Strategizing for Family and Community Involvement


About the Author


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My Topic/Purpose

In our world today, education is a business—whether we like it or not. As early childhood 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.


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, you will find tools and resources to implement these strategies for fostering relationships with our stakeholders that may be applied within early childhood or elementary education classrooms.

Performance Objectives

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • 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

  • Examine research to identify the benefits of family and community involvement.
  • Build familiarity with Epstein's Framework of Six Types of Involvement.
  • Analyze and reflect on the needs of your classroom and learners, including but not limited to: age group, demographics, dual language learners.

Unit II: Exploring Opportunities and Creating Connections

  • Determine various strategies to use within specific setting and classroom context that will be effective to involve families.
  • Connect with national and local agencies or organizations that have opportunities for involvement.

Unit III: Executing a Plan of Action and Evaluating Results

  • Develop a “plan of action” to engage families and involve community members in their school/classroom culture.
  • Evaluate which factors of projects and methods of involvement have been successful by sharing findings in a discussion forum.

Additional Course Sections

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.

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