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Title:A study of parental information seeking and implications for school choice
Author(s):Hu, Haibin
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Coombs, Fred S.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Administration
Education, Secondary
Education, Philosophy of
Abstract:This study was designed to investigate the information seeking process of parents in choosing schools of preferences. To accomplish this goal, this research pursued parents living in Williamsburg-James City County, Virginia, where families presently are unable to choose schools within the public education system. A total of forty parents from two middle schools were randomly selected and interviewed by phone or in person to collect data which would answer pre-designed hypothetical questions including: (1) What factors would influence the decision of a parent if he is allowed to choose between two public schools in his residential area? (2) What would be some of the selection criteria upon which the parent bases his decision? (3) What kind of information would be most critical to assist the parent's decision making? and (4) What conduct or activities would be engaged in by the parent in gathering, interpreting, and applying this information to help his decision-making? The study then explored the implications of the findings from the above questions as they relate to the on-going public school choice reform.
Conclusions from this study were: (1) Parents, when offered options, will likely choose a school of desire based on a set of criteria meaningful to themselves, which may consist of human, physical, academic and atmospheric factors; (2) Parents, when learning about school options, will likely employ a wide variety of information sources, and parents of different SES classes tend to rely on different types of sources; (3) The efficacy of various school information sources may vary; (4) Parents of different SES classes will likely display differing behaviors in their information seeking; (5) Advantaged parents will likely be better informed in making school choice decisions, although the extent of such advantage is hardly quantifiable; and (6) Disadvantaged parents will likely suffer from information deficiencies in making school choice decisions. In light of this evidence and analysis, some recommendations were made to state and local policymakers as well as future researchers in this area.
Issue Date:1996
Rights Information:Copyright 1996 Hu, Haibin
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9702543
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9702543

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