Overlapping Spheres Of Influence Theory

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Chapter 4

The most commonly accepted contemporary framework for viewing parental involvement was inspired by the ecological model of Bronfenbrenner (1979, 1986) and designed from a social and organisational perspective (Epstein, 1992). It identifies three major contexts within which children develop and learn: the family, the school, and the community (see Figure). The Overlapping Spheres of Influence model recognises that there are some practices that family, school and community conduct separately and that there are others that they conduct jointly in order to influence the growth and learning of the child. According to Epstein, successful partnerships must be forged between these three spheres in order best to meet the needs of the child. This model is thus philosophically aligned …show more content…

Dietz(1997) argued that when a school limits parental involvement to a particular type of involvement (e.g. fundraising, committee membership) then only a small proportion of parents become involved. As a result the school neither really involves parents, nor reaps the potential benefits from involvement. Instead, a more comprehensive model of parental involvement which elicits a wide variety of parental involvement is advocated (Dauber & Epstein, 1993). Epstein and colleagues (Epstein, 1992) thus developed a typology which aimed to comprehensively categorise the variety of involvement activities in which could potentially engage. These are summarised in the table below. According to Epstein's theory, all six of these types of inolvement are likely to lead to successful partnerships between parents, school and community. The categories can also be subsumed into three broader categories: Home-based involvement, school-based involvement and home school communication (Fantuzzo,

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