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The Harvard Family Research Project separated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education to become the Global Family Research Project as of January 1, 2017. It is no longer affiliated with Harvard University.

ASCD logoIn the September 2016 issue of Education Update from the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), the article Parent-Teacher Conferences: Outdated or Underutilized? considers how school administrators and teachers can improve upon the traditional parent-teacher conference. Harvard Family Research Project’s M. Elena Lopez and Margaret Caspe recommend the following strategies for strengthening interactions between families and educators:

  • Build empathy. In doing so, educators develop an understanding of how families experience parent-teacher conferences.
  • Share data effectively. When educators provide families with data and with action steps, families are able to support their children’s learning at home.
  • Improve the systems, such as the school’s data system, that facilitate and support interactions between schools and families.
  • Continue the conversation with families throughout the year.

In addition, the article highlights schools that are thinking creatively to increase attendance at parent-teacher conferences and to build teachers’ capacity around family engagement.

Read Parent-Teacher Conferences: Outdated or Underutilized? by subscribing to ASCD’s Education Update.

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