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Title:How Teachers and Parents Perceive Parental Involvement in Elementary Schools
Author(s):Hegenbart, Gary Lee
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Elementary
Abstract:Purpose. This study examined perceptions of elementary school teachers and parents about parent involvement practices, reasons, and problems. The following five categories of elementary school parent involvement activities were developed after a review of literature and collaboration with elementary school parents, teachers, and administrators: (1) Parents passive and teachers dominant in the educational process; (2) Mutual parent/teacher communications about educational matters; (3) Joint teaching by parents and teachers, with parents helping teachers at school and teachers helping parents establish educational environments at home; (4) Joint parent/teacher decision-making about school policies, curriculum, and events; (5) Parental control of school personnel, procedures, and policies.
The intent of the study was to gather perceptual information for planning by school administrators.
Procedures. A three-part questionnaire entitled Parent Involvement Survey (Teacher and Parent Forms) was developed using procedures designed to blend practical application (collaboration with elementary parents, teachers, and administrators) and educational research findings. Part I comprised fifteen practices (three from each of the five categories) for subjects to compare their actual versus ideal participation. Part II listed fifteen reasons for, or benefits of, parent involvement. Part III contained twenty-one potential problems with parent involvement. All three parts employed a Likert-type scale to determine perceptions.
Questionnaires were mailed to every classroom teacher and 25% of the elementary parents in Champaign, Illinois Unit Four Schools. Results were based on an 84% teacher response and a 64% parent response (n = 138 and n = 326 respectively).
ANOVAs and t-tests were used to test for significant differences in teacher and parent perceptions, both district-wide and for each of ten elementary schools.
Findings. (1) Teachers and parents differ in their views of current, actual parent involvement practices; with teachers perceiving more involvement than parents. Teachers perceive practices in Categories 1, 2, and 3 to occur; while parents perceive only Categories 1 and 2. (2) Elementary school teachers and parents differ in their views of ideal parent involvement practices. Teachers feel participation in Categories 1, 2, and 3 should exist; but parents feel there should be some involvement in all five Categories. (3) Although parents' feelings are stronger, both parents and teachers feel they should be more involved with each other than they currently are. (4) Parents have stronger feelings about reasons for, or benefits of, involvement than teachers do. Both agree that parent involvement: (1) improves student attitudes, achievement, and behavior; and (2) enhances parent/teacher relationships. They also both agree that teachers want parents to become more involved in education. Parent dissatisfaction with schools, poor teaching or parenting practices, and personal teacher or parent motives are all rejected as reasons for parent involvement. (5) Teachers and parents differ slightly in their perceptions of problems with parent involvement. Both agree that time, unequal representation on parent/teacher advisory committees, unimportant parent/teacher meetings, and existing high satisfaction with schools pose problematic conditions. Teachers sense two problems with parents: (1) keeping time commitments, and (2) respecting the confidentiality of school information. Also problematic is teachers' apathy in becoming more involved with parents. Fourteen potential problems with elementary school parent involvement are not perceived to be significant by either parents or teachers.
Detailed recommendations for action to aid school systems implementing or planning elementary school parent involvement programs, and implications for further research are included at the end of the study.
Issue Date:1980
Description:178 p.
Thesis (Educat.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1980.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8108536
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-12
Date Deposited:1980

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