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The Effects of Teacher Training on Teachers' Family Engagement Practices, Attitudes, and Knowledge: A Meta-Analysis

Tyler E Smith, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Despite decades of research supporting family engagement’s benefits on children’s social, emotional, behavioral, and academic development (Hill & Tyson, 2009; Jeynes, 2012; Patall et al., 2010; Sheridan et al., 2010), teachers are not always adequately prepared to work with families (Chavkin & Williams, 1988; Epstein & Sanders, 2006; Weiss, Lopez, Kreider, & Chatman-Nelson, 2014) . Additionally, many teachers, researchers, and governmental mandates have called for increased training in this area. The number of college courses, teacher in-service, and professional development programs has continuously increased in conjunction with this recognized need. Mixed results exist regarding the effectiveness of teacher training on teachers’ family engagement practices, attitudes, and knowledge. Many training programs have showcased benefits related to teacher’s abilities to communicate and work with families, while other programs have revealed inconsistencies. Although training programs continue to increase, teachers are still reporting feeling unprepared and overwhelmed when it comes to working with families (De Bruïne, Willemse, D’Haem, Griswold, Vloeberghs, & van Eynde, 2014).^ The current study is the first of its kind to systematically analyze the effects of training programs on teachers’ family engagement practices, attitudes, and knowledge by conducting a much needed meta-analysis. Study procedures, coding, and data analyses were adapted from a previously conducted meta-analysis focused on family-school partnership and parent involvement interventions (i.e., Sheridan, Kim, & Beretvas, 2012). A comprehensive literature search of over 3,500 abstracts ultimately resulted in 39 empirical journal articles and dissertations/theses that were coded by trained research assistants. Studies were coded for key sample and setting characteristics, and were primarily moderate to low quality. Robust Variance Estimation (RVE) was utilized to quantitatively assess the impact of training programs on teacher’s family engagement practices, attitudes, and knowledge. Teacher training interventions had a significant positive effect on teacher family engagement outcomes. Additional moderation analyses found that results were not related to gender, ethnicity or study quality. However, results were significantly lower for high school teachers when compared to early childhood elementary, middle school, and special education teachers. Although results are very promising, future teacher training intervention studies should aim to improve methodological rigor and study quality.^

Subject Area

Teacher education|Psychology

Recommended Citation

Smith, Tyler E, "The Effects of Teacher Training on Teachers' Family Engagement Practices, Attitudes, and Knowledge: A Meta-Analysis" (2017). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI10616391.