Parent's Involvement and Student Academic Achievement Term Paper

Pages: 6 (1565 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Children

Parental Involvement and Student Achievement

More and more researchers are focusing on the role parental involvement plays in student achievement and success within the classroom and without. Multiple studies confirm the need for more active participation not only from teachers but also from parents. Parents who are involved in their children's academic life are more likely to participate in community enrichment, and students with actively engaged parents are more likely to succeed in the world of academia and perform better academically. These ideas and more are explored below.

Necessity of Parental Involvement in Children's Academic Life

The more parents become involved with their children's academic life and schools the more likely schools will improve, or at least that is valid based on evidence uncovered by Machen, Notar & Wilson (2005). In this groundbreaking study the researchers show that parental involvement is a key component in transforming public schools and encouraging them to conform to higher standards (p. 13). The researchers also notes that engaging parents "in an active role in the school curriculum can open alternative opportunities for children to succeed in academics" (Machen, Notar & Wilson, 13).

Many researchers have identified a need to engage families and even community members as partners in the academic process (Machen, Notar & Wilson, 2005). A schools success is often linked to community success, and parents can play an important role in improving school sand improving student achievement (Machen, Notar & Wilson, 2005).

Benefits Parental Involvement

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Parental involvement in children's academic life spurns higher academic achievement, greater self-confidence and security in the classroom, and enables better and more productive relationships between parents and teachers.

Term Paper on Parent's Involvement and Student Academic Achievement I Assignment

Sartor & Youniss (2002) conducted a study exploring the role of parental support and monitoring on identity achievement during adolescence. Their study suggests that parents are capable of socializing children by establishing rules and communication, and the degree and quality of parental involvement both in and outside of school "has a major impact on adolescent development" (p. 221). The authors conclude that greater involvement results in positive identity achievement among adolescents. Students with stronger self-perceptions and confidence were also more likely to perform well within the academic study according to the results of the study.

Parental involvement is linked with better school adjustment and more engagement among students (Machen, Notar & Wilson, 13). Further students whose parents are involved in school processes are less likely to suffer from depression associated with school related problems (Machen, Notar & Wilson, 2005). Still other studies suggest that student learning in reading is improved with parental volunteerism particularly when parents take a "strong interest in their education" (Machen, Notar & Wilson, 2005; Munoz, 2000).

Parents who are involved send the message to children that they care not only about their success but also their accomplishments. Students are more likely to feel confident and secure when parents are involved in the classroom (Machen, Notar & Wilson, 2005).

Still other studies suggest that parental involvement in school leads to better learning and reading skills attainment on standardized tests and general assessments of students learning (Hawes & Plourde, 005).

Accruing Advantages to Parents and Children

Parental involvement in children's education benefits parents and children alike. Students whose parents are more involved are more likely to exhibit increasing self-confidence, positive self-esteem and more likely to do better on reading and other skills tests in an academic context (Machen, Notar & Wilson, 2005; Nistler & Angela, 2000). These effects are not limited to the elementary level, but are also seen even at the high school level when parents more often participate in extracurricular activities with their children (Nistler & Angela, 2000).

Studies suggest that parents are more likely to develop positive relationships with educators and teachers, infuse their children with confidence and have a more comfortable understanding of their role in education when they are more involved in their children's academic life (Nistler & Angela, 2000). Parents are also more likely to exhibit more self-confidence and less negative attitudes toward teaching particularly if from low socioeconomic environments when more actively involved in the learning process (Sartor & Younnis, 2002).

Parents may also benefit by becoming more active members of their community as studies show that parental involvement often coincides with collaborative efforts among teachers and community members (Sartor & Younnis, 2002). This in turn can lead to stronger communities and more confident children who will ultimately shape and maintain those communities over time.

How To Get Parents Involved

For parents to get involved they must feel welcomed and encouraged by educators and administrators. Teachers, principles and support staff must all work collaboratively to encourage parental involvement in the classroom. Many times parents fail to participate or volunteer their time because they are uncertain what avenues are available for them to participate. Still others hesitate to participate due to negative attitudes or perceptions about the classroom environment, or an inability to adapt their schedule around that made available by educators. For these reasons greater collaboration is necessary between parents, educators and administrators to ensure adequate involvement at all levels of the educational process.

Many studies have examined methods for involving parents in their children's academic lives. Nistler & Angela (2000) suggest a parent-student program involving parents in the child's classroom one day every week can encourage greater collaboration between parents and teachers and result in improved literacy and student achievement. For this to work teachers must invite parents into the classroom and provide flexibility of scheduling so parents don't feel pressured to come and parents can work around often busy schedules. Much of the research conducted thus far suggests that many parents are interested in increasing levels of involvement, but many are not able to get involved due to time restraints or complications with scheduling (Nistler & Angela, 2000). Greater flexibility on the part of educators and administrators may help alleviate some of this strain and result in greater participation.

Teachers must work directly with parents to encourage participation and volunteering. Parental efforts and educational administrators efforts can improve parental interest and involvement, particularly in early childhood intervention programs (Machen, Notar & Wilson, 2005). Studies suggest that in many cases parents fail to get involved because the feel uncomfortable around teachers; this is particularly the case for parents with children in low income rural areas or with parents of children of special needs (Machen, Notar & Wilson, 2005).

In these cases it is doubly important that personnel within the school work together and identify low-income or at risk parents including those with little formal education and take a more active role in encouraging participation in a non-threatening environment (Machen, Notar & Wilson, 2005). Teachers can do this by creating more opportunities for parents to communicate with the school in a positive setting, reducing any barriers that exist to involvement by providing sitters or child care for example, that enable parents to attend school functions and by providing educational workshops for parents "that will serve to increase the parents ability to be more aware of their children's academic potential and aspirations" (Machen, Notar & Wilson, 13). Teachers can also request additional parent teacher conferences during times that are flexible and accommodating to parents busy or work schedules, as this is often a barrier to communication and participation (Nistler & Angela, 673).

Conclusions and Recommendations

Parental involvement is increasingly recognized as essential in education (Hawes & Plourde, 2005). Even lawmakers are beginning to understand the relevance parental involvement has on a child's ability to succeed (Hawes & Plourde, 2005). The cumulative effects of parental involvement are many.

Study after study show that regardless of socioeconomic status, race or other environmental factors a direct correlation exists between "parents involvement and students achievement" (Hawes & Plourde, 47). Student self-confidence, perceptions of identity and self-esteem may also improve when parents are more involved in… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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