Family and Community Involvement


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In our world today, education is a business—whether we like it or not. As education professionals and teachers, our stakeholders are the families and communities that we serve. To fully understand the learners in our classrooms, we need to build respectful, reciprocal relationships with the people who surround our students in their every day lives beyond the school doors.

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This mini-course will share research on the connection between family/community involvement and motivation/engagement in the classroom. Additionally, the link between child development and building of positive self-concepts surrounding education through family engagement will be discussed. With these backgrounds in place, participants will find tools and resources to implement these strategies for fostering relationships with our stakeholders that may be applied within early childhood, elementary, or secondary education classrooms.

Analysis of the Learner and Context

This course will primarily cater to the needs of early childhood education professionals who are pursuing their Child Development Associate. Each unit will have suggested modifications that can be used within elementary and secondary education classrooms.

The Council for Professional Recognition, the issuing organization of CDA credentials, have outlined the following criteria as a necessary skill for prospective candidates:

CDA Competency Standard IV: To establish positive and productive relationships with families.

Functional Area 11: Candidate establishes a positive, responsive, and cooperative relationships with each child’s family, engages in two-way communication with families, encourages their involvement in the program, and supports the child’s relationship with his or her family.

Performance Objectives

Participants will:

  • Given research and findings, describe the benefits of family and community involvement in the classroom.
  • Analyze the needs of the learners, families, and community members in their setting to determine what aspects of involvement will be most effective.
  • Compile a list of national and local resources and contacts that can aid in developing family and community involvement activities.
  • Design a family/community involvement activity or project to be used within their setting that can be shared with other educators.
  • Evaluate which factors of projects and methods of involvement have been successful by sharing findings in a discussion forum.

Mini-Course Units

Unit I: Establishing Purpose and Understanding Context

Unit II: Exploring Opportunities and Creating Connections

Unit III: Executing a Plan of Action and Evaluating Results

References and Resources

Calman, L., & Tarr-Whelan, L. (2005). Early Childhood Education for All: A Wise Investment.

Clothier, S., & Poppe, J. (2015, January 1). Early Education as Economic Investment.

Halgunseth, L., Peterson, A., Stark, D., & Moodie, S. (2009, January 1). Family Engagement, Diverse Families and Early Childhood Education Programs: An Integrated Review of Literature. Retrieved March 12, 2015, from

Weiss, H., Caspe, M., & Lopez, M. (2006).Family Involvement Makes a Difference: Family Involvement in Early Childhood Education, 1(1), 1-8.