Trio of Studies Confirms Benefits from Teachers’ Visits to Students’ Homes

When teachers visit families at home and ask, “What are your hopes and dreams for your child,” chronic absenteeism goes down, test scores go up, and teachers change their own mindsets.

Studies from Johns Hopkins University and RTI International evaluated Parent Teacher Home Visits model in use in 700 communities in 27 states & D.C.

Three comprehensive and rigorous research studies have validated the tremendously positive experience that teachers and parents have long reported from Parent Teacher Home Visits (PTHV). Home visits following the PTHV model significantly strengthen school-family relationships, improve teaching, and bolster student outcomes. For students and schools, chronic absenteeism drops, and test scores go up. For teachers, home visits combat implicit bias and help educators relate better to students and their families.

Completed over the past two years, this trio of studies from Johns Hopkins University and RTI International – along with the experience of 20 years of home visits pioneered by PTHV and targeted specifically at the relationship between school and family – is so persuasive that the case for making this kind of “relational” home visit standard practice in every district and school should be a “no-brainer” in the same way that reducing absenteeism is now widely accepted as a critical ingredient in student success.

The researchers found:

Parent Teacher Home Visits improve teaching. When educators follow the PTHV model, they routinely and overwhelmingly find their assumptions about families and students were wrong, change their practices and interactions with students in the classroom, and engage more with families to support their students. This significant mindset shift and the resulting changes in school climate and culture were found consistently in multiple, varied communities, with parents of varied racial and socioeconomic backgrounds, and at very different schools. In short, home visits worked everywhere.

Students do better in schools where teachers visit students’ families at home. After being visited by their teachers, students are less likely to be chronically absent. Students whose families participate in home visits have lower (21%) odds of being chronically absent compared to their peers, and there are equivalent benefits for all students in schools where teachers visit. Students are also more likely to do well on reading and writing tests. All students in schools where teachers visit at least 10% of families have 35% higher odds of scoring proficient on ELA tests, whether or not their own families participated in home visits.

The Parent Teacher Home Visits model is backed by research and evidence. The five non-negotiable core practices of PTHV’s model are highly effective and well-aligned to research-backed best practices in family engagement, leading to benefits for teachers, students and schools.

For more on the PTHV model, see http://www.pthvp.org/what-we-do/pthv-model/

To view the studies, see http://www.pthvp.org/what-we-do/results/i-research/

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