A new article published in the American Educational Research Journal describes a trial to test whether pupils’ mobility (changing schools) in early elementary school was reduced by an intervention called Families and Schools Together (FAST). FAST is an intensive eight-week multi-family afterschool programme designed to empower parents, promote child resilience, and improve trust and shared expectations within and between families and among parents and school staff. The intervention has been successfully replicated and implemented across diverse settings around the world.
The trial was a cluster-randomised field experiment which took place in 52 predominantly Hispanic elementary schools in San Antonio, Texas, and Phoenix, Arizona. Half the schools were selected to receive the intervention and half were selected to continue with business as usual. The results showed that FAST failed to reduce mobility overall but substantially reduced the mobility of Black pupils, who were especially likely to change schools. The authors suggest that improved relationships among families may help to explain this finding.
A forthcoming issue of Better: Evidence-based Education has “parents and schools” as its theme.
Source: Reducing School Mobility: A Randomized Trial of a Relationship-Building Intervention (2013), American Educational Research Journal, 50(6).