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The research of Wofendale (1991) demonstrated the effectiveness of parents who provided support for the learning process of their child and holds that involvement in schools by parents is likely the primary indicator of performance of the child in school. The Michigan Department of Education reports that the "most consistent predictors of children's academic achievement and social adjustment are parent expectations of the child's academic attainment and satisfaction with their child's education at school." (2001) it is also noted that parents of student who are high achiever's set standards that are "higher...for their children's educational activities than parents of low-achieving students." (Clark, 7:85-105 in: The Michigan Department of Education, 2001)
Cited as the three primary factors of parental involvement in their children's education are the following: (1) beliefs of parents about what is important, necessary and permissible for them to do with and on behalf of their children; (3) the extent to which parents believe that they can have a positive influence on their children's education; and (3) parents' perceptions that their children and school want them to be involved. (Michigan Department of Education, 2001) the Michigan Department of Education states that many decades of research have shown that when parents are involved in the education of students that the students have: (1) higher grades, tests scores, and graduation rates; (2) better school attendance; (3) increased motivation and better self-esteem; (4) lower rates of suspension; (5) decreased use of drugs and alcohol; and (6) fewer instances of violent behavior. (2001) Families whose children are achieving in school are stated to do the following: (1) Establish a daily family routine. Examples: Providing time and a quiet place to study, assigning responsibility for household chores, being firm about bedtime and having dinner together; (2) Monitor out-of-school activities. Examples: Setting limits on TV watching, checking up on children when parents are not home, arranging for after-school activities and supervised care; (3) Model the value of learning, self-discipline, and hard work. Examples: Communicating through questioning and conversation, demonstrating that achievement comes from working hard; (4) Express high but realistic expectations for achievement. Examples: Setting goals and standards that are appropriate for children's age and maturity, recognizing and encouraging special talents, informing friends and family about successes; (5) Encourage children's development / progress in school. Examples: Maintaining a warm and supportive home, showing interest in children's progress at school, helping with homework, discussing the value of a good education and possible career options, staying in touch with teachers and school staff; and (6) Encourage reading, writing, and discussions among family members. Examples: Reading, listening to children read and talking about what is being read. (Michigan Department of Education, 2001) the Michigan Department of Education report additionally relates the 'six types of parent involvement' as posited in the work of Joyce Epstein of John Hopkins University and states that these six different types of parent involvement include the following:
1) Parenting: Help all families establish home environments to support children as students. (a) Parent education and other courses or training for parents (e.g., GED, college credit, family literacy); (b) Family support programs to assist families with health, nutrition, and other services; - Home visits at transition points to pre-school, elementary, middle, and high school.
2) Communicating: Design effective forms of school-to-home and home-to-school communications about school programs and children's progress; (a) Conferences with every parent at least once a year.; (b) Language translators to assist families as needed; - Regular schedule of useful notices, memos, phone calls, newsletters, and other communications;
3) Volunteering: Recruit and organize parent help and support: (a) School and classroom volunteer program to help teachers, administrators, students, and other parents; (b) Parent room or family center for volunteer work, meetings, and resources for families; - Annual postcard survey to identify all available talents, times, and locations of volunteers.;
4) Learning at Home: Provide information and ideas to families about how to help students at home with homework and other curriculum-related activities, decisions, and planning: (a) Information for families on skills required for students in all subjects at each grade; (b) Information on homework policies and how to monitor and discuss schoolwork at home; - Family participation in setting student goals each year and in planning for college or work.
5) Decision Making: Include parents in school decisions, developing parent leaders and representatives: (a) Active PTA/PTO or other parent organizations, advisory councils, or committees for parent leadership and participation; (b) Independent advocacy groups to lobby and work for school reform and improvements; - Networks to link all families with parent representatives.
6) Collaborating With Community: Identify and integrate resources and services from the community to strengthen school programs, family practices, and student learning and development: (a) Information for students and families on community health, cultural, recreational, social support, and other programs/services; (b) Information on community activities that link to learning skills and talents, including summer programs for students. (Michigan Department of Education, 2001)
The work of Deutscher and Ibe entitled: "Relationships Between Parental Involvement and Children's Motivation" state "Research has indicated that family involvement improves facets of children's education such as daily attendance (e.g. Cotton & Wikelund, 2001; Epstein & Sheldon, in press; Simon, 2000), student achievement (e.g. Brooks, Bruno, & Burns, 1997; Cotton & Wikelund, 2001; Henderson, 1987; Herman & Yeh, 1980; Sheldon & Epstein, 2001a; Simon, 2001; Van Voorhis, 2001; Zellman & Waterman, 1998), behavior (e.g. Cotton & Wikelund, 2001; Henderson, 1987; 4 Sheldon & Epstein, 2001b; Simon, 2000), and motivation (e.g. Brooks, Bruno, & Burns, 1997; Cotton & Wikelund, 2001; Grolnick & Slowiaczek, 1994)." (nd) in the present study students without parental involvement at home in regards to their education fail to bring requested items to the classroom and this includes failure to complete homework assignments. Additionally, students are not learning and achieving the educational goals for their age. When the teachers send material home for the parents to read the parents are not reading these materials. An additional problem is that students come to school without being prepared for their classes and neither are they prepared to learn.
The teachers in the present study have reported that students are not making satisfactory progress on their daily assignments and report cards. Interviews with teachers reveal that parents do not read the agenda books, notices or notes that are sent home with students. Additionally revealed in interviews with teachers is that parents fail to take responsibilities for home work assignments. The interviews with teachers in this study reveal that parents fail to either contact or to responds to teachers and that communication between parents and students is in many cases nonexistent. The interviews with classroom teachers in this study provides evidence that parents do not attend the events at school such as back-to-schools night, parent-teacher conferences and parents also fail to join any volunteer groups or committees of the school. Interviews with parents of the students in this present study reveals the lack of understanding on the part of parents of the need for their active and ongoing involvement in the education of their child and further interviews with parents of students in this study reveal that the parents do not understand the reason that the children are sent from school with homework to complete. Interviews with parents of students in this study reveals that parents do not feel that they should or that they have to spend time with their children at home on educational matters and they further feel that they do not have to come to the school or meet the teachers. A review of student portfolios and progress reports indicate 50 of the 100 students are receiving failing grades in one or more of the academic areas and not prepared for the next grade.
The teachers' grade rosters provide indication that these students fail to turn in their homework assignments on a regular basis. Finally, the teachers' assessment records give indication that students are not learning basic reading skills, basic math skills and other necessary skills. The failure of students to come to class prepared and with their homework completed results in lost time in the classroom as the teachers assist students in completing homework assignments during classroom time in order to attempt to keep the students up-to-speed with the process of learning and to keep them from falling far behind in their learning. The entire class is affected by these factors and even the students who have completed their homework assignments fail to receive the provision of education that they should as classroom time is consumed with homework that should have been completed at home allowing the classroom learning to move forward. This situation is extremely frustrating for not only the students who come to school prepared with their homework completed but as well for the parents of these students who complain that their child is not progressing as they should be or learning all that they should.
Finally, this is frustrating for teachers as they realize…[continue]
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