|Citation:||Musti-Rao, S. &. Cartledge, G. (2004). Making home an advantage in the prevention of reading failure: Strategies for collaborating with parents in urban schools. Preventing School Failure, 48(4), 15-21.|
The purpose of this study is to emphasize and illustrate the importance of home-school communication in the facilitation of parental involvement in the academic success of urban elementary students. Two case studies indicated that communication problems between teachers and parents can interfere with students' progress. The teachers gave the parents advice that had merit, but they were not specific about how the parents should put the teachers' suggestions into practice. Furthermore, both case studies showed that a lack of specificity by the teacher was interpreted by the parents as lack of caring. In addition, the case studies indicated that the inability of parents to implement home strategies may have been be due to lack of knowledge, understanding, or skill; but it was interpreted by teachers as parental indifference. These studies suggest that teachers can encourage parental help by explicitly telling them what to do in order to facilitate learning strategies in the home. Strategies suggested were that teachers organize a "get to know the family" week, schedule regular meetings with parents, provide training sessions, individualize reading and content material, maintain a reading log, set short-term goals, and be flexible with scheduling. This study is limited in that it evaluated the experiences of two students' parents and teachers. Further research, including randomized controlled trials and a larger sample, is needed to examine how the strategies for encouraging parental help affect parent/teacher collaboration.
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