The relationships among school -home communication, parent and teacher attitudes, and teachers' practices with parent involvement

Rebecca Elman, Fordham University

Abstract

Research has demonstrated that parent involvement is associated with student success. What research has not generally shown, however, are the specific factors that determine why at-risk, non-English-speaking parents become involved. Understanding these factors should aid in developing programs to increase parent involvement among such parents. Therefore, the purpose of the study was to examine the differential effects of the predictor variables (school-home communication and parent attitudes toward their child's school) on the criterion variables (parent involvement in the home and parent involvement in the school/community). Furthermore, because teachers play such a critical role in determining whether parents get involved in their children's education, the study also examined the differential effects of the predictor variables (teacher attitudes toward parent involvement, teachers' practices to communicate with parents, and teachers' practices to involve parents in educational activities within the home) on the criterion variable (teachers' estimates of parents' involvement in the home and at school). ^ The study used an extant database that is part of the Children's Aid Society Three-Year Evaluation of the Washington Heights Community Schools. Participants consisted of 393 primary caregivers and 110 teachers from four urban public schools in Washington Heights, New York. On an anonymous basis, the parents and teachers anonymously completed modified surveys that were developed by Epstein and Salinas (1993). ^ Path analyses were conducted to test hypotheses that certain practices of schools and teachers predict the degree to which parents choose to participate in various types of parent involvement activities. Significant direct relationships were found among school-home communication and (a) parent attitudes toward their child's school, (b) parent involvement in the home, and (c) parent involvement in the school/community. Significant relationships were also found among teacher attitudes toward parent involvement and (a) teachers' practices to communicate with parents, (b) teachers' practices to involve parents in educational activities within the home, and (c) teachers' estimates of parents' involvement in the home and at school. ^ The results of the study indicate that minority parents from at-risk communities will get involved in their children's education when schools and teachers make the effort to initiate effective collaborative partnerships. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Social|Education, Educational Psychology|Education, Secondary|Sociology, Individual and Family Studies

Recommended Citation

Elman, Rebecca, "The relationships among school -home communication, parent and teacher attitudes, and teachers' practices with parent involvement" (1999). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9938903.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI9938903

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