Using Service-Learning to Increase Pre-Service Teachers’ Sense of Self-Efficacy Regarding Parent Involvement


  • Diana Brannon Elmhurst College


Pre-service elementary education teachers conducted family nights with children and families considered “high need”.  The family nights were designed to help build pre-service teachers’ sense of self-efficacy regarding parent involvement and working with low-income children and families with limited English proficiency.  The project increased pre-service teachers’ exposure to the economic, social, family, and ethnic issues of high-need schools; opportunities to work with students and families at high-need schools; and professional development at high-need schools.

The family nights were successful at increasing students’ knowledge, understanding of issues related to working with high-need families, confidence, and ability to provide suggestions and engagement for the families.  This service-learning experience also helped pre-service teachers identify stereotypes and biases they hold.  However, more extensive and long-term experiences are needed to make long-term changes in pre-service teachers’ attitudes and behaviors.

Author Biography

Diana Brannon, Elmhurst College

Department of Education

Associate Professor