Working With Families

Two Credit Hours     Spring, 2005


Professor:             Perry C. Hanavan, Au.D., CCC-A                 Class Meeting Times:            TTH, 12:00/1:00

Office:                  Madsen Center 219                                         Room:                                     HUM 103

Email:                                                         Office Hours:                         MWF, 9:00-10:30 am



I.  Course Description

This course reviews the literature and practice related to building partnerships with families and schools.  Topics include: conferencing, parent education, special needs of families with children with disabilities, parental roles in IFSP and IEP planning and school-home collaboration.


II. Relationship to Circle of Courage

The Circle of Courage (Brendtro, Brokenleg, and VanBockern, 1990) model was adopted by Augustana’s Department of Education to guide our curriculum and requirements for students preparing to serve youth in educational and other youth service agencies.  This circle incorporates four broad themes:  Mastery, Belonging, Independence, and Generosity.  Its primary focus is on developing cooperative relationships with all of the families of youth they will serve and value the strengths offered by diverse families and families with children with special needs.  Through this course, students will hopefully realize that youth are best served when professionals and parents function as a team whose goal is to help their youth gain mastery of their world, develop a sense of belonging, become independent and develop generosity toward their world and society.  Given this model, The Teacher Education Program at Augustana believes it graduates should be disposed to:


·         Understand their strengths, needs, and social beliefs

·         Support a classroom environment that promotes the development of attachment, achievement, autonomy and altruism in learners

·         Demonstrate inclusiveness while acknowledging diversity in students (and their families)

·         Engage learners (and families) in joint exploration of ideas, critical and divergent thinking and problem solving

·         Participate in collaborative models of teaching and cooperative relationships


III. Program Alignment


The curriculum of the Teacher Education Program at Augustana College incorporates the Circle of Courage values into a model for professional behavior. The following competencies have been identified to guide course content and practicum experiences.













                                                                  Infusion of the Model




Program Competency

CEC Standard


DECA Standard

Assessment Tool

To understand families with children who have special needs and families from diverse backgrounds



I 5, II 9, 12

CEC-CED Joint Standards

I3, I12,14, 15

24:16:08:45 (5)

Report on  a novel,

Final exam

Understand the role of parents in educational programs as determined by legislation and practice


1 and 2


VII 93,94

CEC-CED Joint Standards

II 12, VIII65

24:16:08:45 (3)

24:16:08:45 (6)

Final exam,

Poster presentations

Overview of parent educational programs that encourage and instruct parents so that they can participate in their child’s education at home or school



VII 90, 91

CEC-CED Joint Standards

I 5, II 14

24:16:07:01 (6)

Final exam


IV. Learning Experiences



  Group activities


  Student presentations

     Guest speakers


V.    Documentation

1.      Two take-home examinations will be given during the semester.  The tests will contain short answer and essay questions (100 points each).


2.      There are three written assignments in Word and a PowerPoint presentation using an outline of the Family Systems.  Students should create a new folder (if not previously created) on the j: drive “public_html”.


A.             Prepare a 3 page report in MS Word incorporating the family systems theory (Characteristics, Interaction, Functions, and Life Cycle) regarding your own family. Your project will be evaluated for content, writing style, and mechanics. Due Mar 3. (50 points) (Hand in rather than save in public_html folder.)

B.             Prepare a 4 page report in MS Word about a novel of a family and their child with special needs. These novels can be purchased in the Augustana bookstore. You will incorporate the family systems theory along with a description of the family’s progress through the grief cycle. (50 points) The Word report should be saved in the public_html folder as “bookreport”.  In addition, students will be assigned to a group of 3 and prepare a class presentation in PowerPoint.  The Word document and PowerPoint presentation will be saved in the public_html folder as “book”.

C.             Interview parents who have a child with a disability and prepare a 3 page report in MS Word and incorporate the family systems theory. Due May 3. (50 points).  Hand in rather than place in public_html folder given confidential information provided by parent(s).


3.      You and a partner will develop a newsletter in MS Word using information about Augustana and accessibility. Due May 12. (25 points)  This Word document should be saved in the public_html folder as “newsletter”.

4.      Prepare a PowerPoint slide show presentation addressing topics that would be beneficial to families.  Due May 15 (50 points). This PowerPoint presentation should be saved in the public_html folder as “parenteducation”. Some ideas include:


Topics for parents of preschool children:

Benefits of reading to children (include how to read, appropriate books)


Bedtime activities

Topics for parents of children in grades K-5:

Benefits of reading to children (include how to read, appropriate books)

Teaching children to love to read



Topics for parents of children in grades 6-8:

Handling stress

Building self-esteem

Topics for parents of children in grades 9-12:

Alcohol and drug abuse

Preparing for college

General topics:


Exercise and Fitness

Parents of children with disabilities

IDEA laws, ADA laws



VI.   Class attendance and participation.


Letter grades will be assigned as follows:


A         =    90- 100% of total points in class

B         =    80 - 89

C         =    70 - 79

D         =    60 - 69

F          =    below 60


VII. Teacher Education Developmental Portfolio


Students will be introduced to the Teacher Education Developmental Portfolio in EDUC/SPED 110. Several class meetings in EDUC/SPED 110 will be devoted to orienting students to the developmental portfolio process.


Recommended Artifacts:

Family Systems Theory assignments


VII. Course Information:


1.  Required Texts:


Berger, E.H. (2004). Parents as partners in education:  Families and schools working together. (6th edition). New York: Merrill


Select one of the following:


Dorris, M. (1989). The broken cord. New York: Harper Collins Publisher.


Forecki,  Marcia C. (1985). Speak to me.  Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet


Ginsberg, D. (2002). Raising Blaze. New York: Haper Collins Publisher.


Grandin, T. (1995). Thinking in Pictures. Random Publisher.


Kaufman, S. (1999). Retarded isn’t stupid, Mom! (revised edition). Baltimore, MD: Brookes


Kranowitz, C. (1998). Out-of-Sync Child. Berkley


Colin, A. (1997). Willie. Penguin USA


2.       Class policies


·         Students are expected to attend all classes.  Excessive absences will negatively impact the final grade for the course.

·         Assignments are to be turned in on the date specified by the instructor. Points will be deducted for late assignments.

·         Any students with disabilities who need reasonable accommodation in this course are encouraged to speak with the instructor as soon as possible.

·         Policies regarding academic integrity are outlined in the Augustana student handbook and will be followed as outlined in the handbook.


VIII. Major Theorist

      Eugenia Berger



Schedule and Instructional Materials:



Web links

Study Guides



Chapter 1


Child Stats

Better Brains for Babies

Brain Development

Reach Out and Read


Program for Infant/Toddler Caregivers

Talaris Research Institute


Child and Family Webguide

Video:  Dr. Brazelton, Vygotsky,

Chapter 1

Family Systems Paper Guidelines

Test 1


Test 1



Chapter 3


Child Stats

Children’s Rights Center (Divorce)

The Divided Heart (Divorce)

Kids in the Middle (Divorce)

NJ Council for Children’s Rights (Divorce)

Children and Divorce (Divorce)

Focus on Your Child

Project CRAFT (Culturally Responsive and Family Focused Training

Presentation by Augustana Library on accessing Census 2000 data.

Chapter 3


Chapter 4



Chapter 4


Chapter 5


Communication Styles

Videos:  Success with Parents:  Positive Solutions & Confident Parent Conferences

Chapter 5



Chapter 6



Chapter 6



Chapter 7



Chapter 7



Chapter 8



Chapter 8



Chapter 9



Video:  Going to School (USD Med School Lib Film)

Chapter 9



Chapter 10

Abused Child

Video:  Hear Their Cries and Bless Our Children

Chapter 10



Chapter 11


Chapter 11




Class Schedule







Feb  8


Course introduction


Feb  10

Read chapter 1

Brain Development


Feb 12




Feb 15


Family System theory


Feb 17


Child Advocacy & Describe PowerPoint Project


Feb 22

Read chapter 3 and

Working with diverse families: Homeless, Poverty


Feb 24


Working with diverse families: Homeless, Poverty


Mar 1


Divorce/Step families


Feb 3

Family System theory paper due

Considerations for working with culturally diverse families


Mar 8

Read chapter 4

Parent involvement


Mar 10


Parent involvement

Hand out the study guide Chapter 5


Mar 15

Read chapter 5

One way communication &Take Home Midterm


Mar 17


PowerPoint Presentations


Mar 22


Hand out take home exams


Mar 24

Complete the take home exam

Turn in the take home: Exam, exams not turned in by class period will not receive full credit


Apr 5

Read Chapter 6

Meeting with parents

Student led conferences working with parents in meetings.  Hand out study guide Chapters 7- 8


Apr 7

Read chapter 7 and complete study guide

School based programs



Apr 12

Read chapter 8 and complete the study guide

Home based programs

Meet in 001 Computer Lab for projects

Hand out the study guide Chapter 9


Apr 14

Read Chapter 9 and complete the study guide

Working with Parents of children with special needs: Laws, Services


Apr 19

PowerPoint Slide Show on topic of choice for parents

The Grieving Process


Apr 21

Newsletters are due

Speaker-parent of child with disabilities


Apr 26

write a reaction paper about a novel-incorporating family systems theory

Small group discussions regarding novel



May 3

write about an interview of a family who has child with disabilities-incorporating family systems theory

Small group discussions to share information from interviews

Hand out the study guide Chapter 10


May 5

Read Chapter 10 and complete the study guide

Reporting child abuse


May 10


Read chapter 11 and complete the study guide

Child abuse: Hand out study guide Chapter 11


May 12


Rights, Responsibilities for all students

Hand out the take home final exam


May 17

Handout Final exam