Date Approved

7-23-2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ed.D. Educational Leadership

Department

Educational Leadership

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Doolittle, Virginia

Subject(s)

Education, Elementary--Parent participation

Disciplines

Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration

Abstract

Parental involvement in children's education remains low, despite evidence that families have a huge influence on children's achievement. Major researchers in the field (Allen, 2009; Comer, 1988; Epstein, 1985; Lawrence-Lightfoot, 2003; Mapp, 1997) have identified many factors that may create barriers to family involvement. These factors include cultural, racial, and economic differences between the staff and families, parents' apprehension when confronting experts, work schedules, inadequate childcare, lack of transportation, and lastly, lack of effective communication. Fullan (1993) claims teacher education is not only the problem but also the solution. Through interviews and conversations this study examines the experiences and perceptions of parents and teachers school-home relationship and explore how they could move from parental involvement to parental engagement. Implementation of these suggestions may improve the relationships between parents and teachers, while creating the capacity for parents to be deeply engaged in their children's learning and invested in the school. Using Joyce Epstein's Conceptual framework for parent involvement as a conceptual framework for analysis, the experience and perspectives of parents and teachers indicate communication and teacher training program are needed to move parents from parent involvement to parent engagement.

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