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Title:Parental involvement: an examination of principal sensemaking to engage low-income and/or minority parents
Author(s):Heinhorst, Jennifer
Director of Research:Hunter, Richard C.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Hunter, Richard C.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Alexander, S. Kern; Harris, Violet J.; Welton, Anjale D.
Department / Program:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Discipline:Ed Organization and Leadership
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ed.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):principal leadership
parental involvement
principal sensemaking
education administration
parental engagement
low-income parents
minority parents
Abstract:America’s schools seek to close the achievement gap by increasing the academic achievement of low-income and minority students. Parental involvement research asserts that parental involvement affects student academic success across all groups; however, few principals report the use of parental involvement strategies to increase student achievement. This qualitative study examined elementary principals working with low-income and minority student populations who express a commitment and take leadership actions to engage low-income and/or minority parents in the school process. This study used sensemaking theory to examine personal and professional factors influencing principals’ commitments, sensemaking and leadership actions to engage low-income and/or minority parents in the school process. Principals’ and low-income and/or minority parents’ perceptions and actions were studied through interviews, observations and concept mapping to analyze the phenomenon of low-income and/or minority parental involvement and to analyze principal sensemaking to engage low-income and/or minority parents in the school process. This study found that themes emerged related to principals’ epistemology, axiology, and ontology that influence principals’ current commitments, sensemaking, and leadership actions in practice. The strongest emerging themes related to epistemology associate with personal family experiences and influential individuals. The strongest emerging themes related to axiology associate with altruism, influence, and ownership. The strongest themes related to ontology associate with the connate meanings of parental involvement, planning for parental involvement, and principal tenacity.
Issue Date:2013-08-22
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/45326
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 Jennifer Heinhorst
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-08-22
Date Deposited:2013-08


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