The roles of teachers and parents are shifting due to the changing socio-economic conditions that force parents to spend more time at work, making the roles of teachers look more like those of parents. At the same time, parents have to perform the duties of educators at home and take an active part in educational activities in terms of academic curriculum in case a student is not able to perceive the material effectively.
As such, the role of parents in school administration is very important as is allows all stakeholders to benefit, especially students who are proven to perform better in the framework of academic curriculum when their parents are actively involved in school administration.
Aims and objectives
The aims of this dissertation proposal include identifying potential benefits of parental involvement in school administration for students’ performance and the roles of other stakeholders in this case with regard to the emerging need for such measures and likelihood of parents to partake in management activities. The objectives of this proposal include the following:
- Identify the current roles of stakeholders;
- Trace the tendencies in academic administration;
- Suggest possible ways for combining the roles of parents with educating activities;
- Analyse the experience of student management in schools by parents;
- Evaluate theoretical frameworks available on the issue;
- Apply theoretical models to the current situation.
It is necessary to identify the roles of parents in student management and possible benefits in students’ academic performance.
Historic role of education. The necessity of developing intellectual skills have been analysed by many researchers that also emphasised education as means for reaching outstanding results. Chambers and Chambers (1854) explain that “The instincts and mental peculiarities of the brute creation, notwithstanding their immeasurable inferiority to the mind of man have hitherto presented very high difficulties in the way of their rational explanation” (p. 1).
As claimed by Friedman (1955), special treatment of education in society has long been discussed:
Education is today largely paid for, and almost entirely administered by governmental bodies or non-profit institutions. This has developed gradually and is now taken so much for granted that little explicit attention is any longer directed to the reasons for the special treatment of education even in countries that are predominantly free enterprise in organization and philosophy (par. 2).
As such, education should be perceived not merely as the formal activity that enables a student to obtain a diploma but as a process that enables people to attain their goals in life, obtain higher positions in terms of professional development, and play active role in the social changes.
International experience. International experience in terms of academic curriculum and administration should be taken into account while special attention should be given to the ways students from other countries are treated with regard to the parent involvement in school administration. For instance, “… as Islam expanded to other regions and came into contact with other indigenous traditions and languages, it became necessary to create a cadre of Muslim experts who would develop sophisticated writings and textbooks…
Thus began the tradition of Madrassa” (Anzar, 2003, p. 3). Across the world, Christian churches have been building schools for both the young and the old over the last 1000 years by following the model used in Ancient Greece.
Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs) or Board of Governors (BOGs) run schools in different countries all over the world becoming active participants of the management process being able to influence the curricula and other aspects that they consider as harmful or ineffective for children, at the same time, introducing innovative measures into school administration.
“Involving parents in their own children’s education at home is not enough… to ensure the quality of schools as institutions serving the community, parents must be involved at all levels in the school” (Allison & Canadian Education Association, 2004). A possible improvement would come in the form of parents taking on teaching and mentorship roles among the students (Lucas, 2006).
Current situation. School teachers and administrators have difficulties accommodating the increasing demands placed on them by parents and the ever-improving education curricula that countries all over the world are adapting. As such, Jones (2010) suggests that “lack of parental support can also lead to teachers taking on the role of parents” (2010, p. 2).
Administrators and teachers therefore face the increasing challenge of staying true to the ideals of schooling or adapting quasi-parental roles in the school setting. This approach has deepened with the creation of boarding schools, especially in middle-income and low-income countries in which students cannot afford to go back home on a daily basis.
Scholastic (2009) indicates that benefits of adapting the hybrid educational model are obvious: “Students whose parents are part of their school-life earn better grades and higher test scores, attend school more regularly, exhibit better social skills, and adapt better to school.” Moreover, parents can track the activities and progress of their children, enabling the educators to identify and solve problems related to the academic progress of students immediately with active parents.
“Parental involvement allows parents to monitor school and classroom activities, and to coordinate their efforts with teachers. Teachers of students with highly involved parents tend to give greater attention to those students…” (Education, 2005).
Possible solutions. The home setup can complement the school system since children naturally expect to learn from their parents. At the same time, parents may not have special skills for providing their children with educational instructions.
The proliferation of the Home-Schooling movement across the world bears witness to the effectiveness of parents as educators and children as students in the home setting, “These are wonderful opportunities to get to know your children and have them get to know you” (Joye, 2005).
In this respect, parents can play a crucial role in school management in terms of helping students and guiding them as well as providing support and evaluating the best practices to be adopted by educational institutions.
Epstein’s six types of parent involvement. Examples of hybrid systems that have benefited students abound across the globe can be easily found in most contemporary educational institutions whereas the Epstein’s Six Types of Parent Involvement model is considered to be the most favoured one.
In this approach, parental participation in education involves six areas comprising home and school activities (ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management, 2001). First on the list of offered activities is parenting, that entails helping families to setup homes that encourage children in their academic endeavours.
Second is communicating that involves utilization of home-to-school and school-to-home systems of communication about student programs and student progress, “Some teachers involved parents in academic activities such as reading and tutoring, while other teachers turned to parents to relieve them of duties that otherwise would get in the way of teaching” (Education Oasis, 2001).
The next on the list is volunteering and participation using parental support to recruit and organize. The fourth is home lessons, where families receive ideas on how to help students with curriculum-related material. Fifth is decision making and participation where parents participate in school decisions and administrative processes (ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management, 2001).
Parental involvement factsheet of Michigan. According to the Parental Involvement Factsheet of the state of Michigan, USA, the involvement of parents in school administration are manifold (Michigan Department of Education, 2002).
One of the most important benefits listed in the Parental Involvement Factsheet is that intense parental involvement produces improved student performance progressively and when parents are involved, students have higher grades and graduation rates, better school attendance, increased motivation, better self-esteem, lower rates of suspension, decreased use of drugs and alcohol, and fewer instances of violent behaviour (Michigan Department of Education, 2002).
As such, it is essential for parents to partake in educational activities for school management. A study by British researchers shows that parents are eager to be involved in their children’s education: “In total, nearly three quarters (72%) of parents agreed that they would like more involvement, but only a third (35%) ‘definitely’ agreed” (Williams, Williams & Ullman, 2002). This shows that most parents would participate in educating their child if only they receive guidance on how to do it.
As a part of the dissertation proposal, a list of methods should be provided to outline the main area of research, data collection opportunities, data analysis opportunities and limitations, sampling methods if surveys or other experiments are to be used. As such, it is necessary to emphasise that this should be qualitative rather than quantitative research-based mostly on secondary sources, whereas opinion polls can become a great part of the research leading it to another direction.
As this is a proposal, it is likely that the focus of the research will change as soon as the process of collecting the materials starts. In this respect, there are few proposed fields for research as it goes:
- The research focuses on the role of parents in school administration in terms of parental involvement into the educational process in terms of support, tracking progress, contributing to improving progress and increasing motivation, and other issues. In this case, it is preferable to analyse grades information from educational institutions before and after adapting active parental involvement models. The research, in this case, would be quantitative, aimed at identifying the positive changes reflected in students’ grades. Besides, it is possible to analyse emotional constraints if children dislike their parents being involved in their academic activities. Conducting a survey among educators give an insight of the educational perspective on the issue of parental involvement. At the same time, it is necessary to obtain written consents from all stakeholders regarding the information permitted for publication and data that should be provided for counting and forming the visual presentation of effects without disclosing personal information.
- The research focuses on the roles of parents in school administration in terms of parents and students involved only. As such, it might be a merely qualitative research including questionnaires with open-ended questions where parents may tell about their perception of the school administration activities and if they consider it effective or ineffective with regard to students’ performance. At the same time, it is necessary to know the opinion of students and their ability to study under severe parental control. It is essential to identify how students perceive parental involvement and administration in educational institutions where the model is already adapted and in those that still do not have active parental involvement. Moreover, it is possible to analyse the general tendencies if students want their parents to spend more time and effort on their education and what effects they expect parental involvement to have on their academic progress.
Problems in the current research proposed may be related to obtaining a written consent from parents, educators, and students to access the grade records and analyse those. Moreover, it is necessary to decide on the direction to be selected for the research concerning more attention given to the perception of active parental involvement model or on the shifts that take place in roles of parents and educators.
At the same time, it is possible to analyse students and their insight of the situation; asking students if they like active involvement of their parents in academic activities and comparing perceptions of all stakeholders including the ministry of education as the main body that suggests and recommends certain systems to be adapted.
Allison, P. A., & Canadian Education Association, 2004. Parents’ participation in school improvement processes. Toronto: Canadian Education Association.
Anzar, U., 2003. A brief history of madrassas with comments on curricula and current pedagogical practices. Narrative. Cairo: Al-Azhar University Press.
Chambers, W. & Chambers, R., 1854. Chambers’s papers for the people. Edinburgh: Lippincott.
Education Oasis, 2001. Working with parents: advice from teachers. Web.
ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management, 2001. About parent involvement. Web.
Friedman, M., 1955. The role of government in education. Economics and the Public Interest. Piscataway, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Jones, B., 2010. Challenges that teachers face in the classroom. Web.
Joye, C. W., 2005. Homeschooling more than one child. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse.
Liesen, L. T., 1999. Mother nature: a history of mothers, infants, and natural selection. New York, NY: Pantheon Books.
Lucas, B., 2006. Involving parents in schools. London: Continuum International Publishing Group.
Michigan Department of Education, 2002. Final Parent Involvment Work Sheet. Web.
Scholastic, 2009. Parent involvement. Web.
U.S. Department of Education, 2005. Parent involvement in schools. Web.
Williams, B., Williams, J., & Ullman, A., 2002. parental involvement in education. Norwich: Queen’s Printer Department for Education and Skills.