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Parent-school-community engagement and mechanisms of communication: Avoiding dead air and disconnects


Fischer, S and Barnes, R and Kilpatrick, S and Stratford, E and Burns, G, Parent-school-community engagement and mechanisms of communication: Avoiding dead air and disconnects, Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) Conference 2018, 2-6 December 2018, Sydney, Australia (2018) [Conference Extract]


There is a strong link between educational attainment and health, wellbeing, community participation and productivity. In communities where educational attainment is particularity low, many parents have limited and poor educational experience, and while they 'want the best' for their child, are hesitant to engage with schools. This is particularly true as their child exceeds their own educational level. It is well understood that parent engagement is an important factor in raising children’s higher education aspirations. As Tasmania strives to increase educational attainment, understanding how to more effectively engage parents is becoming increasingly important. As part of a larger project funded by the Ian Potter Foundation aimed at increasing parent-school-community engagement, this qualitative study seeks to understand the communication mechanisms used to engage parents and why they may or may not be working. A series of interviews were conducted with both school leaders and parents at schools throughout Tasmania. Using the family-school partnership framework’s seven dimensions of parent engagement, these interviews were coded and analysed thematically. Results indicate that there is a wide variety of communication mechanisms used, but schools are not necessarily using the appropriate mechanisms to connect with parents. Additionally, there is a disconnect between how schools and parents view successful/adequate communication. In order for school leaders and parents to communicate effectively, these expectations should be aligned and appropriate communication mechanisms should be implemented.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:parent engagement, communication, aspirations, thematic analysis
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Education policy, sociology and philosophy
Research Field:Sociology of education
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Schools and learning environments
Objective Field:Equity and access to education
UTAS Author:Fischer, S (Dr Sarah Fischer)
UTAS Author:Kilpatrick, S (Professor Sue Kilpatrick)
UTAS Author:Stratford, E (Professor Elaine Stratford)
UTAS Author:Burns, G (Ms Gemma Burns)
ID Code:129566
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:Academic Quality and Standards
Deposited On:2018-12-06
Last Modified:2018-12-20

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