Parent-Teacher Communication Research & Recommendations

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been researching parent-teacher communication and parental involvements in students’ education with peers at Teachers College as part of our Teacher as Researcher (TAR) project. It’s finally all done!

Feel free to browse through everything:


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Carl Webster on April 8, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    Nate asked me to codify on these pages the advice my cooperating teacher gave me with respect to initiating discussions at Parent-Teacher conferences. If the conference is does not include the student, appropriate opening questions are “What have you heard from [insert student name here] about school?” or How do you think [insert student name here] is doing at school? With conferences generally limited to 5 or 10 minutes, these open-ended question allow the parent to quickly express their concerns or thoughts. Also, information gratuitously offered by the teacher runs the risk of surprising the parent and taking the conversation off in a less productive direction.

    If the student is present, it is best to ask the student to describe how they feel school is going. The student chooses the tenor of the conversation and more often than not the parent will contribute their thoughts on the student comment. The teacher then has the opportunity to respond to authentic concerns as expressed by the the student and parent.

    My personal view is that whenever entering a potentially delicate conversation, it is always best to let the other person speak first. It allows you to gauge their tone and body language which is helpful when formulating your response. Also their issues are laid bare first and that allows you to guide the discussion in the most beneficial direction.


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