Joyce L. Epstein, Director
Johns Hopkins University
The nation’s schools must improve education for all children, but schools cannot do this alone. More will be accomplished if schools, families, and communities work together to promote successful students. The mission of this Center is to conduct and disseminate research, programs, and policy analyses that produce new and useful knowledge and practices that help parents, educators, and members of communities work together to improve schools, strengthen families, and enhance student learning and development.
Research is needed to understand all children and all families, not just those who are economically and educationally advantaged or already connected to school and community resources. The Center’s projects aim to increase an understanding of practices of partnership that help all children succeed in elementary, middle, and high schools in rural, suburban, and urban areas.
Current projects include research on the Center’s National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS). NNPS provides inservice education and ongoing professional development for school, district, and state leaders, and teams of educators, parents, and others to improve their programs of family involvement and community connections. Studies are being conducted on the structures and processes used to "scale up" partnership programs to all schools in a district, to improve the quality of family and community involvement, and to identify the academic and behavioral results of partnership program for students, families, and schools.
Other studies focus on the dynamics and effects of district leadership for partnerships, the organization and results of TIPS interactive homework in the elementary and middle grades, and antecedents and effects of parent social networks on family involvement and student learning and development. See the summary of Center research supported by NICHD.
Center researchers also are working to develop preservice and advanced courses on school, family, and community partnerships for future teachers and administrators. A text book, handbook, and many published research and practical articles and chapters for use in college courses are on the Centerís Publications List and summarized in Research Briefs.
The Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships organizes an International Network of Scholars (INET), including researchers from the U. S. and over 40 nations who are working on topics of school, family, and community partnerships. Biennial International Roundtables and on-going opportunities for visiting scholars are supported by the Center.
INET links with international colleagues in the European Research Network about Parents in Education (ERNAPE) to share information and notices about conferences and roundtables. For the last ERNAPE conference in Milan, Italy in 2011, visit www.ernape.net. The next ERNAPE conference will be in Lisbon, Portugal in September, 2013.
The next INET Roundtable in the U. S. / Canada will be conducted at the start of AERA meetings in Philadelphia, PA, in 2014.