Effects of Parental Involement on Student Acheivement Essay

EFFECTS OF PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT Effects of Parental Involvement on Student Achievement Stephanie Travis Research Methods May 8, 2010 Chapter I Introduction Now more than every, parents are encouraged to take active roles in their child or children’s education. With so many obstacles and challenges facing youths in today’s society, it is of the utmost importance that parents realize that their child or children need them to be concerned about their education. They should also realize that it is not only important to the child but to schools and school officials and administrators.

Engaging families in the education of their children at home and at school is increasingly viewed as an important means to support better learning outcomes for children. When schools and families work together, children have higher achievement in school and stay in school longer (Henderson & Mapp, 2002; Jeynes, 2005; Pomerantz, Moorman, & Litwack, 2007; Reynolds & Clements, 2005). Although there has been considerable research on how parents influence children’s development, less is known about the specific ways in which parents socialize their children in terns of school-related behaviors.

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While extensive research indicates that there are important links between parenting and children’s academic and behavioral competence at school, there is less research on academic socialization”, which is conceptualized as the variety of parental beliefs and behaviors that influence children’s school-related development (as cited in Berthelsen and Walker, Research concerning the impact of parental engagement on achievement and attainment is complex due to the interaction and influence of many factors and variables.

There are multiple characteristics or correlates that influence the levels of student achievement and the attainment of educational outcomes. However, the contemporary empirical evidence points toward a powerful association between parental engagement and student achievement. As stated by Fan and Chen (2001), the research evidence also acknowledges that parental engagement is only one of the many factors which influences educational achievement but highlights that its influence is particularly significant (as cited in Harris and Goodall, 2008).

Actively participating parents help their children in their academic development by going to schools and participating in open houses. By keenly observing the behavior of their children they can rightly judge the kind of behavior or the allocation of resources required by their children. Such caring parents can also motivate teachers to become more attentive towards a particular student, thus maintaining the cycle of parent-teacher involvement. Building up cognitive and perception abilities in a child are a major concern in the upbringing of the child.

The way the parents involve their children in cognitive learning is by exposing them to different cognitively stimulating activities and materials such as books, electronic media and current events at home. This helps the child to practice all sorts of language comprehending skills at the school. The results show a remarkably positive behavior at the school and with peers. Niemeyer, Wong, and Westerhaus (2009) stated that currently, many parents, school teachers and administrators in the United States define “academic parental involvement” as parents’ active involvement in the school setting (p. 14). This may be attending Parent Teachers Meeting, parent-teachers classroom meetings, or becoming involved in extracurricular activities. However, among Hispanic parents, academic parental involvement may involve activities that take place in the home, such as checking homework as well as other activities that are less traditionally associated with school involvement such as instilling cultural values, talking with their children, and sending them to school clean and rested.

Thus, the nature of academic parental involvement may be very different among Hispanic parents and parents from other ethnic groups. Context of the Problem An increasing and continuous concern of educators is parental involvement. For reasons unknown, parents are not taking active roles in their child’s education. Knowing the importance that parental involvement can play on a child’s achievement, educators are seeking ways to get parents more involved in their child’s education. Whether children are in elementary school or other grade levels, parental involvement is important.

Many research studies have been conducted on children at the elementary school level, and fewer studies examined students at the middle or high school level (Keith et al. ,, 195; Keith, Aubey, Frehrmann, Pottemaum, Reimers,1986); Matzye, 1995; Mendoza, 1996; Patrikako, 1997; Paulson, 1994; Peng &Wright, 1994; Paik, 1995; Sui-Chu & Willms, 1996). Epstein and Connors (1994) showed in a survey that 90% of the parents and over 80% of the students indicated parental involvement is needed to improve student achievement for high school students (as cited in Sirvani, 2008).

When parents are actively involved in their child’s education, the child feels that their parent(s) cares and is concern about their educational achievement. For the sake of their academic well-being, parents need to become more knowledgeable and want to become more knowledgeable about their child’s progress in school. According to Epstein (2008), studies confirm that when families are involved, more students perform better in all subject areas, have higher aspirations, want to attend school, are more prepared for school, and have fewer behavior problems.

It is a common conclusion that when parents actively involve themselves in their child’s education, the outcome is positive. But, is this actually true? As stated by Sirvani (2007), there is little known about the whether parents help their children at home or through visits and assistance with activities within the school actually improve academic success. Could the problem be that parents think that they are active participants when they make sure that their son or daughter attends school? Or maybe the problem is that parents do not really know what active participation or involvement is?

As cited by Anderson and Minke (2007), Lawson (2003) reported that evidence shows that parents and educators define involvement differently; parents take a more community-centric view that includes keeping their children safe and getting them to school, whereas teachers define involvement primarily as parental presence at school. When the different definitions are not recognized, miscommunications can occur that lead teachers to blame families for child difficulties and parents to feel unappreciated for their efforts. Non-participation by parents may not be entirely their fault.

There are some parents who desire to help their children with their school work but are unable to because of not knowing how. According to Voorhis (2003), seventy-five percent of middle school principals stated that fewer than half of their parents at their perspective school received information from teachers regarding ways in which they might help their children with homework. Statement of the Problem Lack of parental involvement has been and is a major concern of school administrators and educators. There are parents who do not realize the importance of taking an active role in their child or children’s education.

Most parents only visit their schools on special occasions and when they are called in because of a problem. Research demonstrates parental involvement has a positive impact on children’s reading acquisition, regardless of their families’ socioeconomic status. Some parents just need a few tools to help them maximize their children’s education. Others, who struggle with literacy problems of their own, need more intensive services. It is time to stop bemoaning literacy problems and start treating their cause with an intergenerational approach to learning (Darling, 2009).

For a long time, schools and educators have sought numerous ways to get parents involved and concerned about their child’s education. It is the aim of the researcher to determine why there is a lack of involvement and what can be done to improve this area of education. Therefore, this proposal will examine roles that parents can pursue to involve themselves in their child or children’s education and what effects these roles can have on the student education. Research Questions The purpose of this research is to examine what effects parental involvement has on students’ achievement and the impact of teacher-parent relationships?

To answer this question, the following subquestions will be addressed: 1. What role do and can play in their child or children’s educational achievement? 2. In addition to achievement, does parental involvement have an effect on students’ attitude or behavior? 3. How can school and school personnel increase parental involvement? Significance of the Problem There are parents who are unaware of their importance in helping their child achieve in school. On the other hand, there are parents who may not know exactly what parental involvement really is.

It is more than helping the child sell candy for a school function or event or picking up their report card on report card day. It is more than attending a basketball game, supplying their child with new clothes for a school dance, or attending extracurricular activities. Parental involvement is becoming actively involved in the learning process. Parental involvement is a multidimensional construct (Epstein & Sanders, 2002) that includes not only direct involvement in schools, such as volunteering in classrooms and attending parent–teacher conferences, but home-based involvement.

Parents support and facilitate their children’s education at home through several means: engaging them in learning-stimulating activities, discussing school and family issues, and conveying educational expectations (as cited in Suizzo and Stapleton, 2007). Parents can support their children’s schooling by responding to school obligations or becoming more involved in helping their children improve their schoolwork (e. g. , modeling desired behavior such as reading for pleasure) (Cotton and Wikelund, 1989).

Parents can also participate in education through home and out-of-home activities with cognitive content (e. g. , sing, draw, go to the library). Teachers and researchers are unaware of some forms of parental involvement at home that could potentially contribute to the academic achievement of young children, types of involvement that could be reinforced by teachers if they were made aware of them (Lahaie, 2009). Knowing its importance, children are not the only ones who benefit from parental involvement.

As cited by Baunn and McMurray-Schwarz (2004), (Becher, 1986; Epstein, 2001) stated that “Studies have shown that parents, teachers, and schools also benefit from increased involvement. For example, parents who are involved in their child’s schooling exhibit increased self-confidence in their parenting and am ore thorough knowledge of child development” (p. 57). There are many who are genuinely concerned about the academic achievement of students and parental involvement.

The developers of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) also recognize that parents need to be more involved in their child’s education. NCLB also weighs in on what sociologists, politicians, and educators have been saying for decades about the importance of parent participation . . . (Wherry, 2003). Title I, Sally McConnell, NAESP Assistant Executive Director for Government Relations, provided this summary: Schools receiving Title I funds are required to develop a written plan for involving parents in the activities of the school.

Each Title I school is to develop, with parents, a school-parent compact that lists the respective responsibilities of school staff, parents, and students. Title I schools are also expected to hold meetings to keep parents informed and -involved, and to provide materials to parents in an understandable format. A meta-analysis of 77 studies, consisting of 300 elementary and secondary students, found that parental educational expectations are a particularly important aspect of parental involvement. Parenting style, reading lo children, and. o a lesser extent, participation in school-related activities appeal to be influential as well. Furthermore, parental involvement is associated with multiple measures of student achievement, for the entire student population as well as for minority and low-income student populations. Overall, “the academic advantage for those parents who were highly involved in their education averaged about 0. 5-0. 6 of a standard deviation for overall educational outcomes, grades, and academic achievement” (Kim, 2009, p. 71).

Kim (2009) also stated that frequent contact between parents and their children’s preschools as well as parent participation in school-related activities, such as volunteering in the classroom or meeting with a teacher, appear to benefit children on a number of dimensions, including classroom performance and social interaction with peers and adults. One study reported that youngsters whose teachers perceive more parental involvement tend to exhibit fewer problems and higher language and math competencies compared to those whose teachers perceive less parental engagement.

The evidence also suggests that parental school involvement’s positive influences buffer against some of the negative effects of poverty. Does socioeconomic status (SES) play a role in whether parents actively participate in their children’s academic achievement? Shah (2009) reported that research over the past 30 years has shown that parents are critical contributors to student achievement. Parent involvement has been positively linked to indicators of teacher ratings of student competence, student grades, and achievement scores (Henderson and Mapp, 2002; Simon, 2004).

Given these rewards, the challenge for educators and policymakers has been to develop strategies and policies that foster school-parent collaborations. Unfortunately, addressing this challenge for all students has proven extremely difficult for school districts. As cited in (Shah, 2009), Shin (2004) stated that for numerous reasons, researchers have found that parents of racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse students often fail to participate in school activities. Organization of the Study

The first chapter of this study provides information on parental involvement. It also informs the reader about other aspects of parental involvement such as parents’ relationships with teachers and other school personnel and how these relationships affects students’ attitude, behavior, and academic achievement. Although parents participated more in their children’s education, societal factors has made it necessary that parents take an even more active role in their children’s education. Occasional visits or those that require parents’ presence does not dictate active roles.

The research question for this study is to examine what effects parental involvement has on students’ achievement and the impact of teacher-parent relationships? To answer this question, the following subquestions will be addressed: 1. What role do and can play in their child or children’s educational achievement? 2. In addition to student achievement, does parental involvement have an effect on students’ attitude or behavior? 3. How can school and school personnel increase parental involvement? Chapter II examines numerous research studies that focus on parental involvement and its effect on students’ achievement.

Chapter III will examine whether parents’ participation can have an effect on students’ attitude and/or behavior. Chapter IV will determine how schools can promote, increase, and sustain parental achievement so that parents can show that they are concerned about the educational well-being of their children. Chapter V will summarize research and other relevant information to determine the effects of parental involvement on students’ achievement; what roles parents can participate in actively; and how schools and school personnel can promote and maintain parental involvement.

It will also provide recommendations on active parental involvements within schools. In the final chapter, responses to parent and teacher questionnaire to provide answers to the main research questions along with sub-questions. Research Design & Methodology This study will make use of qualitative research. The study will also include a sample of both teachers and parents in the southwest area of Mississippi: Jefferson County and Claiborne County. Both schools include students of mixed backgrounds.

This study will examine parental involvement in respect to student achievement and parent-teacher relationships through an analysis of results of a questionnaire which will be hand-delivered to parents and teachers. The study sample will consist of two elementary, middle, and high schools in the southwest Mississippi: Claiborne and Jefferson Counties. These schools were selected because of their locations. Specifically, these schools are closer; therefore, it will be more convenient for the researcher.

Claiborne County schools have fewer than 1400 students and 75 full-time teachers; whereas Jefferson County schools have 1650 students and 82 full-time teachers. These schools represent typical schools for the area in terms of student population. Data for this study will be collected through The Questionnaire for Parents and Teachers which will be developed by the researcher. The survey will consist of 25 questions with a section for additional comments. A 5-point Likert-Type Scale was used with responses given the following values: Strongly disagree-1; Disagree-2’ No opinion-3; Agree-4; and Strongly Agree-5.

The data collected in this study will point to the impact of parental involvement and parent-teacher relationships: student achievement, attendance, behavior, and discipline problems. The data collected in this study will be shown in graphs, and should be viewed in light of the data reviewed from recent review of related literature. Since the instrument for the study is original, the content validity will be established by a panel of two professionals at Alcorn State University, a nearby university located approximately 17 miles.

The professors will study the instrument for content validity by analyzing its strengths and weaknesses. Necessary corrections will be made after the analysis. To elicit additional information about the effectiveness of parental involvement and teacher-parent relationships, student achievement, attendance, behavior, and discipline problems, an extensive questionnaire will be administered to 40 parents and 20 teachers from all three schools in both counties, which will be selected by the principals of each school.

The questionnaires will be administered during the second semester of the 2011-2012 school year. Chapter IV will present an analysis of the data collected by the research and the results of the questionnaire and responses. Chapter II Review of Literature Numerous studies have been conducted on parental involvements and its effect on students achievement and other variables. Schools and school personnel continue to seek ways to increase parents to become involved in their child’s or children’s academic achievement.

Although this may be true, parents continue to ignore the importance of providing support to their child and engaging actively in their child’s academic achievement. As stated by Keller (2008), school districts and teachers are working on approaches that encourage parent participation. They are also working diligently on developing methods, strategies, and techniques that will ensure that parents’ participation is productive. According to Harris and Goodall (2008), a study was conducted in the UK that explored the relationship between relationship between parental engagement and student achievement.

The 12-month research project was commissioned to explore the relationship between innovative work with parents and the subsequent impact upon student achievement. A main aim of the research project was to capture the views and voices of parents, students, and teachers and to explore the barriers to parental engagement and the respective benefits. Also, according to Harris and Goodall (2008), the study was qualitative in design and collected from 20 England schools and 314 respondents. Schools in the sample were selected to ensure that there was a broad geographical spread and a mixture of urban and rural schools.

There factors were also taken into account to ensure a diverse range of schools such as enrollment, socio-economic status (SES) and black minority ethnic (BME percentages). Case-study methodology was used as the prime method of data collection in the study. In addition, school data sets relating to student performance, behavior, and attendance were analyzed. These data sets allowed patterns and trends to be identified. This analysis formed the basis of the more detailed interrogation of the case-study evidence at each of the 20 sites.

The results of the findings highlight a number of barriers facing certain parents in supporting their children’s learning. It is clear that powerful social and economic factors still prevent many parents from fully participating in schooling. The research showed that schools rather than parents are often hard to reach. The research also found that while parents, teachers, and pupils tend to agree that parental engagement is an important factor, they also hold very different views about the purpose of engaging parents.

It is further clear that there is a major difference between involving parents in schooling and engaging parents in learning (Harris and Goodall, 2008). As cited by Reid (2008), Dalziel and Henthrone (2005) found empirical evidence to suggest that the attitudes and views of parents of non-attenders were different to those of regular, successful pupils. The seminal findings of Desforges and Abouchaar (2003) on the impact of parental involvement suggested that the influence of parents upon attainment and behavior was greater than that of the quality of the school. Cassen and Kingdom (2007) agreed.

Crucially, Feinstein, Duckworth and Sabates (2004) found in their systematic review of research on the relationship between parental involvement, parental support and family education upon pupils’ achievement and adjustment in schools that this influence can be generational. Certainly, in Wales, evidence indicates that a significant number of second, third, and fourth generational truant families exist (Reid, 2004a). Dale (1996) observed that often parents do not enjoy an equal relationship with professionals; they often lack the power to influence decision-making and the expertise to advocate for their children’s educational provision.

In a partnership between parents and professionals, equality does not necessarily mean that parents bring equal amounts of specialist knowledge, but that they can bring equivalent perspectives about their child’s functioning. However, parents who experience social exclusion or lack confidence in the education system may be less confident about becoming involved in their children’s education (Hartas, 2008). A study examined the effects of parental involvement and familismo on academic performance in Hispanic and Caucasian youth. Among Hispanic dolescents, the analyses statistically controlled for the effects of acculturation. The study had three objectives: whether Hispanic youth would report more parental involvement at home than at school; whether parental involvement had a positive relationship with academic performance in both Hispanic and Caucasian students; and examined the effect of familismo on academic performance. One hundred sixty-three students participated in the study. Forty-nine percent of the students were from a middle school and 51% were from a high school in a rural town in southeastern Idaho. Data was collected with ten self-report items.

The items assessed academic parental involvement in the home and academic parental involvement at the school. Fasmilismo was measured by the Attitudinal Familism Scale which had 18 items that examine four factors integral to the value of familismo – familial support measures the belief that family members have an obligation to support each other in all circumstances. For both groups of students, parental involvement was positively related to academic performance. Moreover, the effect of familismo on academic performance was fully mediated by parental involvement. References Anderson, K. J. & Minke, K. M. 2007 May/June). Parent involvement in education: Toward an understanding of parents’ decision making. The Journal of Educational Research, 100, (5), 311-23. Darling, S. (2008 July/August). Family must be a part of the solution in closing the achievement gap. Clearing House,81,(6), 245-246. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier Database. Epstein, J. L. (2008 February). Improving family and community involvement in secondary schools. Education Digest, 73, (6), 9-12. Harris, A. & Goodall, J. (2008 September). Do parents know they matter? Engaging all parents in learning. Educational Research, 50,(3), 277-289).

Hartas, D. (2008 June). Practices of parental participation: A case study. Educational Psychology in Practice, 24,(2), 139-153. Keller, B. (2008 September). Schools seek to channel parent involvement. Education Week, 27,(1), 11-15. Kim, C. C. (2009 July). Preparing for the new school year: Success begins at home. USA Today, 138,(2770), 69-71. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier Database. Lahaie, C. (2008 September). School readiness of children of immigrants: Does parental involvement play a role? Social Science Quarterly, 89,(3), 684-703. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier Database.

Niemeyer, A. E. , Wong, M. N. , & Westerhaus, K. J. (2009). Parental involvement, familisomo, and academic performance in Hispanic and Caucasian adolescents. North American Journal of Psychology, 11,(3), 613-632. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier Database. Reid, K. (2008 November). Behavior and attendance: The national picture, a synopsis. Educational Review, 60,(4), 333-344. Shah, P. (2009 March). Motivating participation: The symbolic effects of Latino representation on parent school involvement. Social Science Quarterly, 90,(1), 212-230. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier Database.

Sirvani, H. (2007 Fall). The effect of teacher communication with parents on students’ mathematics achievement. American Secondary Education 36,(1), 31-46. Suizzo, M. & Stapleton, L. M. (2007 August). Home-based parental involvement in young children’s education: Examining the effects of maternal education across U. S. ethnic groups. Educational Psychology, 27,(4) 533-556. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier Database. Voorhis, F. L. V. (2003). Interactive homework in middle school: Effects of family involvement and science achievement. The Journal of Educational Research, 96,(6), 323-338.


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