Does Parental and Teacher Involvement Help Students Education? Thesis

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Parental Involvement in Educational Outcomes

There is conclusive evidence that the involvement of parents in their children's education results in more positive educational outcomes (Hoover- Dempsey, & Sandler, 1995). However, there is a dissonance between educators and parents in that there is effectively no structured framework to facilitate such an integrative relationship (Hoover- Dempsey, Walker, & Jones, 2007). For the purposes of expanding the current field of research, this paper proposes a longitudinal cross sectional non- experimental study which will address not simply the parent, the teacher, or the child but rather all three working cohesively together throughout the course of that child's education. Though educational outcome is the dependent variable which is being studied in this instance it should be acknowledged that there is a great deal of developmental and emotional impact on children whose parents become involved in their academic endeavors, this is perhaps an area of probative further research.

Introduction

Standardized test results in the United States have shown there is an immediate need to affect change in the educational outcomes of children in elementary and high school. Not only are grades suffering, but also the number of children successfully completing high school and continuing their education is also decreasing. The dropout rate of students in the first year of university is on the rise as well (Hill et al., 2009). It is imperative that schools, parents, and guardians make every effort to improve the currently dire situation of the education system in the United States.

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Research regarding various intervention strategies implemented in schools has shown degrees of improvement; however the results have not been significant. It is clear that intervention in schools alone is not sufficient. Parents, families, and legal guardians must also become involved in the process of educating children. This full circle approach necessitates parental involvement not only in homework but also active participation in school events and even in the classroom (Hoover- Dempsey et al., 1992). Teachers and parents must work together to ensure positive educational outcomes.

Thesis on Does Parental and Teacher Involvement Help Students Education? Assignment

The current dissonance between parents and teachers though is not the result of animosity, nor is it a result of inadequate parenting and teaching. There is however a significant lack in the development of skills educators need in order to effectively involve parents and families in their children's schooling (Hoover- Dempsey, Walker, & Jones, 2007). The lack of these skills has lead to ineffective and inaccurate subjective assessment of individual roles within the achievement of educational outcomes.

Parents and guardians also are under scrutiny. The decision to participate is a personal one based on an individual assessment of the role of parent as well as educational background, financial obligations, and even the nature or presence of invitations to participate in a child's education (Yap, & Enoki 1995). There are a multitude of internal as well as external forces acting continually on the role a parent plays in their child's education, a role that changes continuously as a necessary result of the maturation of the child in question.

Hypothesis & Null Hypothesis

Current research indicates that the missing factor in improving educational outcomes is parental involvement. Though the research regarding the specific mode of involvement is still ongoing, that the family needs to support and facilitate educational goals is empirically supported by studies across cultures and socioeconomic cohorts (Steinberg et al., 1992). Further, the best results are observed when parents become involved in the school as well as the school work of their child. Though educational outcomes are currently the relative standard for success in this instance, it should be noted that there is significant emotional and developmental impact resulting from parental involvement in a child's education (Sui- Chu, & Willms, 1996).

H:

Parental involvement in school affairs as well as their children's school work will result in improved educational outcomes for minors.

Ho:

Parental involvement in school affairs as well as their children's school work will not result in improved educational outcomes for minors.

Literature Review

A thorough survey of English language research in the field of educational outcomes was conducted for the purposes of developing a probative and unique study within this field. It was determined that while there are substantial bodies of literature regarding the ability of educators to incorporate parents into classroom activities, and the role of parents in their children's academic performance there was no unifying study which integrated both perspectives over the duration of a child's pre- collegiate education. Though all current research suggests an integrated approach, it is interesting that no group had undertaken the task of conducting such a study. However, the difficulty and time necessary to successfully study the construct of integrated parent and teacher efforts for a positive educational outcome is prohibitive of any smaller independent researchers taking on the project.

Reasons for Parental Involvement

Every parent develops a subjective definition of what their role as a parent entails. It is this definition which will ultimately determine the degree to which they involve themselves with their child's education and the ultimate outcome of their schooling (Deforges & Abouchaar, 2003). There are several factors which necessarily affect the development of this highly personal definition, and are subsequently of interest in the context of this study. This internal conception of parenting is complemented by external factors such as invitations from the school and from teachers to actively participate in class as well as entreaties from the child to take a more or less active role in their education (Deforges & Abouchaar, 2003). All of these factors are implicit in the decision not only of whether or not to get involved but also the degree of involvement.

Factors Affecting Parental Decision to Participate

The social class of the family has been determined to be one of the most influential factors influencing whether or not a parent or parents involve themselves with their child's education. This factor has been shown to be more influential even than the ethnicity of the family in question (McLoyd, 1998). It is theorized that families with a higher socioeconomic standing are able to devote more time to their children's education through regular school involvement and participation in parent teacher conferences than families of lower socioeconomic status. Further, more financially comfortable parents have been shown to identify as more competent and qualified to participate in their child's classes.

Another factor in the decision to become involved in a child's education is the gender of the parent spending the most time with the child, in other words the parent most likely to be called upon to help with homework or to participate in school activities (Lareau, 1987). Historically, this role has been reserved for the mother. With more mothers working full time both before and after the birth of children, and working away from the home, it is becoming more of a realistically egalitarian role. However, the inclusion of this characteristic in a subjective definition of "parenting" is much less common in the father (Cabrera et al., 2000). This is a factor also heavily influenced by the ethnicity of the family. In certain cultures, rearing of the children included there in the involvement in that child's education is strictly the domain of the female caregiver. In such situations if that female caregiver is not present to assist the child, then the child will not experience the same level of involvement as other children within the same socioeconomic bracket (Cabrera et al., 2000).

Influence of Parental Involvement

Parental involvement has been shown to have several extremely positive outcomes not only educationally but also in terms of personal development. Children who have enjoyed parental support and involvement in their academic pursuits exhibit more positive self regard as well as a greater degree of comfort and confidence in their ability to achieve learning outcomes (Perna & Titus, 2005). Also, children whose parents were involved in their education are more likely to ultimately pursue further degrees upon the completion of high school. There are a number of theories related to this substantial difference between children of involved and uninvolved parents. Chief among those theories is that children of involved parents have a greater sense of self-worth. Their subjective assessment of their own intrinsic value is highly significant in the determined pursuance of higher education which is largely accomplished independently (Eccles & Harold, 1993). Only those children who have developed a sense of ability accomplishment and entitlement will ultimately seek and succeed in higher education.

Interaction Between Professional Educators and Parents

Though teachers are aware that they must work cohesively with parents, there is a degree of discomfort regarding the immediate overlap of home life and school life. Many educators are not necessarily unwilling to involve parents in their classrooms, simply they do not know how to do so effectively without jeopardizing their position of authority within the classroom (Hoover- Dempsey, Walker, & Jones, 2007). There is also a pervading concern that their competence would be questioned as a result of reaching out to families to help not only in the home but… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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