Parent participation in the students’ education is a very important concept that keeps the child attached to school and therefore learning made as successful as possible. The educators have recommended that parents should take active roles in assisting their children to learn.
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This is especially important for those students who present learning disabilities and therefore need special program that go beyond the normal school curriculum. However in general, all students require the participation of their parents. There are a number of ways that parents can be involved and this has been addressed in a number of researches.
This project is an examination of these studies concerning the role played by parents as they get involved in the school activities on the motivation of the students. There are a number of parent involvement styles that have been assessed by previous studies. They include volunteering, meeting with staff, attendance of parent classes, and home involvement among others.
Literature Review: The Role of Attitudes, Beliefs, and Perceptions in Student Learning
The studies show that parent involvement is a very important variable and that it has a positive correlation with performance of eh students. As a result, more and more schools are now considering the important of this variable and they are developing programs that encourage parents to get involved more in their children’s (student’s) education.
Based from the recent trends, it is imperative to recognize what entails parent involvement and in what manner does it influence the academic performance of the children. In this paper, parent involvement is simply looked at as the relationship between the parent and the school.
In a study by Deutscher and Ibe 2003, p. 2, under the review of the Epstein paper, the study discusses that children learn and grow in three overlapping spheres of influence.
These spheres include the family where they are born and brought up, the schools they attend to learn new life skill and the larger community where they stay. These there sources of influence need to be in partnership so that they can evoke the best out of the child (Deutscher & Ibe 2003, p. 2).
Still the paper discusses six kinds of involvement that can be drawn from the association of the family school and the community. They include parenting skills, communication, learning at home, working together with the community, volunteering and decision making. This is why the teachers’ and administrators’ attitude and beliefs have been that parent involvement is very important.
As the importance of parent involvement continues to be witnessed, the parents themselves have also growing to like being involved. Many parents now take a keen interest in the academics of their children as well as in the activities of the schools that their children go to (Deutscher and Ibe 2003, p. 4).
More and more parent s are now working with their children on their homework and many more often talk to their children concerning topic that are related to school work. Some parents even volunteer to accompany student s on school fieldtrips.
The authors present the outcomes in a manner that shows that there is a positive attitude and belief regarding their involvement in school activities. Besides, the school administration also appreciates involvement of parent because of the outcomes that have been observed over the past years.
There is an ever growing interest in the performance of students in relation to the role their parent’s involvement play (Castello & Pepe, 2008, p. 2).
In the past two decades, the have been a number of scientific papers and reports done about the implication of the school administrations and how families or parent are included in the education systems. Most of the findings are considered subjective impression because many of the studies were qualitative. (Castello & Pepe 2008) carried out a bibliometric study to assess the school-parent relationships.
There has been increased study of psychology paper that deal with parent involvement in school. This means that the important of this subject is significantly expressed in research. Parent involvement is important for better performance of students according to Castello & Pepe, 2008, p. 6.
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Hill and Tyson, 2009, carried out a research using meta-analysis methods on the current papers addressing the impact of parent-school relationship of the Middle school children.
This was set to assess whether there was significant relationship between the parental involvement methods and performance. In over 50 papers assessed, the outcomes indicated that there was a very strong positive correlation between parent school relationship and the performance of the students.
The relationships that entailed academic socialization had the best positive association with academic performance (Hill & Tyson, 2009, p. 745). Teacher and parents perception are based on current studies and therefore they all tend to work together for the deemed positive outcomes.
Jeynes, 2007, p. 84, conducted a meta-analysis for 52 studies on parental involvement in school activities and the outcome on the students in the urban high schools. The results of these studies indicate that there is significant relationship to specific components involved (socio-economic status and race). The most positive correlation rates were observed among the white families and the minority families.
Based on the observation and the interviews conducted with the teachers, school administrators and the parents, it is evident that the parents’ attitude towards the school and the teachers is often influenced to determine how active they get involved.
Even thought the teachers and the parent both value the participation of parents in the school activities and program in an active manner, the two groups’ perception and beliefs were affected by different factors (Driessen et al., 2005, p. 513).
In the case of the parents, their involvement in the school activities was influenced based on their personal beliefs and feelings towards the teachers and other parents. It was very hard to determine how these personal feelings came up but one major presumption is that probably some parent did not just respect the profession or disliked very powerful and strong character of other parents.
Most of the parents who did not want to be involved with the parent council due to person reasons towards the teachers or another parent involved also avoided other activities that would bring them together (Driessen et al., 2005, p. 513).
In terms of evaluating the attitude, this kind of behavior was an indication of a very strong impact of the parents’ perception of the school leadership, its capabilities and therefore participation in school activities (Pena, 2003, p. 13).
One of the responses was quite mesmerizing and it was about comparing how conflict between teacher and parent was resolved. This was to evaluate the conflict management abilities and methods used. The outcomes of the study did not find any significant differences in terms of the arguments presented.
The school-parent relationship has not been very good in the past decades but parents and teachers are realizing that working together makes managing students easier.
The teacher can have better understanding of the students since they exchange a lot of information with their parent (Pena, 2003, p. 13). Parent on the other hand can understand how their children behave when they are not watching or when they are under the watch of teachers at school.
School-based involvement of teachers presents very good opportunity for their children to learn and perform much better. This is because this type if interaction can include visits to classroom and socialization amount the teacher students and parents.
These interaction are effective in increasing the knowledge of parents concerning the school curriculum, what the student should always do, enhances social capital and therefore the result is that involvement at home will be optimal (Jeynes, 2007, p. 745).
As the child goes through the school, further interaction between the parents and the teachers builds mutual respect and positive perception of teachers concerning the degree to which the parents valued their children’s education. With such attitude from both sides, there will be mutual respect.
Parent will respect the teachers, the profession, the school and the teacher will perceive parents as supporters and partners in the provision of education to the students (Jeynes, 2007, p. 745). With mutual respect and relationship, the students are at an advantage position to benefit from support offered by parent and teachers. Their opportunities to learn are therefore enhanced.
Based on the findings of the study, I can suggest that there needs to be a continuous education program for the teachers and not strictly the administration. This will enable them to learn intentional methods of handling and resolving conflicts.
The conflict could be among the teaching staff or between a teacher and a parent. Essentially, this is because, the parents come from a very wide range of background and all of them cannot get the training to make them socialize well (Jeynes, 2007, p. 745).
However, the teachers who constantly have to deal with parent because of the nature of their career, they have a role to ensure that they can handle conflict because that is what they will have to do for the next 5, 10, 20, or 30 years they are in teaching profession.
This means that that will be their life, to deal with difficult parents. The intentional means of resolving conflicts will teach the parent better ways of managing conflicts based on the prevailing situations.
Teachers will be better positioned so that instead of viewing conflict with parents are evidence of lack of support from parents, the teacher will be able to appreciate the benefits of assessing conflict as a normal and acceptable occurrence. In fact this is healthy and necessary as parent and teachers work towards common goals of achieving the best performance among the students.
Parents will help in classroom efficiency by since student will come to school better prepared for class. Most students will get to do their home works and they will also learn to respect and appreciate teachers and parents when they work together. This way, they are likely to pay more attention to class work.
As a result, they will have better performance because of the unique experience resulting from the cooperation between the parent and the school. In a very short span of time, the students will even be more independent and develop attachment to the school. Cases of absenteeism will reduce significantly.
My plan as a future teacher will entail ensuring that the students in the class have opportunity and access to learn. This means that I will encourage parent participation even in times of conflict since they are opportunities for the teacher and parent to learn and grow.
I will set up a program for parents to visit the school to discuss their children’s (students) performance. In case there is a challenging relationship with a parent, then I will chose to compromise and cooperate since parents as providers and protectors of their children have to objectively take concern in the things the school wants to do.
Castello, S., & Pepe, A. (2008). School-parents Relationship: A Bibliometric Study on 40 years of scientific publications. International Journal of Parents in Education, 2(1), p. 1-12
Deutscher, R., & Ibe, M. 2003. Relationship between Parental Involvement and Children’s Motivation. Apple Valley, California: Lewis Center for Educational Research.
Driessen, G., Smit, F., & Sleegers, P. (2005). Parental Involvement and Educational Achievement. British Educational Research Journal, 31, pp. 509 –532
Hill, N.E., & Tyson, D.F. (2009). Parental Involvement in Middle School: A Meta-Analytic Assessment of the Strategies That Promote Achievement. Developmental Psychology, 45(3), pp. 740–763
Jeynes, W.H. (2007). The Relationship between Parental Involvement And Urban Secondary School Student Academic Achievement: A Meta-Analysis. Urban Education, 42, pp. 82–110
Pena, D. (2003). Parent Involvement: Influencing Factors and Implications. Journal of Educational Research, 94(1), pp. 13