How to promote effective home engagement in learning and language acquisition? And how can we improve existing Flemish practices to better support home engagement?
Situation and research question
Students' academic success and well-being depends in part on the extent to which parents are involved in their children's school careers. The home involvement of parents appears to be relatively important in this regard: parents who show interest in school life and who have positive expectations regarding school success appear to have a positive impact on their children's academic well-being and involvement.
To achieve school success, focusing on the combination of parent involvement and language development is therefore a potentially powerful lever: after all, sufficient quality interaction opportunities in living and learning environments are crucial for language development.
This research and development project therefore aims to answer the following research questions:
1. According to the (international) literature, which strategies or programs are effective forms of home involvement in learning and language acquisition?
2. What critical success factors and crucial preconditions are part of effective forms of home involvement?
3. What practices exist in Flanders and in similar education systems to implement and support home involvement?
To answer the research questions, we use Educational Design Research or Design-Based Education Research. In this integrated approach to design and research activities, we work intensively with practitioners and other stakeholders. Thus, we pursue both practice improvement and knowledge growth.
In an initial phase of orientation and analysis, we gain a deeper understanding of home engagement in learning and language acquisition. We do this through:
1. a literature review of the characteristics and preconditions of home involvement;
2. mapping existing practices.
We bring the insights together using a Delphi study involving stakeholders from various perspectives. In this way, we distill design principles for effective practices around home engagement.
In the second phase, the design and testing phase, we work in design teams to redesign some existing practices around home engagement using the design principles. We then have these practices tested and evaluated by practitioners and parents.
Finally, in the valorization phase, we bring together all the insights into a practice-based guide for the education field and organizers of practices to promote home engagement.