Beyond Participation: Understanding Multicultural Multilingual Family-School Partnerships in Hawai’i (Session 6C)
Main Topic: Family and Community Engagement
Session Type: Paper
Although the benefits of family engagement are well-documented, lack of preservice preparation and inservice professional development leave many educators wondering how to partner with families for student success. These needs become even more critical when working with multicultural and/or multilingual students, who often face achievement gaps and systemic inequities in public education. Educators and schools who fail to reflect on the origins of their current family engagement processes may fail to realize why some attempts foster stronger relationships, whereas others seem to be minimally effective. In this presentation I address the history of family engagement research, including how the evolution of conceptual frameworks from Bronfenbrenner all the way to Mapp and Kuttner can inform family-school partnership practices. The Mapp and Kuttner Dual Capacity-Building Framework identifies the challenges, opportunity conditions, program and policy goals, and family and staff capacity outcomes for meaningful family-school partnerships. The challenge in family-school partnerships is dual-fold: there are lack of opportunities for school and program staff to develop capacity for family-school partnerships, and there are lack of opportunities for families to build their capacity for family-school partnerships. The process conditions necessary for family-school partnerships are that these partnerships are linked to learning, relational, focused on development of all involved, collaborative, and interactive (Mapp and Kuttner, 2013). The organizational conditions necessary for family-school partnerships are that these partnerships are systemic across the organization, integrated and embedded in all programs, and sustained with resources and infrastructure. The policy and program goals are to build the 4 Cs of families and staff: capabilities (skills and knowledge), connections (networks), cognition (beliefs, values), and confidence (self-efficacy). All of these lead toward the family and staff capacity outcomes. School and program staff capacity outcomes include being able to “honor and recognize families’ funds of knowledge, connect family engagement to student learning, and creative welcoming, inviting cultures” (Mapp and Kuttner, 2013, p. 8). Family outcomes include the ability to navigate multiple roles in family-school partnerships, such as “supporters, encouragers, monitors, advocates, decision makers, and collaborators” (Mapp and Kuttner, 2013, 8). All of this culminates in family school partnerships that support student and community success. This presentation will also provide insights for educators wanting to develop their skills in family engagement with multicultural and/multilingual families. Educators will leave this session understanding why they may feel unprepared in family engagement, where to find current resources, and how to turn these insights into a model for their school or organization. This presentation is similarly geared toward families who may wonder how to more effectively partner with schools for their children’s success. Because my research focuses on the Dual Capacity-Building Framework, both families and educators will be able to evaluate their own partnership skills and areas of needs.
- Connect one or more family-school partnership framework(s) to personal teaching philosophy and pedagogy
- Self-assess personal current areas of strength and need in family-school partnerships, particularly with multicultural multilingual families
- Formulate an action plan for developing and refining family-school partnership skills
Keywords: family engagement, multicultural education, multilingual education, family-school partnerships
Mrs. Haley Pendergast Radcliffe University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa - M.Ed Candidate, Hawai'i Education Research Network FellowMrs. Haley Pendergast RadcliffeUniversity of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa - M.Ed Candidate, Hawai'i Education Research Network Fellow
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Haley Pendergast Radcliffe is a M.Ed candidate in the University of Hawai’i at Manoa Curriculum Studies program. An elementary educator, Haley has taught in primary grade settings and currently serves as the student services coordinator, working to identify, support, and address learners with neurodiverse needs. Haley\’s primary research interests are multicultural education, multilingual and bilingual education, home to school transition, family engagement, and immigrant/migrant student experiences in U.S. schools.