Parents' Involvement in Elementary Schools Essay

Download this Essay in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Essay:

" Through their study of La Familia, the authors present a strategic plan for other Latino families to get organized and help their children succeed later in school and in life. La Familia -- parents of middle school children that had not been performing well in school -- began with small meetings in the homes of parents (conducted entirely in Spanish) and as trust was established among the parents, they created a "working partnership with the school" (Jasis, 2004, p. 38). "Convivencia" means "…the flowing moments of collective creation and solidarity" -- and in the case of La Familia, convivencia also brought a "bonding" that was built from an "…emerging moral quest" to help children become better students, Jasis relates (p. 39). The group began as a "self-affirming" activist assemblage, and moved from there into a "desvelamiento critico" (critical unveiling) of reality (p. 41).

The group avoided "political posturing" during their interactions with the school, and in fact the Latino parents believed, Jasis continues on page 39, that "…their views of the school had to be reconciled with the teacher's views and ideas." Mrs. Gutierrez, a La Familia member, said that she personally learned to have "more communication with the teachers" and learned through that communication that "sometimes our children don't treat them with respect" (p. 39-40).

Over the first two years of La Familia there was a vast improvement in communication and understanding between Latino parents and the school. But what were the academic results? On page 40 Jasis references the principal of this school, who explained that after two years "there were three Latino students among the top ten" on the honor roll. No Latino student in the past "had ever shared that honor" (p. 40). Granted, La Familia emerged around a middle school, but the concept is ideally suited for elementary school parents as well.

Empirical Study Shows Latino Parents' Concerns

Latino children who attend elementary schools in rural communities are "confronted with a variety of positive and negative experiences" (Villalba, et al., 2007, p. 510). But when teachers and counselors engage in "an egalitarian dialogue with Latino parents and children," that interaction can help "…pinpoint educational obstacles and related interventions, which may contribute to the success of an entire community," Villalba explains. The research conducted by Villalba and colleagues took place in a rural southeastern community in the U.S., where educators have been "caught off guard by the influx of Latino children…into their schools," Villalba explains (p. 506). The need for the study was based on Villalba's research that shows school personnel working in the "…rural Latino diaspora" are "ill-equipped to address barriers to academic and personal/social development of Latino children" (p. 506).

Villalba conducted in-depth interviews (in Spanish) with nine Latino parents (3 males, 6 females); all had children attending local elementary schools. The parents were asked: a) what are the school needs of your children? b) what resources and activities are offered to your children, and how effective are they? c) what are the differences between Latino children and their non-Latin peers? Latino parents provided 159 different responses to these questions, Villalba reports. Some of the answers revealed: a) high levels of stress in classroom competition; b) transition problems between elementary and middle school; c) schools do not let "que los ninos sean ninos" (children be children); d) schools "unfairly penalize Latino children" (especially those with limited English proficiency); and e) schools are formal, hence a sense of "frildad" (coldness) makes it different from more informal schools in Mexico.

Works Cited

Garcia, Carolyn, Skay, Carol, Sieving, Renee, Naughton, Sandy, and Bearinger, Linda H. (2008).

Family and racial factors associated with suicide and emotional distress among Latino students. Journal of School Health, 78(9), 487-496.

Gilliam, Brenda, Gerla, Jacqueline Parten, and Wright, Gary. (2004). Providing Minority Parents

With Relevant Literacy Activities for Their Children. Reading Improvement, 41(4), 226-234.

Jasis, Pablo, and Ordonez-Jasis, Rosario. (2005). Convivencia to Empowerment: Latino Parent

Organizing at La Familia. High School Journal, University of North Carolina Press, 88(2),


National Center for Education Statistics. (2009). Fast Facts: What are the dropout rates of high school students? Retrieved November 19, 2010, from:

Torrez, Nena. (2004). High School Journal.…[continue]

Cite This Essay:

"Parents' Involvement In Elementary Schools" (2010, November 21) Retrieved December 5, 2016, from

"Parents' Involvement In Elementary Schools" 21 November 2010. Web.5 December. 2016. <>

"Parents' Involvement In Elementary Schools", 21 November 2010, Accessed.5 December. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Parents Involvement in Early Childhood

    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

  • Elementary School Principals and Job

    According to Copland (2001), although the following job description is a parody, it is not too far from the truth concerning the current set of responsibilities that confront the nation's elementary school principals: Position Opening: Elementary School Principal, Anytown School District. Qualifications: Wisdom of a sage, vision of a CEO, intellect of a scholar, leadership of a point guard, compassion of a counselor, moral strength of a nun, courage of

  • Importance of Social Support in Ensuring Successful Parenting for...

    Social Support in Ensuring Successful Parenting Social support is absolutely essential in ensuring successful parenting for both parents and children. This is a broad area of study, and there are an increasing number of research studies that are being conducted to support these findings. Types of support that have found to be instrumental in helping parents develop good nurturing and parenting skills include strong family support, social networking, and community

  • Parental Involvement in Urban School

    Overall parental involvement has an effect on the child from the early stage to the secondary stage. Students need the parents for guidance, integrity and confidence to become successful in life because it is not the teachers job to make sure the students have these qualities. "In reality, parent involvement is a more diverse and complex concept than is generally acknowledged" (Dom & Verhoeven, 2006, p.570). The study will help

  • Geography Education in Elementary School

    Displaying a large version of the map on the board at the front of the room and handing out identical personal copies for students to mark, a fun activity might be to have individual students come to the front and pin cut-out landmark images to the corresponding locations on the map. Once a cut-out from an image bank has been properly affixed to a location and students have marked

  • Management Parents Involvement Secondary School

    Secondary School Parent Involvement Parental engagement in a child's learning is typically imperative and required for a student to realize their true potential and this is a generally accepted fact for a number of reasons. However, the level of involvement that a parent or parents have with their child's learning at the pivotal and important secondary school level that connects elementary learning and college-level learning has to be balanced as going

  • Nutrition and Cognitive Learning Among Elementary School

    Nutrition and Cognitive Learning Among Elementary School Students -- a Proposal Many elementary school children are at-risk for poor nutrition. While many children do have good nutritional habits because their families lack money to buy sufficient food, they are not the only group suffering from poor nutrition. Many children, from all social and economic backgrounds, have enough food yet have diets that are high in fat, sugar, and sodium, resulting in

Read Full Essay
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved