Parental Involvement in Urban School Dissertation

Excerpt from Dissertation :

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 to determine the reason for the different challenges students may face due to the lack of parental involvement.

Research Design and Methodology

The proposed study will use a quantitative research design that uses both secondary resources as well as primary data collected specifically for the purposes of this research. The research procedure will proceed in a step-wise fashion, beginning with an exploratory review of the literature to identify common themes and trends in the research concerning current patterns of parental involvement in the schools and what initiatives have been found to be effective in promoting increased levels of parental involvement. The research will proceed following an inverted pyramid approach that continually narrows the focus of the study to research specifically concerning African-American parental involvement in urban school settings as described further below.

The secondary resources for use in the study will consist of peer-reviewed journal articles, scholarly texts and online resources from governmental and educational Web sites. Both university and public libraries will be consulted for this purpose, as well as reliable online research resources such as EBSCO and Questia.

The inverted pyramid approach will continually focus the research design to develop timely and informed answers to the guiding research questions:

1. Why is there a lack of communication between parents and teachers?

2. How can minority parents be helped to become more involved with their children's education?

Organization of the Study

The proposed study will use a five-chapter format to achieve the research purpose described above and will be organized as described further below.

Chapter one of the study will be used to introduce the topics under consideration including a statement of the problem, the purpose and importance of the study, as well as its scope and rationale. The general topics to be considered include a summary of the research to date, the implications of parental involvement on young learners' academic achievement and social development. The statement of the problem will provide the context of the issues that are involved, the scope will delineate the range of the study's examination, and the rationale will be used to justify the need for the study.

Chapter two of the study proposed herein will provide a critical review of the relevant peer-reviewed and scholarly literature concerning the impact of parental involvement on children's social and academic development. The secondary resources to be consulted in this chapter include those described further below, as well as additional relevant peer-reviewed journal articles, scholarly texts and online governmental and educational resources. Both qualitative and quantitative data will be consulted for this purpose.

Chapter three of the study will be used to more fully describe the study's methodology. This chapter will include a description of the quantitative study approach using the literature review described above for chapter two as well as a survey instrument for the databases to be consulted. This survey instrument will be used to collect primary data from teachers and support staff as well as parents of school children who agree to participate in the research as the data-gathering method. All respondents will be consented prior to their participation in the study and all findings will remain confidential and all respondents will remain anonymous.

Chapter four of the study will consist of an analysis of the quantitative data developed following the administration of the survey instrument to the population of teachers, support staff and parents. The statistical data that results from the administration of the survey will be analyzed using SPSS Version 11.0 for Windows (Student Version) and the results presented in tabular and graphic formats, and interpreted in a narrative fashion in chapter five which is described further below.

Chapter five will be used to present the study's conclusions, a summary of the research and salient recommendations. The study's conclusions will be based on a synthesis of the qualitative findings that emerge from the review of the secondary resources together with the results of the primary data analysis using the survey of parents of school children. These results will be summarized and used as the basis for the recommendations for educators and parents who seek to increase the involvement of parents in their children's academic careers.

The textual material in chapters one, two, three and five and the tables and graphs developed for chapter four will all be presented following APA 6th edition guidelines. The data for each of the study's five chapters will be organized and presented as shown below.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Context of Problem

Statement of Problem

Research Questions

Significance of the Study

Research Design and Methodology

Chapter 2: Review of Related Literature

Chapter 3: Methodology

Description of the Study Approach

Data-gathering Method and Database of Study

Chapter 4: Data Analysis

Chapter 5: Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations

Chapter-2: Review of Related Literature

It is an established fact that a child's performance at school and his excellence in his or her academic, extracurricular and co curricular activities is greatly influenced by the degree to which his or her parent or guardian is involved in a child's schooling activities. Various researches, case studies and personal accounts of experienced teachers have made it evident in the past that students whose parents tend to take interest in their child's schooling activities show much better performances in general as compared to those whose parents take little or no interest in their child's activities. In order to have an in depth understanding of the extent to which the subject of parental involvement in schools, especially those in urban settings have been touched upon and the results concluded from the respective studies, numerous peer reviewed scholarly literature pertaining to the related topic was studied and analyzed.

According to Henig, Hula & Orr (1999), parental involvement and participation in their child's schooling activities have decisive implications on their child's personal grooming and career development.

Most academic institutions have been emphasising greatly on the parents to increase their involvement and interest in their child's activities pertaining to school. Despite of this fact, the level of parental involvement in schools, especially in the urban districts is dropping at a sharp rate. This has attracted attention from a lot of researchers from relevant fields especially those pertaining to the disciplines related to education. According to most researchers, the issues related to parental involvement in schools today especially those related to urban centres is much too complex than it seems. Various researchers have outlined various issues over a period of time that explains the issue of parental involvement in urban centres.

According to McDermott & Rothenberg (2000), there are various psychological reasons that implicate on the degree to which parents get involved in the schooling activities of their children. Mc Dermott & Rothenberg (2000) claim that although schools and faculty understand and continue to emphasis on the benefits of parental involvement in their ward's school activity, many parents do not feel psychologically comfortable to get along and mix with other members of the school community, including parents and families of other children and the school staff and faculty members. This is due to differences in financial, economical, racial, ethnic and socio economic background. Many families also have a complex family structure due to which parents find it difficult to cope up or get along with the routine involvement in their child's schooling activities. Mc Dermott & Rothenberg (2000) further assert their point by stating that many parents belonging to minority ethnic and racial groups find it psychologically difficult to get along with the school community at large due to cultural constraints. Cross cultural communication and interaction is already a problem for many people and has already been a subject of research in organizational perspectives. However, the issue has similar implications in the field of education, though many teachers in the urban centres fail to recognize, understand and address this issue. According to Mc Dermott & Rothenberg (2000) the responsibility of educating the parents and encouraging them to participate in their child's schooling activity beyond cultural boundaries lies with the teachers and the faculty.

De Carvalho (2001) claims that schools vary in terms of their own attitudes towards children belonging to various racial and ethnic backgrounds. DeCarvalho (2001) claims that some schools are less welcoming towards certain ethnic backgrounds and in many cases, teachers in certain urban schools have little knowledge and expertise to tackle with children belonging to different racial backgrounds, especially with those who belong to minority races and ethnicities. As a result, children, and more than that, their parents feel little 'connection' with the school and therefore find…

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