Introduction to the Connection Collection
The National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools creates bridges between research and practice, linking people with research-based information and resources that they can use to effectively connect schools, families and communities. As part of the Center's work of gathering and sharing information about the latest research and the most innovative thinking in family and community connections with schools, we have created this annotated bibliography of the literature.
For this database, the staff examined a broad body of literature related to school-family-community connections, including journal articles, books, reports, conference papers and proceedings, and literature reviews. The database currently includes 395 entries. The process for locating relevant items consisted of searching and contacting different types of sources and repositories, such as the major education information databases like ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center) and Education Abstracts, scanning web sites of organizations and agencies involved in school-family-community partnership work for reports and articles available online, and contacting authors in the field for recent publications. Items from the last six years were selected with an emphasis on recent works, along with a few background pieces previous to 1995. Both empirical and non-empirical types of literature are included. Empirical literature includes research and evaluation studies. Non-empirical literature includes conceptual and theoretical pieces, practice-based works, policy-oriented items, and literature reviews. The criteria for including items in this collection were the relevance of the study to family and community connections with schools, the soundness of methodology, and the implications of the study for the field. See Tips for Reading and Interpreting the Annotations for brief descriptions of each type of literature.
This database is not a comprehensive collection of all relevant literature in certain specific areas, such as special education, nor does it include all seminal works in this field. It does not include practitioner resources or "how to" documents either, since the intent was to address research and theoretical literature. As the Center continues its work, this collection will be updated by adding new works, and literature that relates to specific topics, such as special needs populations, early childhood, and community organizations. We hope practitioners, researchers and people interested in this field will find this database a useful tool for accessing current research-based information about these connections and how to make them work to support student outcomes.