Cafe for Schools

Home » café for schools » Rationale and Research

Rationale and Research

Emerging shifts in education toward more personalized, holistic, and inquiry-based learning highlights an increasing need for students, parents and staff to build knowledge and capacity to engage local assets and capitalizing on all available resources to maximize learning opportunities. (more on this… see Café’s framework )

An asset-based approach to education integrates elements of community capacity-building, positive psychology, appreciative inquiry, social capital and ecological systems theories within broad-based educational leadership development. These aspects of community development are increasingly evidenced in educational research and practice and illustrated in the following articles and resources:

  • J. Steinmann, G.Malcolm, A. Connell, S.Davis and J.McMann, (2000-2008),  Alberta Initiative for School Improvement (AISI), The Role of Parents and Community in Supporting Student Success,  A Review of AISI Cycles One, Two and Three Projects.
  • “Communities and Schools: A New View of Urban Education Reform,” Harvard Educational Review, 75 (Summer): 133-173. (2005)
  • Barbour, Barbour Scully, (2011), Families, schools and communities, Building partnerships for educating children, – Pearson Education -5th ed.
  • Centre on Family, School Community Partnerships, Johns Hopkins University (recent articles, book chapters, and books by researchers at the Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships at Johns Hopkins University and the National Network of Partnership Schools, Director, Dr. Joyce Epstein).
  • Epstein, J. (2001).  School, Family, and Community Partnerships: Preparing Educators and Improving Schools, A guide for use in pre-service teacher education or professional development for educators. How can teachers engage families and communities? (isbn 978-0-8133-4447-8)
  • Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education’s Useable Knowledge
  • Coalition for community schools, USA Resources, events, advocacy, networking.
  • Swap, S. (1993), Developing Home-School Partnerships, From Concepts to Practice, Teachers College Press
  • Sergiovanni, T. (1994) Building Community in Schools, Jossey Bass Inc. San Fransisco
  • Moore, T. (2011), Drawing on Parents’ Strengths: The Role of Districts and Schools in Empowering Families to be Effective Partners in Learning, The Evaluation Exchange, 3, (2), retrieved:
  • Stelmack, B.  Parental Involvement: A Research Brief for Practitioners, University of Alberta
  •  Morva A. McDonald , Kersti Tyson, Kate Brayko , Michael Bowman , John Delport & Fuyu Shimomura (2011), Innovation and impact in teacher education: Community-based organizations as field placements for preservice teachers (Teachers College record).
  • Henderson, Mapp, Johnson, Davies, (2007) Beyond the Bake Sale, New Press, NY
  • Patrikakou, Weissber, Reddign, Walberg, foreword by J. Epstein, (2007) , School-Family Partnerships for Children’s Success, Teachers College, NY, London
  • Harvard Family Research Project, (2010),  Family Engagement teaching cases, retrieved: November 2010,
  • Heather B. Weiss, Holly Kreider, M. Elena Lopez, Celina Chatman-Nelson (2010) Preparing Educators to EngageFamilies: Case Studies Using an Ecological Systems Framework, Second Edition. SAGE Publications, Inc.