Projects per year
Research suggests that teachers and parents might be better equipped to tackle school bullying when they collaborate (Axford et al., 2015; Gaffney et al., 2021; Huang et al., 2019). Despite the various efforts to secure family-school partnerships, parents’ involvement in schools’ antibullying interventions remains limited (Gaffney et al., 2021).
Motivated to improve their family-school anti-bullying collaboration, three Dutch primary school communities took part in a participatory action research (Brydon‐Miller & Maguire, 2009) project. From 2019-2021, educational professionals and parents worked together supported by researchers, to pinpoint areas for improvement, and develop targeted solutions for their schools. The applied approach was similar to ‘action teams for partnership’ (Epstein, 2018), which has been argued to increase parent engagement to attain schools’ development goals.
In this study, we evaluated the project with participating parents, educational professionals, and researchers, to discover how they reflect on the process and its outcomes. Our aim was to find out whether (and how) the participatory action research approach helped school communities to work towards family-school partnership to tackle bullying.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with participating parents (n=3/5), educational professionals (n=7/10) and researchers (n=3/3), through video calls which were recorded and transcribed. Content analysis was conducted to gain insight in participants’ experiences in the collaborative process of conducting research and designing solutions, and the perceived outcomes for themselves and their school.
In this contribution, we critically reflect on our participatory action research approach, aiming to offer some guidance to community members and researchers looking to conduct similar studies. Overall, participants valued the collaborative process, and mentioned beneficial outcomes for themselves and/or their schools. Evaluations of the developed solutions, however, were mixed. Participants’ experiences were mainly related to alignment of interests and goals, group and community building, and exchange and coordination, as well as school- and contextual factors. While securing long lasting change remains challenging, participatory action research seems to be a fruitful approach to work towards family-school partnership.
Axford, N., Farrington, D. P., Clarkson, S., Bjornstad, G. J., Wrigley, Z., & Hutchings, J. (2015). Involving parents in school-based programmes to prevent and reduce bullying: What effect does it have? Journal of Children’s Services, 10(3), 242–251. https://doi.org/10/gk4fqz
Brydon‐Miller, M., & Maguire, P. (2009). Participatory action research: Contributions to the development of practitioner inquiry in education. Educational Action Research, 17(1), 79–93. https://doi.org/10/dqbbn3
Epstein, J. L. (2018). School, family, and community partnerships: Preparing educators and improving schools. Routledge.
Gaffney, H., Ttofi, M. M., & Farrington, D. P. (2021). What works in anti-bullying programs? Analysis of effective intervention components. Journal of School Psychology, 85, 37–56. https://doi.org/10/gh24fp
Huang, Y., Espelage, D. L., Polanin, J. R., & Hong, J. S. (2019). A Meta-analytic Review of School-Based Anti-bullying Programs with a Parent Component. International Journal of Bullying Prevention, 1(1). https://doi.org/10/gjhzqj
|Translated title of the contribution||Op weg naar partnerschap tussen thuis en school: wat werkt?|
|Publication status||Published - 2022|
|Event||European Research Network about Parents in Education - Nijmegen, Nijmegen, Netherlands|
Duration: 29 Aug 2022 → 31 Aug 2022
|Conference||European Research Network about Parents in Education|
|Period||29/08/22 → 31/08/22|
- parental involvement
FingerprintDive into the research topics of 'Working together towards family-school partnership: what works?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
Rosanne Spruijt (Participant)22 Aug 2022 → 31 Aug 2022
Activity: Participating in or organising an event › Participation in conference
29 Aug 2022 → 31 Aug 2022
Activity: Talk or presentation › Oral presentation