity in Education Forum Series, Fall 2009
Teachers College, Columbia University

The paper begins with a brief historical research overview of the ways in which expectations and support for family involvement in children’s learning have shifted, particularly with respect to economically disadvantaged and racial and ethnic minority families. In light of this history and the accumulating research indicating the value of involvement as well as the barriers to it, the paper’s next section lays out a reframed approach to family involvement as a key component of comprehensive or complementary learning. We then present a detailed review of the research and evaluation literature through the lens of this new approach to involvement in order to address the following questions: How do families support academic development, and what kinds of supports are demonstrably related to academic development and school success? Is there evidence that family involvement interventions in fact pay off in better outcomes? What are the implications of the research and intervention literature for developing more strongly evidence-based approaches to family involvement?

Program Agenda


Heather Weiss, Director, Harvard Family Research Project


Richard Buery, Chief Executive Officer, Children's Aid Society

Larry Wood, New York City public school parent and Family Council Organizer, Goddard Riverside Community Center

  • Weiss, H.B, Bouffard, S.M., Bridgall, B.L., Gordon, E.W. (2009). Reframing Family Involvement in Education: Supporting Families to Support Educational Equity [Executive Summary]. Equity Matters: Research Review No. 5. New York: The Center for Educational Equity (formerly Campaign for Educational Equity). 
  • Family Involvement and Resources, Source: The Harvard Family Research Project