ERNAPE Nijmegen Conference report

The European Research Network about Parents in Education (ERNAPE) held its biennial conference in Nijmegen, the Netherlands at Radboud University on 29-31 August 2022. The conference was to take place in 2021, but was postponed due to restrictions in place at the university. Since there was a gap of 3 years since the previous conference, Parents International had a lot to show. Part of our Team had 4 paper presentations showcasing some of our work from the past 4 years.

ERNAPE brings together all those interested in school-family-community connections and has established a research community in which researchers with an interest in school-family-community relationships share their ideas and work, bringing their own perspective into the scientific discourse. ERNAPE has become a multidisciplinary group of researchers in this field studying parents in education by using different theoretical lenses and with a variety of research methods. Researchers with various disciplinary backgrounds employ qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method designs, with survey studies, small scale interview studies, intervention studies, critical narrative analyses, and so forth.

The main topics that researchers were invited to submit paper and poster presentations as well as organise symposia were the following:

Theoretical issues in family-school-community partnerships:

  • Uni-disciplinary, multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary perspectives on parental involvement in education.
  • How critical must theory be?
  • Discussions on the ‘what works’ paradigm.

Methodological issues in research:

  • Empirical approaches to understanding parental involvement in education.
  • Empirical approaches to evaluating parental involvement in education.
  • Empirical approaches to improving parental involvement in education.

Family-school-community partnerships:

  • For inclusion and social justice.
  • In multicultural and multilingual contexts.
  • In the context of educational inequalities: are they the solution or the problem?

Further thematic areas:

  • Discussions about the concept of ‘family’ from feminist and queer theory perspectives.
  • Interventions on families, schools and communities for promising partnerships in education.
  • Connecting home and school: social media for family-school partnerships.
  • Family-school-community partnerships in a Covid-19-era.

The Parents International Team has presented the research behind ParENTrepreneurs – both the iteration towards the Competence Framework and the action research during the training pilot – , the research-base of the New Education Deal – Parents First global action, the legal research establishing the resources for both parents and school leaders in SAILS, and the series of large-scale Hungarian research studies on parents’ perceptions of Covid-19 and subsequent restrictions at school. The presentations were done by Luca László and Eszter Salamon on behalf of all other authors who could not join the event for various reasons.

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