This article reports on two action research projects which are part of the Campaign for Learning's Learning to Learn programme. The programme focuses on individual schools' and teachers' research priorities, within an overarching framework which seeks to understand the factors which promote successful learning. The programme has just finished the first cycle of research. The findings reported here are reflections on the process as well as explorations of the interactions between parents and schools. While both schools report increased pupil attainment as a result of the parental involvement, perhaps the most interesting aspect of the research is the way in which teachers and schools are making explicit their ideas about learning and testing them in dialogue with parents. Arguably, this creation of shared understandings could have the most profound impact on the pupils, their parents' views of learning and on the place of the schools within their communities.