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Perspectives on Parent Involvement: How Elementary Teachers Use Relationships with Parents to Improve Their Practice

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... Educators in schools serving disadvantaged communities are more likely to have a negative perception of parental involvement; often classifying it as less encouraging and less rewarding in terms of advancing children's learning (Koutrouba, Antonopoulou, Tsitsas & Zenakou, 2009;Luxomo & Motala, 2012;McDowall & Schaughency, 2017), while ignoring the potentials of parents to supervise learners and partake in school activities (Edwards, 2004). This clearly indicates that teacher education curricula and teacher training institutions do not specifically prepare educators to specifically deal with issues related to family-schoolcommunity partnerships (Epstein, 2018;Jacobs, 2008;Lemmer, 2007). Teacher training is relevant because significant emphasis is placed on the importance of parental involvement for both learner outcomes and the life of the schools that their children attend (Epstein, 1995(Epstein, , 2018Mansfield-Barry & Stwayi, 2017). ...
... Clearly, parents -irrespective of context -can only help to guarantee a positive educational future for their children by working hand-in-glove with schools (Msila, 2012). Since educators are also likely to reap the benefits of parental involvement in the form of improved teaching and learning, they need to spearhead engagements that are aimed at enhancing such participation (Jacobs, 2008). Undoubtedly, when parents and educators come together and work holistically towards learners' education, by focusing on the academic, social and emotional needs of the latter, success is bound to happen naturally (Epstein, 1995;Epstein, 2018) -this, while recognising all children's rights to quality basic education (Mansfield-Barry & Stwayi, 2017). ...
... This reemphasizes the need to empower educators on school, family, and community partnerships (Epstein, 2018). This could be reinforced by ongoing trainings that endow teachers with capabilities to initiate and implement sustainable parentschool-community relationships for the benefit of the schools and the learners (Epstein, 2018;Jacobs, 2008: Mansfield-Barry & Stwayi, 2017Park & Holloway, 2017). ...
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Although parent involvement is fundamental for school functioning, the nature and extent of such involvement is debatable and contested amongst stakeholders. A qualitative based study underpinned by the interpretive paradigm was undertaken to explore the voices of educators regarding parent non-involvement and its implications for learner experiences and performance in a disadvantaged community in South Africa. Data was gathered through individual and focus group interviews, involving 3 principals and 12 teachers respectively. The paper is buttressed by Epstein’s model of school-family-community partnerships that advocates for genuine collaboration between stakeholders. The findings show that educators’ perceptions concerning parent non-involvement do not take into consideration the contextual realities that restrict involvement, and this serves to alienate parents further. The paper also reveals the gap that exist between policy and practice in terms of school-parent relationships. Existing relations, especially in disadvantaged communities emphasizes the need for schools to initiate and implement strategies that are context friendly, taking into consideration challenges experienced by parents. In this regard, empowering teachers on school-parent relationships is a vital ingredient to ensure the initiation and implementation strategies towards a sustainable parent involvement. Keywords: learner performance; parental involvement; disadvantage communities; poor schools
... Educators in schools serving disadvantaged communities are more likely to have a negative perception of parental involvement; often classifying it as less encouraging and less rewarding in terms of advancing children's learning (Koutrouba, Antonopoulou, Tsitsas & Zenakou, 2009;Luxomo & Motala, 2012;McDowall & Schaughency, 2017), while ignoring the potentials of parents to supervise learners and partake in school activities (Edwards, 2004). This clearly indicates that teacher education curricula and teacher training institutions do not specifically prepare educators to specifically deal with issues related to family-schoolcommunity partnerships (Epstein, 2018;Jacobs, 2008;Lemmer, 2007). Teacher training is relevant because significant emphasis is placed on the importance of parental involvement for both learner outcomes and the life of the schools that their children attend (Epstein, 1995(Epstein, , 2018Mansfield-Barry & Stwayi, 2017). ...
... Clearly, parents -irrespective of context -can only help to guarantee a positive educational future for their children by working hand-in-glove with schools (Msila, 2012). Since educators are also likely to reap the benefits of parental involvement in the form of improved teaching and learning, they need to spearhead engagements that are aimed at enhancing such participation (Jacobs, 2008). Undoubtedly, when parents and educators come together and work holistically towards learners' education, by focusing on the academic, social and emotional needs of the latter, success is bound to happen naturally (Epstein, 1995;Epstein, 2018) -this, while recognising all children's rights to quality basic education (Mansfield-Barry & Stwayi, 2017). ...
... This reemphasizes the need to empower educators on school, family, and community partnerships (Epstein, 2018). This could be reinforced by ongoing trainings that endow teachers with capabilities to initiate and implement sustainable parentschool-community relationships for the benefit of the schools and the learners (Epstein, 2018;Jacobs, 2008: Mansfield-Barry & Stwayi, 2017Park & Holloway, 2017). ...
Article
Full-text available
Although parent involvement is fundamental for school functioning, the nature and extent of such involvement is debatable and contested amongst stakeholders. A qualitative based study underpinned by the interpretive paradigm was undertaken to explore the voices of educators regarding parent noninvolvement and its implications for learner experiences and performance in a disadvantaged community in South Africa. Data was gathered through individual and focus group interviews, involving 3 principals and 12 teachers respectively. The paper is buttressed by Epstein’s model of schoolfamilycommunity partnerships that advocates for genuine collaboration between stakeholders. The findings show that educators’ perceptions concerning parent noninvolvement do not take into consideration the contextual realities that restrict involvement, and this serves to alienate parents further. The paper also reveals the gap that exist between policy and practice in terms of schoolparent relationships. Existing relations, especially in disadvantaged communities emphasizes the need for schools to initiate and implement strategies that are context friendly, taking into consideration challenges experienced by parents. In this regard, empowering teachers on schoolparent relationships is a vital ingredient to ensure the initiation and implementation strategies towards a sustainable parent involvement.
... Los profesores se centran en investigar y descubrir los valores, creencias y costumbres de las familias dentro y fuera de la escuela, y por ende más allá de las fronteras institucionales. Se pudo observar que los maestros estaban particularmente comprometidos al tratar de aprender acerca de las familias y sus valores, situándose dentro del contexto del entorno inmediato de la escuela (véase también Jacobs, 2008;Mills and Gale 2004). La estrategia se podía ver en ejemplos que mostraban cómo los profesores investigaban las vidas y experiencias de las familias a través de actividades curriculares (Bouataz 2007;Vigo y Soriano, 2015). ...
... (Entrevista maestro) La vida y la cultura de los alumnos fuera de la escuela también estaban presentes en el aula durante una práctica de "texto libre" vinculada a la enseñanza de la escritura. Los estudiantes proponían temas sobre sus experiencias fuera de la escuela y permitía a los profesores y compañeros obtener más conocimiento y comprensión de sus vidas (Jacobs, 2008). ...
Article
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RESUMENEn un contexto en el que los servicios de educación han sido transformados en una dirección neoliberal, tanto la inclusión como la participación de las familias son aspectos destacados en una educación de calidad. Sin embargo, los efectos del Nuevo Mercado, en términos de participación, justicia y equidad, no han sido favorables para la elección de escuelas en áreas geográficas con desventaja social y económica. Este artículo intenta mostrar la comprensión que tienen estas escuelas como espacios educativos a partir del análisis en profundidad de una escuela. El estudio realizado desde un proyecto etnográfico multiescalar en ocho escuelas de Aragón, en España, a través de observación participante y entrevistas a maestros/as, alumnos, padres, madres, equipos psicopedagógicos e inspectores, muestra cómo los miembros de esta escuela se presentan a sí mismos de distinta manera a cómo lo hacen la administración, los medios de comunicación o los miembros de la misma ciudad. El conocimiento del lugar y espacio, la conexión de la vida de los alumnos con el curriculum y el desarrollo profesional de los profesores son estrategias que dan cuenta de las prácticas de educación inclusiva en la escuela. El artículo señala los diferentes discursos como consideraciones para la administración educativa.Palabras Clave: etnografía, escuela estigmatizadas, participación de familias, inclusión.ABSTRACTIn a context where education services have been transformed in a neo-liberal direction, the inclusion and the participation of parents in schools is stressed as an important aspect of quality. Nevertheless, the effects of the new market, in terms of participation, justice and equity are negative on school availability and selection in disadvantage areas. This article tries to show the understandings of these schools as educational spaces, through a deep analysis of one school. The study carried out from an ethnographic research multi-scalar project in eight schools of Aragon in Spain from participant observation and interviews with teachers, students, parents, counsellors and inspectors, shows how members of schools are present as in a different way to representations of the administration, media or members of the town. Results show as the knowledge of spatial conditions, connection between students’ life and curriculum and professional development, are strategies closer to an inclusive school. This article highlights different contradictions to consider by the educational administration.Keywords: ethnography, school stigmatisation, parental participation, inclusion.
... Los profesores se centran en investigar y descubrir los valores, creencias y costumbres de las familias dentro y fuera de la escuela, y por ende más allá de las fronteras institucionales. Se pudo observar que los maestros estaban particularmente comprometidos al tratar de aprender acerca de las familias y sus valores, situándose dentro del contexto del entorno inmediato de la escuela (véase también Jacobs, 2008;Mills and Gale 2004). La estrategia se podía ver en ejemplos que mostraban cómo los profesores investigaban las vidas y experiencias de las familias a través de actividades curriculares (Bouataz 2007;Vigo y Soriano, 2015). ...
... (Entrevista maestro) La vida y la cultura de los alumnos fuera de la escuela también estaban presentes en el aula durante una práctica de "texto libre" vinculada a la enseñanza de la escritura. Los estudiantes proponían temas sobre sus experiencias fuera de la escuela y permitía a los profesores y compañeros obtener más conocimiento y comprensión de sus vidas (Jacobs, 2008). ...
Article
RESUMENEn un contexto en el que los servicios de educación han sido transformados en una dirección neoliberal, tanto la inclusión como la participación de las familias son aspectos destacados en una educación de calidad. Sin embargo, los efectos del Nuevo Mercado, en términos de participación, justicia y equidad, no han sido favorables para la elección de escuelas en áreas geográficas con desventaja social y económica. Este artículo intenta mostrar la comprensión que tienen estas escuelas como espacios educativos a partir del análisis en profundidad de una escuela. El estudio realizado desde un proyecto etnográfico multiescalar en ocho escuelas de Aragón, en España, a través de observación participante y entrevistas a maestros/as, alumnos, padres, madres, equipos psicopedagógicos e inspectores, muestra cómo los miembros de esta escuela se presentan a sí mismos de distinta manera a cómo lo hacen la administración, los medios de comunicación o los miembros de la misma ciudad. El conocimiento del lugar y espacio, la conexión de la vida de los alumnos con el curriculum y el desarrollo profesional de los profesores son estrategias que dan cuenta de las prácticas de educación inclusiva en la escuela. El artículo señala los diferentes discursos como consideraciones para la administración educativa.Palabras Clave: etnografía, escuela estigmatizadas, participación de familias, inclusión.ABSTRACTIn a context where education services have been transformed in a neo-liberal direction, the inclusion and the participation of parents in schools is stressed as an important aspect of quality. Nevertheless, the effects of the new market, in terms of participation, justice and equity are negative on school availability and selection in disadvantage areas. This article tries to show the understandings of these schools as educational spaces, through a deep analysis of one school. The study carried out from an ethnographic research multi-scalar project in eight schools of Aragon in Spain from participant observation and interviews with teachers, students, parents, counsellors and inspectors, shows how members of schools are present as in a different way to representations of the administration, media or members of the town. Results show as the knowledge of spatial conditions, connection between students’ life and curriculum and professional development, are strategies closer to an inclusive school. This article highlights different contradictions to consider by the educational administration.Keywords: ethnography, school stigmatisation, parental participation, inclusion.
... This question accentuates the disjuncture between home and school literacies. The teachers' expectations of parents clearly indicate that teachers are not specifically prepared to deal with issues related to family-school-community partnerships (Epstein, 2018;Jacobs, 2008;Lemmer, 2007). This observation is not an indictment of teachers but of teacher training (Sibanda, 2019:3). ...
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Teachers collaborating with parents is an axiom of successful school programmes. The parents’ role should be supportive and complementary to the teachers’ pedagogical function. A functional or dysfunctional parent-teacher partnership is a predictor of children’s success or failure in school. The functionality of parent-teacher partnerships is often measured through student achievement. The aim of this article was to illuminate how a coordinated parent-teacher partnership can be supportive to children’s schooling. Focus is on teachers’ teaching role complimented with the supportive and monitoring role of parents. Data were collected through interviews with parents and teachers at a township primary school. I engage the concern that a lack of parental involvement affects parent-teacher partnerships in township schools. Findings of this study demonstrate teachers’ lack of understanding of the sociocultural and economic circumstances constraining parental involvement, resulting in a chasm of understanding between teachers and parents on how to collaboratively support children’s learning positions at school and at home.
... The nature of parent involvement is skewed towards the ECCE being a paid-for commodity [10]. This assertion is also supported by [49], who argues that practitioners avoid constructive engagement with parents because ECCE practitioners consider themselves as professionals in the ECCE field. ...
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In this article, we report on a comparative analysis of the influence of the policy frameworks guiding collaborative initiatives in two schools, one located in the state of Kentucky and the other in the Canadian province of Ontario. We focus specifically on the complex issues related to the professional service ethic and the advocacy role that have been identified in studies of new school-community and interprofessional connections. We draw from two longitudinal studies of collaboration, one taken from a 3-year qualitative evaluation of the Kentucky Family Resource Centers (FRCs), which examines the social influence of FRC coordinators on the character and content of family-school connections in six elementary schools. The companion narrative is based on a longitudinal study of the structures and strategies emerging in one school-based service collaboration for youth under study in a sample of high schools in provinces across Canada.
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This paper describes some aspects of a collaborative project between elementary school teachers and university faculty in anthropology, bilingual education, and mathematics education. The project goal is to develop classroom-teaching experiences that make use of the resources and experiences of students and their families. Most of the students were Mexican Americans. Teachers in the project visit the homes of some of their students to uncover their funds of knowledge by finding out about household activities, family structure, labor history, and parents' views on child rearing and schooling. Teachers and university researchers then come together to share their ideas and findings. The paper briefly describes the household visits, study groups, and classroom implementation, with an eye on mathematics, giving examples of themes that the teachers chose to develop based on their findings. The specific focus is on the development of a module on games in a fifth-grade class. The paper also illustrates some of the difficulties encountered in trying to develop mathematics classroom learning that builds on students' everyday experiences. (Contains 29 references.) (SLD)
Article
A study examined simultaneously household and elementary classroom life, and collaborated closely with teachers to develop implications for the teaching of literacy. The study consisted of three main, interrelated activities: an ethnographic analysis of the use and transmission of knowledge and skills within and among households (represented by 24 males and 29 females) in a Latino community in Tucson, Arizona; implementation of an after-school site where researchers and teachers examine classroom practices and use local resources to experiment with literacy instruction; and classroom observations examining existing methods of instruction and exploring how to change instruction by applying what was learned at the after-school site. Results indicated that: (1) the working-class, Hispanic households possessed ample funds of knowledge that become manifest through household activities; (2) in contrast to households, most classroom (and most teachers) function in isolation not only from other classrooms but from the social world of the students and the community; (3) the key to the development and implementation of any innovation was the involvement of teachers in the research process; and (4) teachers can take advantage of these funds of knowledge in a number of ways, including inviting parents to contribute to lessons. Findings suggest that reading and writing lessons be reorganized to become more interactive or participatory, emphasizing the children's use of literacy to obtain and communicate meaning. (Nine tables and four figures of data are included; 105 references are listed. The appendixes include a table of background characteristics of the sample households, fieldnote samples, evaluation instruments, and reading and writing samples. (RS)
Article
Explores some of the tensions between inquiry and outcomes in preservice teacher preparation, positing three outcomes of an inquiry stance: complex notions of what counts as learning for K- 12 students; examination of attitudes, values, and beliefs about diversity, U.S. society, and teachers' responsibilities; and understandings of teacher decision making that include weighing contradictory values, information, and perspectives. (SM)
Article
This document describes the work of several universities to make teacher-family partnerships a high priority in teacher preparation. The case studies of several successful programs demonstrate that teacher preparation programs can undertake various approaches to help teachers develop the skills and knowledge needed to carry out their partnership roles with families. The six chapters are: "Introduction: Many Hands, Multiple Voices" (Mary Sue Ammon); "Preparing Constructivist Teachers for Parent Involvement: The Developmental Teacher Education Program" (Paul Ammon and Della Peretti); "Preparing Teachers to Serve Children and Families with Diverse Backgrounds" (Marianne D'Emidio-Caston); "Preparing Teachers to Connect Home and School: Learning About the Sociocultural Contexts of Teaching and Learning" (Paula F. Levin); "Family Involvement in Education: The Apprehensions of Student Teachers" (Peg Hartmann Winkelman); and "Preparing Educational Leaders to Work Effectively with Families: The Parent Power Project" (Deanna Evans-Schilling). (SM)
Article
This paper presents findings from the 1999 Survey of California Teacher Education, with follow-up telephone interviews in 2000. The four-item survey examined the extent to which 53 California teacher training institutions included courses, activities, and modules relating to three areas of focus identified in state documents: (1) developing beginning teacher communication skills to dialogue with families; (2) providing ways to involve parents in learning activities with their children at home; and (3) finding ways to connect home culture to learning at school. The follow-up telephone interviews asked teacher educators how they incorporated parent involvement in their courses. Results indicate that universities which offered basic teacher credentials incorporated parent involvement issues within existing courses. Universities primarily focused on parent involvement issues and activities within courses dealing with language arts/reading, cultural diversity, and teaching English as a Second Language. The universities highlighted the importance of parent involvement through activities related to parent conferencing, interviews, and conflict resolution. Most teacher education programs did not use computer technology to connect with parents. Teachers tended to acquire parent involvement concepts and skills using case studies. An appendix includes the survey. (SM)
Article
One of a series of reports documenting efforts at educational restructuring nationwide, this paper focuses on the achievements and ideas of James Comer, founder and director of the School Development Program (SDP) of the Child Study Center at Yale University. The first part of the report presents remarks made by Dr. Comer on the history and philosophy of the SDP. The program was structured around a view of child development which takes into account that children are born helpless and grow via five critical developmental pathways: the socio-interactive, or how a child interacts with others; the psycho-emotional, concerning such factors as personal control; the moral; the linguistic; and the intellectual and cognitive. The motivation to learn grows out of the interrelationships among these areas, and children from marginal backgrounds may not perform or behave well in school due to different patterns of development. It was evident that schools try to control this different behavior, resulting in negative attachment and the eventual inability to influence the child positively. In an effort to change the school climate, the SDP formed a governance and management group consisting of nine components as follows: three mechanisms (a governance and management team, a mental health team, and a parents' program); three operations (a comprehensive school plan, staff development activities, and ongoing assessment and modification); and three guidelines (a policy of not laying blame, decision-making by consensus, and full participation without paralyzing the leader). The second part of the report presents an interview with Dr. Comer which covers such topics as elements of teacher preparation, organizing schools open to inquiry and the community, and other aspects of developing more effective schools. (AC)
Article
A survey was taken to measure how 3700 elementary school teachers and 600 principals in Maryland school districts feel about parent involvement in home learning as a teaching strategy and to see how widespread this teaching strategy is. This summary of survey results provides information on the extent and use of varied techniques to involve parents in learning activities and introduces many of the issues regarding parent involvement in home learning activities. Survey results and discussion are presented on the following topics: (1) the feasibility of parent involvement; (2) techniques used to involve parents; (3) how involvement techniques are used by teachers; (4) attitudes of teachers and principals toward parent involvement; (5) debatable issues of parent involvement; (6) problems with parental assistance; and (7) information and questions on many aspects of parent involvement raised by the survey. Overall, the survey results indicate a very positive view and widespread use of several parent-oriented teaching strategies. (JD)
Article
One important aspect of family involvement that has been consistently overlooked is the need to prepare teachers for intensive work with families and communities. This study investigated professional development and teacher education in the hope of providing a framework for developing more comprehensive approaches for family involvement in education. State teacher certification programs were reviewed to see which preservice teacher education currently includes parent involvement, and researchers looked at how teacher education programs are preparing teachers to work with families and to work in schools that are becoming increasingly responsive to families and communities. Case studies of programs strong in teacher preparation in family involvement were also undertaken. Based on the experiences of the model programs, a number of recommendations were made for the reforms needed to make meaningful connections among home, school, and community, including: (1) giving prospective teachers more direct experience with families and communities; (2) making school conditions conducive to family involvement; and (3) hiring more experts in family and community involvement. (WJC)
Article
This paper provides an overview of the research base on fostering educational resilience among children whose circumstances place them at risk of educational failure-- particularly in inner-city communities. The purpose of this paper is twofold: (1) to provide an overview of the research base on fostering educational resilience among children whose circumstances place them at risk of educational failure and (2) to describe educational practices that are resilience-promoting and their implications for student development and learning success. A previous research synthesis (M. Wang, G. Haertel, and H. Walberg, 1994) identified 7 characteristics of the learner and 22 characteristics of the home, classroom, and community contexts that influence student learning. The research base of studies on each of these context categories is discussed. Findings from a long-term program of research on resilience development at the National Center on Education in the Inner Cities, a program that encompasses a range of studies, show characteristics of resilient learners and characteristics of inner-city classrooms that promote educational resilience. Enabling conditions that result in high levels of student engagement include an orderly and safe campus, student-centered and highly responsive classroom learning environments with well-structured classroom management systems, site-specific and ongoing professional development, and parents with high educational aspirations for their children. Findings from a recent meta-analysis support inclusive practices for children with special needs. The restructuring of curriculum and service delivery, combined with the creation of inclusive, stable, supportive learning environments, and increased access to family, school, and community resources can promote the healthy development and learning success of students at risk of school failure. (Contains 1 table, 1 figure, and 35 references.) (SLD)
Article
Schools are required to develop policies and practices in line with the principles of both partnership with parents and pupil participation. However, there is increasing recognition of the potential tensions that may exist between these two principles. This paper reports on a study that aimed to explore the question of how schools might develop their home–school relationships in ways that enhance rather than constrain pupil participation. It focuses on the perspectives of children aged 6 to 16 years (with and without special educational needs), parents and teachers concerning children's involvement in decision-making at home and at school, and their participation within the home–school relationship. The findings highlight the need for schools to develop a coherent view of what active participation means for children and a vocabulary to communicate about this not only with pupils and staff across the whole school, but also with parents. They demonstrate that there is scope for two-way support between parents and teachers in relation to the promotion of children's involvement in decision-making both at home and at school. Further, they illustrate the complex and evolving three-way partnership between parent–child–teacher that is central to the home–school relationship. While it is acknowledged that children may rightly wish to keep a distance between aspects of home and school life, it is argued that there is a need for schools to give explicit consideration to the place of pupil participation within the home–school relationship.
Article
Reviews research on the influence of external environments on the functioning of families as contexts of human development. Investigations of the interaction of genetics and environment in family processes; transitions and linkages between the family and other major settings influencing development, such as hospitals, daycare, peer groups, school, social networks, the world of work (both for parents and children), and neighborhoods and communities; and public policies affecting families and children are included. A 2nd major focus is on the patterning of environmental events and transitions over the life course as these affect and are affected by intrafamilial processes. External systems affecting the family are categorized as meso-, exo-, and chronosystem models. Identified as areas for future research are ecological variations in the expression of genotypes, relations between the family and other child settings, relations between family processes and parental participation in other settings of adult life, and families in broader social contexts. (4 p ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
A decade ago, Hoover-Dempsey and Sandier offered a model of the parental involvement process that focused on understanding why parents become involved in their children's education and how their involvement influences student outcomes. Since then, we and others have conducted conceptual and empirical work to enhance understanding of processes examined in the model. In this article (companion to Walker and colleagues' article about scale development on the model in this issue), we review recent work on constructs central to the model's initial question: Why do parents become involved in children's education? Based on this review, we offer suggestions for (1) research that may deepen understanding of parents' motivations for involvement and (2) school and family practices that may strengthen the incidence and effectiveness of parental involvement across varied school communities. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)