Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Where are the parents: The parent's perspective of parental involvement in education
by Jackson, Marcia E., Ed.D., The George Washington University, 2010, 237; 3397643
Abstract (Summary)

Parental involvement has been a topic of interest among educators, researchers and policymakers for decades. Yet, the current body of literature on parental involvement remains illusive and does not allow the voices of parents to be heard about their involvement with their children's education. This qualitative study examined parental involvement from the parent's perspective through semi-structured interviews with 15 African-American parents who had children in elementary school. A three-part conceptual framework of deficit theory, critical theory and social capital theory was used to study the parent's perspective of their involvement with their children.'s education.

The findings of this study suggested that parents understand parental involvement differently from what schools have traditionally espoused as parental involvement. Schools tend to define parental involvement by the number of parents that are present for school sponsored events. When parents fail to show up for school functions, they are often viewed from a deficit perspective. However, parental involvement from the parent's perspective included a broader definition of “involvement in every aspect of a child's life”. This parent's perspective starkly contrasted the definition that schools have of parental involvement. The findings of this grounded theory study highlighted responsibility, nurture and expectations as emergent themes related to parental involvement from the parent's perspective.

Findings from this study provided insight to educators, parents and researchers about the ways in which parents are involved in their children's education that may not be fully understood by school officials. The findings of this study also provided a better understanding of the extent to which current parental involvement policies and practices reflect and encompass the full involvement that parents provide to their children's education.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Roach, Virginia
Commitee: Charlot-Swilley, Dominique, Wright, Travis S.
School: The George Washington University
Department: Educational Leadership and Administration
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 71/04, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Education Policy, School administration
Keywords: Critical theory, Family involvement, Parental involvement, Social capital theory
Publication Number: 3397643
ISBN: 978-1-109-69735-3
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