chapter  5
18 Pages

Creating effective family–school partnerships in highly diverse contexts: Building partnership models and constructing parent typologies

ByFREDERIK SMIT, GEERT DRIESSEN

Internationally, the notion of partnership is often used to refer to the significant cooperative relations between parents, schools and communities (Deslandes 2001; Epstein et al. 2002; Smit et al. 1999; Smit et al. 2004). Partnership is construed as a process in which those involved aim to provide mutual support and attune their contributions to each other to the greatest extent possible in order to promote the learning, motivation and development of pupils (Davies and Johnson 1996). The initiatives for a partnership must come from the school. Parents are generally interested but adopt a ‘wait and see’ attitude. The core elements in the development of a cooperative relationship between parents and school are parental involvement and parental participation (Smit et al. 2007). In the present chapter, the results of two Dutch studies conducted on the various types of organisations and parents and the manner in which the school can react to this diversity are reported on. More specifically, a typology established on the basis of not only the theoretical notions around parental involvement and parental participation but also the results of two large-scale empirical studies and a number of case studies of so-called promising practices are presented.