Engaging Families: Connecting Home and School Literacy Communities

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After four years of studying "the students [they] worried about most," Betty Shockley, Barbara Michalove, and JoBeth Allen began to consider the importance of children's literacy experiences outside of school. While their students talked regularly about home literacy events, there was no real link between home and school: no way to learn what families valued and practiced, no way to communicate how their children were becoming literate in school.

Engaging Families details how these teachers and the students' families developed respected partnerships in the teaching/learning process. The authors share what they learned about creating an extended literacy community, identifying the primary themes in literacy development and suggesting parallel practices to reinforce them. But Engaging Families is not a prescriptive text, it is a description of one particular effort, featuring actual voices of children and parents.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“[This book] has opened new avenues for empowering teachers and parents.”–Qualitative Studies in Education
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780435088453
  • Publisher: Heinemann
  • Publication date: 4/17/1995
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 162
  • Age range: 5 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.70 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

JoBeth Allen teaches in the language education department at the University of Georgia. She is particularly interested in exploring the intersection of progressive education and democratic pedagogy, and the implications for students who struggle as readers and writers.

Betty Shockley has been a researcher since 1989, when she began the longitudinal study that became Engaging Children (Heinemann, 1993). She has published numerous essays and articles, presented at state and national conferences, and conducted workshops with teachers. Shockley is an active researcher with the National Reading Research Center at the University of Georgia, where she serves as the director of the School Research Consortium.

Barbara Michalove, along with co-researchers Betty Shockley and JoBeth Allen, began the longitudinal study that became Engaging Children, (Heinemann, 1993), in 1989. Over the course of their partnership, they have published numerous essays and articles, presented at state and national conferences, and conducted workshops with teachers. Michalove conducts teacher research in her own whole language classroom in Athens, Georgia. She is an active researcher with the National Reading Research Center at the University of Georgia.

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Table of Contents

Focus on Relationships

Respecting and Learning from Families

Partners in Literacy: Home and School

Creating Parallel Practices

Family Portraits

Adrian: The Moral of the Story

Lakendra: ". . . and as always we were pleased"

Cathy: A Book Buddy

Literacy Connections

Family-Teacher Connections

Family-Child Connections

Children-Teacher Connections

Reader-Book Connections

Issues of Policy and Practice

Partnerships, Not Programs

Questions and Answers and More Questions Appendixes: A. Dennis's Family Reading Journal B. Studying the Extended Research Community: Research Process

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