Parental Involvement and Academic Success in Grades 7 12 Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

parental involvement and student academic success. The proposal examines previously published literature on the subject and then proposes a study to further examine the impact of parental involvement on the academic success of students. The writer explores several possible methods of study and chooses one most appropriate to the study being proposed and provides definitions and terms so that the reader has access to a full understanding of the study and its results. The proposal explains why this new study is important to the topic of student academic success and parental involvement for the future.

Flow of Information

For many years, parents and educators have worked to find the right combination of factors that will encourage and improve the academic success of students. Parents want the best for their students so that they can be successful in their adult life, and educators not only care about the students, but they know they are judged and rewarded based on how their students perform.

When students are in the elementary grades the schools have a large amount of parental involvement. Parents come to the school to help with field trips, testing, projects and anything else the school has a need for. Parents are involved in PTO, art lessons and other activities that their students take part in. Parents at this level of education are generally willing to be involved with their children's education. In addition, at home the parents tend to be involved as well. They make time for homework, help the student check it over and remind them to turn it in on time.

It is when the students begin to reach the upper grades that parental involvement begins to wane. It is also in those upper grades when some students begin to falter and fail to be as academically as they were in the lower grades. Whether this is coincidental, due to teenage issues and all they entail, or caused by the backing off of parental involvement is the subject of this study. It is important to know what impact parental involvement has on the academic success of students so that programs can be implemented that encourage parents to remain involved if it indeed makes a difference.

Statement of the Problem

"Parental involvement has been defined as "any interaction between a parent and child that may contribute to the child's development or direct parent participation with a child's school in the interest of the child" (Reynolds, 1992). The most basic reason to involve parents in education is student success (Anderson, 2000). "

This is the opinion of some experts in the field who work in education. Nobody denies the importance of parental involvement during the younger years. It is something that is commonly accepted and practice throughout the nation. It is when the students begin to move into grades 7 through 12 that the parental involvement often begins to slack and the students begin to falter. Teenagers have issues simply by being teenagers. They are going through hormonal and physical changes as well as discovering themselves as young adults. These changes place the teenager under stress and that stress may have an impact on their academic success.

At the same time, however, these years tend to be the years when formerly involved parents begin to back off and leave the student to handle his or her own education. It is important to find out if the lack of parental involvement is a factor in the drop in academic success, often witness during grades 7-12, and if it does have an impact, how much of one does it have?

"Parental involvement has been shown to play a part in fostering children's cognitive growth and academic success. Direct involvement in children's learning and availability of learning resources at home all appear to influence academic success and cognitive growth. Research says that when parents are a part of their child's education, the student is more likely to stay in school and is likely to achieve (Anderson, 2000)."

Success at the lower levels of education has been directly linked to parental involvement in the past. One study examined the relationship between parental involvement and academic success through reading in the elementary years and concluded it had a direct impact on the success of the students.

"The questionnaire of attributing success and non-success was originally created for this purpose by the author. For the measuring attributing of success we used 23 items and also 23 items for measuring attributing of non-success (Anderson, 2000).

The SATQ (Student Automatic Thoughts Questionnaire) -- Zivcic-Becirevic & Anic, 1999. SATQ has been developed in Croatian language with the aim to assess the negative and positive automatic thoughts that students have during learning and it is based on the cognitive-behavioural model of learning difficulties. "

It is interesting that students consider some characteristics connected with the characteristics of personality as the most important for their success in studying. They are: inner motivation, persistence, work, good organisation. The items they consider the last dominant for their success in learning are related primarily to their parents' influence. It is interesting that the worthless (intercession) was considered not so important for the success in studying (Anderson, 2000).

In consideration of the most important main values it is evident that students consider giving up, inadequately learning and laziness as the main point for their non-success in studying. Surrounding they live in, their parents, imagination, dreaming and irregular attendance are the least important for them.

Differences between successful and unsuccessful students regarding evaluation of their SUCCESS in studying

Student's success is determined on the basis of average marks in past study. A mark average was ranging between 2,84,8. As successful students are recognized those ones whose marks have ranged from 3,5-4,8. As unsuccessful students are defined those ones whose mark average has been between 2,0-3,4. In consideration of that criterion 25 students were unsuccessful and 90 ones were successful. To determine which type of students attribution can differentiate students by their success in studying, analysis of variance has been conducted. Statistically it has shown significant differences between successful and unsuccessful students in 13 of 23 proffered variable of the questionnaire ."

The second group of automatic thoughts which makes a difference between successful and unsuccessful students relates to a reaction of parents (Anderson, 2000). Becirevic and Anic (2001)quote the fear of disappointing parents as a factor which differentiates students based on their success efficiency and satisfaction best. They state it is clear that these are the thoughts which distract student's concentration during studying, disturb the process of retrieval and answering on the exam. It is evident that students are afraid of losing a support (emotional and material), trust and eventual anger from their parents. That information is very interesting, because it speaks of grown ups and their dependency on their parents.

If all the matters are taken into account it seems that unsuccessful students need help priority by method of cognitive restructuring above mentioned catastrophic and negative thoughts to strengthen self-confidence, positive personal potential and streamlining a problem (Anderson, 2000)."

The study indicates that parental involvement at the elementary school age level is crucial to the academic success of the students.

Since relevant research indicates that immersion in a literate environment is critical to academic success, the authors of this study designed a program, Project ROAR (Reach Out and Read), in cooperation with a predominately Hispanic elementary school. Project ROAR was planned to help interested parents of kindergarten children learn in-home activities that would promote literacy and school success for their children (Wright, 2004). University faculty and students went to the community site and engaged in interactive after school literacy activities with both parents and children over a period of one year. Results indicate that parents are eager to help their children and, when instructed in appropriate literacy activities, can make a difference in the academic progress that their children make (Wright, 2004).

In another study, African-American students were examined to determine how much of an impact parental involvement has on the academic success of their students (Denn, 2002).

"One of the most important factors for student success is whether adults at home keep track of them in school (Denn, 2002).

But given the disproportionate rates of discipline and academic success for African-American students, their parents may need to be more connected to the schools than most parents. Paradoxically, this isn't the case.

In fact, some community members and educators say African-American parents may wind up being even less involved in schools than other parents.

Some aren't familiar with the bureaucracy of schools; some say they don't feel welcome; some may be less equipped or inclined to deal with their children's discipline problems (Denn, 2002).

Generally speaking, "I have a lot of parents who want to be cool," said Chandra Oatis, who leads a behavior modification program at a Seattle middle school "re-entry program" for students who have been suspended or expelled. Some of the parents are young themselves, she said, and act as…

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