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How educators can strengthen family-school partnerships

In this short video, Dr Karen Mapp shares her top 3 tips for educators to improve relationships between their school, community and families.

According to Dr Mapp, educators should focus on the following three things. These, she believes, are at the heart of improving outcomes around parent engagement.

Examine your core beliefs about families

Avoid focusing on each family’s negative traits or ‘deficits’. Instead, focus on their abilities, knowledge and skills.

Discovering and working with each family’s strengths is vital to being an effective educator.

Use a positive tone and focus on positive news

Many families find they only hear from their child’s educators when something has gone wrong. This can be disheartening.

Make sure that you let families know about good news. This is particularly important for the first few times you get in touch.

Focus your communications on academic objectives, not student behaviour

When talking to families, make sure to focus on how children are going academically. Avoid only talking about the student’s behaviour.

Parents and carers want to know what their children:

  • are learning about
  • should know
  • should be able to do.

With this information, they’ll be better able to support their child’s education at home.

About Dr Karen Mapp

As a senior lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Dr Mapp has focused her research on bettering the partnerships among families, community members and educators to support students and school improvement.


Parent Engagement

For questions about getting involved in your child's learning.

Email: education.ParentEngagement [at] sa.gov.au


Learning at Home

For questions or comments about the learning at home lessons.

Email: learningathome [at] sa.gov.au