Parental Involvement Term Paper

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Parental Participation and Involvement

Statement of Thesis: "Parental involvement" is considered "key" to successfully providing a quality educational future for one's child. Parents play an important role in a child's education. This paper intends to reveal through research, exactly why it is so imperative that a parent become and stay involved in the educational process.

The benefits to be found in the educational system that has active and participant parents and the corresponding research results over the last decade make it clear that "parental involvement" is a necessary and vital activity in the provision of optimum educational factors for students.

This imperative activity should be made a top-priority by parents from the first day of kindergarten and throughout the entirety of the years that will be spent in education of the student preparing them for the world beyond school.

This paper will explore the validity of this statement and will conclude that "parental involvement" has never been as important as it is in this knowledge, information and technology age.


Parental involvement" or "parental participation" can be defined by many terms due to the fact that there are so many various avenues through which a parent can become active and maintain a vital role in the student's education.

The educational system within the global society as well as the "No Child Left Behind Ac "t (NCLBA) has determined a protocol that is inclusive of parents, teachers, schools, city councils, communities and others in civic organizations work in conjunction to enhance the quality and effectiveness of education.

I. Parental Involvement

Parental involvement may simply be providing assistance with homework, listening to a student's recitations, and assistance for any type issue arising in the course of a school year.

Parental involvement in the form of volunteering in the library or lunchroom, participation in seasonal events taking place at the school, attending parents-teacher consultations, reading a book to the class or assisting in early computer learning skills, all of these are just a few of the many ways a parent can become actively involved in the education of children.

II. Effects of Participation of Parents on the Child.

There is no doubt when looking at research results in relation to education that "parental involvement in" a child's learning and education provides benefits to the student that manifest as results of better achievement.

Greater achievement has been noted among children whose parents are actively involved in their child's education and that the earlier the parental interaction begins the more noted is the positive result.

A positive view, on part of the parent, will result in the child having a positive attitude toward the school.

The more positive a parent's view of participation in the child's education, the more likely a child will have a balanced and positive self-conception. The level of parental involvement is much higher in the preschool years and in the elementary (1st - 5th) grades that the middle or high school years.

According to a report, student achievement improves when parents are enabled to play four (4) key roles in the education of their child. Those four roles are teachers, supporters, advocates, and decision-makers.

II. Reasons for non-participation of Parents:

Reasons given by parents for lack of involvement in the education of their child are varied. Some of reasons listed were as follows:

Citing work as one reason, the studies in this area showed that working mothers tend to spend more time helping at the school than the non-working mothers.

The study further revealed that over 1/2 of high school students in the U.S. have parents that do not attend PTA meetings, plays, sporting events, and other school activities.

Parents are not known for the level of involvement at school that was in evidence in the 1970's and 1980's

Asian-Americans are generally less active in school organizational capacities with only involvement at 38%.

White parents are involved with the school with 62% of parents participating

Parental Involvement not based on level of Income

The United States is a country of great diversification. Not only culturally speaking but, ethnically and pertaining to language difficulties as well. Economic differences are one barrier to mutual coordination and participation of parents in programs implemented under this provision.

It is important that parents of all students feel comfortable, relaxed and welcome at the school.

Through mutual cooperation those parents previously inactive may feel able to do so in time. Financial limitations are also another factor listed by an unidentified group as the reason they don't interact at the school. Parents, unable due to a lack of education to participate in certain events or functions, will find a niche enhancing not only the education of their child but the cultural and ethnic enlightenment of others involved at the school.

Parental Involvement in Minority Families

It has been noted in research studies that were conducted among families of low-income black and Hispanic families that these parents are not near well enough represented among parents participating with the school. Common barriers for parents in these families are those to be expected among social and cultural diversities. Language skills are another problem area for this group.

Discovery was made that these parents can and in fact are in the process of the overcoming of what has been termed as the "deficit model." This term describes the parents of underprivileged children wherein the parents are experiencing problems in regards to English proficiency, social, economical as well as other possibilities of discussion.

VI. Barriers Parental Participation:

The lack of proper planning as well as a lack of balanced understanding, are two of the known barriers to participation by parents in the education of their child.. School staff, must be dedicated to the involvement of the parents, keeping in mind that organization and an open-minded concept should be utilized for the optimum effectiveness.

It should be highly encouraged and stressed to school staff, teachers, children, parents and others, that discrimination should be considered a personal lack in the individual who is discriminating, and further rule that in adherence with the U.S. Constitution to disallow discrimination, group labels, assumptions, and all other negative forms of interaction on the basis intending to disrespect or ridicule another individual.

IV. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

This act was implemented in 1997 appearing the March 12th Federal Register Publication. Before the year of 1977 there was no provision for the addressing of general curriculum but that of teaching and learning. Key is learning of the changes that are implemented as updates to the Federal Register.

IDEA has statutory language required by the Individualized Education Program for each child with a disability and includes:

statement as to child's present educational performance levels in relation to the effect of the disability and the child's involvement in the general curriculum.

Statement of annual needs and goals that in the meeting of the child's needs for education.

A statement of changes or additions in program employees provided in the enhancing of a child's ability of reaching full capacity in the educational scope..

V. Guidelines for Parent Participation

It is important to offer many roles in which a parent may possibly participate.. The reason this is so important is because there are so many different types of individuals who, as parents, genuinely want to be effectively involved in the education of their child but feel they have nothing to offer. The broadening of the "roles" or type of tasks for participation would be conducive to parental involvement that otherwise might not occur.

Individual differences, differences in work schedules, different educational levels of parents as well as different aptitudes and abilities among parents are the basis for the offering of various roles. Opportunity for parental participation is important in gaining the parental involvement necessary for the student having the best educational experience possible.

Encouraging parents not previously experienced in participation is extremely important as well as encouraging them to assist in the shaping and modeling of the student in behavioral issues. School staff should make it a priority to attempt to gain parental involvement and interaction with the parents of the children who are disabled.

Participation among families who do know have full grasp of the English language as of yet will benefit from involvement by having an opportunity to understand the school system more thoroughly as well as the teacher gaining an understanding of students from other cultural backgrounds. Involvement of parents at school results in the entire academic program being more positive and more effective.

VI. Middle School Involvement

The years of middle school are a time when the student is growing and maturing rapidly. The involvement of parents in education issues is vital at this time particularly. Students in the middle school are facing new issues not even thought of before and the guidance provided by actively involved parents is priceless to the middle school student.

Involvement during this time of education may be more listening and encouraging than actual application of learning methods, although learning, the learning is of…[continue]

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