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In It Together

In It Together
How Student, Family, and Community Partnerships Advance Engagement and Achievement in Diverse Classrooms

March 2015 | 184 pages | Corwin

Harness the power of teacher, student, school, family, and community partnerships to promote student success

Teaching effectively in diverse classrooms has become more complex than ever. The authors of this practical, compelling, and inspiring book propose that understanding the spheres of influence that connect students with teachers, peers, family members, and the broader community significantly increases the odds that every student will succeed in school.  In clear, practitioner-friendly language with examples from an inspiring range of K-12 educators, the authors explore how tapping into the rich resources of teachers, students, families, the school community and the community-at-large can make the work of learning more successful for all involved. Richly detailed vignettes and concrete, evidence-based strategies help you systematically:


  • Build coalitions of support around learning and engagement
  • Develop positive relationships with students, their families and their communities
  • Foster positive, reciprocal partnerships
  • Promote peer-to-peer relationship building
  • Support students and families from marginalized populations

Learn to draw from the rich resources found within your learning community to build bridges to academic success for all learners. This comprehensive book shows you how!

"Building meaningful relationships in education can be difficult, particularly when the parties involved are different from one another in identity, experience, and other ways. As a result, although in principle collaborations and partnerships in education are universally lauded, in practice they are often ignored. What we need are examples of partnerships that work. In it Together by Debbie Zacarain and Michael Silverstone suggests productive ways to work with, learn from, and form authentic relationships with diverse communities. Combining their abundant experience in classrooms and schools, and using examples from caring teachers in diverse classrooms, the authors demonstrate what it means to really be “in it together.” Teachers, administrators, and everyone who cares about the future of education in a diverse society will benefit from the strategies they suggest."
Sonia Nieto, Professor Emerita
University of Massachusetts

1. What It Means to Be “In It Together” in Education
2. An Involved Classroom Community
3. Infusing the Assets of Students and Families Into Classroom Learning
4. Preparing for Classroom Community
5. The Academic Learning Benefits of Being “In It Together”
6. Using Classroom Events to Empower Students and Families
7. Widening the Circle Beyond the Classroom: Service Learning
8. Using Learning Partnerships in Professional Development: Applying the Ideas
Key features
(1) Presents a compelling case for building effective coalitions between schools, families, and communities that lead to increased student engagement with and success in schools.

(2) Strength-based approach emphasizes the need to explore and leverage the rich diversity of cultural assets of families.

(3) Offers concrete guidance on designing and delivering activities that empower both students and families.

(4) Provides protocols designed around the book's community building framework  to assess student and parent engagement. 

(5) Includes richly-detailed vignettes of community building in action.

(6) Ideally suited for use by PLCs, book study groups, and a variety of professional learning designs.

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781483388229

ISBN: 9781483316772

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.