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Family Engagement within Inclusive Settings

General and Special Education Inclusion in an Age of Change: Roles of Professionals Involved

ISBN: 978-1-78635-544-7, eISBN: 978-1-78635-543-0

Publication date: 25 October 2016


The essentiality of family involvement in the schooling process is evident from the vast directives embedded within federal mandates, professional standards for teachers and administrators, parent organizations, and advocacy groups. Yet, as explicit as legislative mandates and professional standards are regarding parental rights and involvement, they do not require definitive roles of the family. Several factors influence the lack of a decisive definition regarding the role of the family in the schooling process. Those include the different perspectives on what constitutes a family structurally and functionally, the socio-cultural and political diversity within and among populations, the move to an inclusive education framework, the various terms used to describe parental involvement, the realization that no one family model fits the demographic diversity existing in today’s school districts, and the rights of family members to select their level of involvement. Given the importance of family engagement and student outcomes, three fundamental questions addressed in this chapter are, “How can inclusive schools enhance productive collaborative family engagement networks?” “How can the family be empowered to voluntarily participate within those networks?” and “How can inclusive schools connect with teacher preparation programs to promote the competency of educators for those collaborative family/school engagement networks?” In this chapter we delineate an interactive triad conceptual model with the school as the “connecting agent” to build relationships with families and teacher preparation, setting the stage for productive family engagement as partners in inclusive settings.



Ford, B.A., Vakil, S. and Boit, R.J. (2016), "Family Engagement within Inclusive Settings", General and Special Education Inclusion in an Age of Change: Roles of Professionals Involved (Advances in Special Education, Vol. 32), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 75-98.



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