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Overcome barriers. Enhance family engagement!

The Benefits and Barriers to Family Engagement

High-impact family engagement in education can bring many benefits for both students and schools. According to a recent survey, both parents and educators are eager to be more involved in children's education, with shared priorities and goals (Learn more: 

Literature Review on Family Involvement: The Home-School Partnership 2005). 


When families are actively engaged in their children's education, students are more likely to have:

  • Higher grades

  • Better attendance

  • Stronger sense of belonging at school


Schools also benefit from increased parent involvement, as it can lead to higher levels of:

  • Teacher satisfaction

  • Improved communication and collaboration

  • Stronger sense of community  

However, there are also some barriers to effective family engagement that can make it difficult for schools and families to work together effectively. One such barrier is the perception gap between parents and teachers regarding students' academic achievement. While most parents believe their children are at or above grade level, only 44% of teachers believe that most of their students are ready for grade-level work. This discrepancy can make it difficult for parents and teachers to have productive and constructive conversations about students' progress and needs (Learn more: Learning Heroes. Parents 2021 | Going Beyond the Headlines 2021).

The most common barriers to family involvement include:

  • Lack of teacher time. Teachers often see working on family involvement as a task added to an already long list of responsibilities (Caplan, 2000).


  • Lack of understanding of parents’ communication styles. Some efforts at increasing involvement fail because there is a mismatch in the communication styles of families and teachers, often due to cultural and language differences (Caplan, 2000; Liontos, 1992).​

  • Teachers’ misperceptions of parents’ abilities. Some teachers believe parents can’t help their children because they have limited educational backgrounds themselves; however, many poorly educated families support learning by talking with their children about school, monitoring homework, and making it clear that education is important and that they expect their children to do well in school (Caplan, 2000).

  • Difficulties of involvement in the upper grades. There is typically less parent involvement at the middle and senior high school levels, as adolescents strive for greater autonomy and separation from their parents. Families often live further from the school their child attends and are less able to spend time there (Caplan, 2000).

professional developmnet training sessio

What are three essential aspects of​ parent engagement? 

Connect, engage and sustain.