Parental involvement in schools is an important potential contributor to improving American education and making the U.S. more globally competitive. This qualitative and quantitative mixed-methodology action research study probed the viability of engaging parents around issues of educational improvement by inviting them to participate in training sessions on the implementation of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) at a Florida middle school. Approximately 2,000 parents were invited, through fliers and face-to-face communication, to attend a discussion and training session on the CCSS. Only 21 parents attended either of the two sessions, reflecting the difficulty of recruiting parent participation on curriculum issues. The same survey (containing questions on attitudes toward parent participation and familiarity with the CCSS) was administered both before and after a one-hour training session, and discussion groups took place before and after the training. Results showed that the training was sufficient to enable parents to feel well informed about the CCSS. However, discussion revealed significant frustration over the fact that parents received no information about the CCSS before they were implemented. More generally, many of the parents expressed the perception that schools do not encourage parent involvement. On the other hand, parents' actual levels of participation in opportunities available to them, such as PTA membership, appeared lower than their expressed interest in participating. The study suggests that, in order to enlist parents as effective partners in education, schools must make a much more concerted effort to make parents feel wanted and to explain how they can participate effectively in their children's learning.
|Commitee:||Hanrahan, Patricia, Rector, Jeffrey|
|Department:||School of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-A 75/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational tests & measurements, Education Policy|
|Keywords:||Common Core standards, Educational improvements, Parental engagement, Parental involvement|
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