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16 May 2022

Value of positive school-family cooperation highlighted in new publication from Limerick academics

Value of positive school-family cooperation highlighted in new publication from Limerick academics

Dr Niall Muldoon, Ombudsman for Children, with 'Parents in Partnership' authors Carol Lannin and Dr Sandra Ryan | PICTURE: Brian Arthur

THE importance of family involvement in a child’s education is the focus of a new book from Limerick-based academics 

Parents in Partnership: Mapping the Way for Family, School and Community Engagement explores the links between homes and schools, the role a parent can play in the school community and how cooperation between the educators and family gives students at risk of not achieving their full potential in schools the support they need to change their trajectory. 

The new book, which was launched by Ombudsman for Children, Dr Niall Muldoon at Mary Immaculate College (MIC), aims to provide practical guidance for Home School Community Liaison (HSCL) coordinators, principals and teachers.

Decades of research indicates that it is what parents do for their children rather than who they are is most significant to a child’s success.

The publication, from academics at MIC, provides research evidence and examples of good practice from Irish schools covering areas such as communication and building relationships with parents; involving parents in learning in a variety of curricular areas, school policy and decision making, and teacher professional development for family engagement.

Speaking at the official launch, Dr Muldoon, commented. “This book highlights the value of having a wide variety of partnerships in the school community that can help maximise the educational uptake of students. The authors make it clear that the most successful schools, with the most content children, have strong relationships between teachers and parents/care givers as well as between the school and the students."

The Ombudsman for Children says the links and partnerships enhance the learning potential of the students, increase the sense of worth of the parents and offer supports, in both directions, between home and school.

"I commend the authors for their very clear and easy to read work, which lays out a range of practical options for schools and educational institutions to draw on, so that the wider community can be recruited to help enhance the school experience for all students.”

Parents in Partnership is written by MIC academics Dr Sandra Ryan and Carol Lannin with contributions from Dr Anne Dolan and Anne Marie Morrin.

“Parents and families make a difference in their children’s lives and our job as educators is to tap into the strengths and influence of parents to support and empower them to engage with their child’s learning within and beyond the school walls.  This book documents good practice from schools around Ireland and is a practical, hands-on guide for schools to support them in working with parents to achieve better outcomes for children,” said Dr Ryan.

Published by the Curriculum Development Unit at MIC, Parents in Partnership: Mapping the Way for Family, School and Community Engagement can be ordered at curriculumdevelopmentunit.com.

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