(334) 844-3299
Detailed Record
Share this Article

School personnel’s perceptions of family-school communication: A qualitative study

APA Citation:

Farrell, A. F., & Collier, M. A. (2010). School personnel's perceptions of family-school communication: A qualitative study. Improving Schools, 13(1), 4-20. doi:10.1177/1365480209352547

Abstract Created by REACH:

This qualitative study used an ecological framework to explore educator perceptions of family-school communication at two elementary schools serving U.S. Military families. Six themes emerged from individual interviews: 1) the importance of family-school communication, 2) the format of communication is based on individual teacher or family preference, 3) a supportive school climate builds family-school communication, 4) teacher experience and education effected their communication, 5) the school has the primary role in initiating communication, and 6) The contextual issues of military culture effects communication.



Branch of Service:

Multiple branches
Air Force
Coast Guard
Marine Corps

Military Affiliation:

Active Duty

Subject Affiliation:

Military families
Military non-medical service providers


Adulthood (18 yrs & older)
Young adulthood (18 - 29 yrs)
Thirties (30 - 39 yrs)
Middle age (40 - 64 yrs)


Qualitative Study


Farrell, Anne F., Collier, Melissa A.


Family involvement contributes to student success, and family—school communication (FSC) is intended to promote parent involvement; however, little is known about the communication processes that enlist that involvement. There are unanswered questions about how elementary educators perceive, prepare for, and engage in communication with families. Using an ecological framework and qualitative design, this study explored educator perceptions of FSC at elementary schools serving a US military population. Individual interviews were analyzed for thematic content, resulting in six themes: the critical importance of communication; its types and formats; school climate; teacher preparation; roles and skills; and contextual influences including considerations for military families. Teachers described effective and ineffective approaches and skills, role and time pressures, and recommended practices. Participants lacked formal preparation for FSC and constructed their skills based on experience. The authors discuss implications for personnel preparation and staff development, school and classroom policies and practices, and ecological considerations unique to military contexts.

Publisher/Sponsoring Organization:

SAGE Publications

Publication Type:

REACH Publication

Author Affiliation:

University of Connecticut, AFF
University of Connecticut, MAC


home—school relations, military families, parent involvement, school improvement, teacher—parent contact, teacher preparation

View Research Summary:

REACH Publication Type:

Research Summary


Office of Undergraduate Research, University of Connecticut

This website uses cookies to improve the browsing experience of our users. Please review Auburn University’s Privacy Statement for more information. Accept & Close