TeleNGAGE: Enhancing Collaboration Between Families and Schools




family engagement, professional development, family/school partnerships, ECHO, Communities of Practice


Findings in the literature strongly support the importance of family engagement in education. However, effective partnerships between families and schools are rare, especially in ethnically diverse communities where families may lack efficacy or face structural challenges for engagement. Additionally, educator perspectives toward engagement are often framed by White, middle-class paradigms. Educators often fail to acknowledge structural challenges faced by low-income families or the cultural contributions low-income and/or minoritized families can bring. To facilitate engagement between families and schools, a new ECHO® line, TeleNGAGE, was developed at Oklahoma State University, Educational Leadership program. ECHO®, traditionally used in the field of medicine, has utility for professional development for educators because it offers a platform for case-based learning where real problems are addressed in real-time. Additionally, didactic presentations provide professional development for collaborative learning. Through the lens of Communities of Practice (CoP), this qualitative case study explores how relationships between families and schools changed as a result of participation in TeleNGAGE. Tenets of CoP, negotiated meaning, mutual engagement, and a shared repertoire, support a collaborative approach to addressing complex problems. Findings suggest that a CoP has emerged through TeleNGAGE and has resulted in changes in perspectives across families and educational leaders about “what it means to be engaged,” enhanced family efficacy for engagement, and changes in engagement practice as family voice has expanded through sharing of concerns/perspectives. These findings have important implications for equitable engagement in a convenient, cost-free environment where educators and families can communicate and develop mutually supportive understandings and practices.

Author Biographies

Katherine Curry, Oklahoma State University

Katherine Curry is an Associate Professor and the John A. and Donnie Brock Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy at Oklahoma State University. Dr. Curry’s research interests include family engagement, school/community collaboration, social network analysis and value creation in social learning spaces.

Ed Harris, Oklahoma State University

Dr. Ed Harris served at Oklahoma State University for over 30 years as Professor in the Educational Leadership/School Administration Program. Dr. Harris has recently moved into a position with Project ECHO, expanding the influence of ECHO in education in Oklahoma and around the world. Dr. Harris' research interests include school culture and value creation in social learning spaces. 

Jentre Olsen, Oklahoma State University

Dr. Jentre Olsen is an Assistant Professor and Brock Chair of Education Innovation at Oklahoma State University. Dr. Olsen's research focuses primarily on innovative approaches to school leadership, namely the effects of intentional interactions of principal support of teacher psychological needs and networked professional learning.

Rachel Kim, Oklahoma State University

Younglong "Rachel" Kim is a Ph.D. student in the Educational Leadership program at Oklahoma State University. She wants to be a good Edupreneur. Her current research interests include educational leadership, spaces, and technology, and learning achievement.

Dominic Egure, Oklahoma State University

Dominic Egure is a PhD student and a Graduate Research Associate of Educational Leadership in Oklahoma State University. His current research interests include teacher quality and professional development, rural education, and family and school engagement.




How to Cite

Curry, K., Harris, E., Olsen, J., Kim, Y., & Egure, D. (2023). TeleNGAGE: Enhancing Collaboration Between Families and Schools. Current Issues in Education, 24(1).