Parent_s_Involvement_in_Children_s_Education by georgetitan


Parent's Involvement in Children's Education

Word Count:

The importance of parental involvement as an accelerating and motivating
factor in their children’s education is a worldwide-accepted fact. This
research project provides an in depth explanation along with specific
reasons, the importance of parents’ involvement in their children’s


Article Body:

The importance of parental involvement as an accelerating and motivating
factor in their children’s education is a worldwide-accepted fact. This
research project provides an in depth explanation along with specific
reasons, the importance of parents’ involvement in their children’s
education. It also discusses the parenting techniques, their types and
their consequences if neglected. It also describes the ways to measure
the outcome of the positive parental involvement. Furthermore, it
mentions the teachers involvement and the difficulties faced by the
teachers in getting parents involved in their children’s (this is further
supported by the examples of two teachers who with their deliberate
efforts won the parents over to devote their maximum attention towards
their children), single-parent involvement, children’s own efforts to
improve their academic levels and joint home-school based interventions.
A detailed analysis of the different main ideas is given, based on the
findings from other research surveys and projects.


Parental involvement can be seen to fall into three types: 1) Behavioral,
2) Intellectual and 3) Personal. The research explores the effect of
multi-dimensional participation of parents and the resulting progress of
children in their studies when different parental resources were
dedicated to them. Actively participating parents help their children in
their academic development by going to schools and participating in open
houses. By keenly observing the behavior of their children they can
rightly judge the kind of behavior or the allocation of resources
required by their children. Such caring parents can also motivate
teachers to become more attentive towards a particular student, thus
maintaining the cycle of parent-teacher involvement. Encourage Building
up cognitive and perception abilities in a child are a major concern in
the upbringing of the child. The way the parents involve their children
in cognitive learning is by exposing them to different cognitively
stimulating activities and materials such as books, electronic media and
current events at home. This helps the child to practice all sorts of
language comprehending skills at the school. The results show a
remarkably positive behavior at the school and with peers.

Two parenting processes namely the Supportive Parenting (SP) and Harsh
Parenting (HP) helped a lot in the research of parental involvement in
their children’s education. By adjusting the levels of supportive
parenting, different levels of successful outcomes were observed.
Supportive parenting in even kindergarten students yielded positive
results. Four measures of supportive parenting were used in the study,
they were:

1. Proactive teaching.

2. Calm discussion in disciplinary encounters.

3. Warmth.

4. Interest and involvement in peer activities.

The assessments were conducted when children entered kindergarten and
when they reached grade 6. There was a factor noted to hinder children’s
development: family adversity. It was the result of a multipurpose
negative process that included the risk of low socio-economic status,
single-parenting and family stress. Child maladjustments were found to be
more common in families with such adversities. No matter how much
negative impacts were cast, SP was found to overcome the risks associated
with family adversity. SP was strongly related to adjustment procedures
in grade 6 children who had single parent family or experienced low
socio-economic status (SES) in their early childhood.

In a way to socialize their children, parents adopted the techniques of
calm discussion and proactive teaching. They helped lessen the behavioral
problems by carrying long discussions with their children, cultivating in
them a sense of respect, calmness and peace of mind. Mothers also
participated actively in reducing the peer stress among their children.
It is also a widely accepted fact that supportive parenting plays an
important role in the children’s development of empathy, prosocial
behavior and emotional competence. On the negative side, the absence of
supportive parenting may be related to the development of internal
problems such as anxiety and depression.

Lack of the necessary parental care and attention is the main factor for
the subsequent rise in the percentage of juvenile delinquency (crime
among children). The absence of parental instructions causes children to
develop irreversible behavioral and emotional problems. They in order to
seek attention, resort to crimes thinking that in this way they could
fulfill their wishes. They may revert to uncontrolled violence if not
kept an eye upon. Such criminal activities cannot be brought to a halt
until their distressing symptoms of low self-esteem, depression,
dysphonic mood, tension and worries, and other disturbances are relieved.
And the importance of parents’ role in this regard cannot be over-
In an effort to describe parental involvement, many researchers use a
term “Transition”(Lombardi, Joan). “Transition” is used to describe the
time period in which children move from home to school, from school to
after school activities, from one activity to another within a pre-
school, or from pre-school to kindergarten. The untiring endeavors of
teachers in the phenomenon of transition cannot be ignored. They prepared
the children and their parents to face the problems of adjusting to
elementary school programs that had different psychology, teaching styles
and structure than the programs offered at the kindergarten level. In the
elementary level schools the teachers had to face serious challenges in
motivating the parents to take interest in their children’s activities.
The teachers adopted different methods to involve the parents in day-to-
day classroom and home activities. They used to send notes, invitation of
parent-teacher meetings, invitation of parental guidance sessions and
training sessions, continuously directing the parent’s attention towards
their children. Patricia Brown Clark suggests that it is very important
to keep the line of communication between teachers and parents open, so
that the parents can interact with the teachers and get up to date
information of their children’s school activities. One way to involve
parents is to schedule school events and arranging classroom activities
such as volunteering for libraries, acting as classroom aides or
efficiently organizing lunch breaks. The teachers also opt for making
phone calls at the children’s houses to keep in touch with the parents
and getting to know the extent to which they are contributing towards the
welfare of their children. Apart from the above activities, the teachers
also assign home activities for both the parents and their children so
that the parents remain indulged in their children and the children get
to study at home. However, it was a bad and disappointing experience for
the teachers when many of the parents failed to respond as expected. Many
of the parents were so overwhelmed with their official work that they
could hardly take out some time for their beloved children.

Moreover, for some parents their schoolings were not positive and
character-boosting experiences, therefore they preferred to keep a
distance from their children’s school as well. This made it really
difficult and at times impossible for teachers to bring the parental
involvement to the desired level. Nevertheless, the activities of two
teachers proved greatly fruitful in making parents involved in their
children. They were Carlos Valdez, an art teacher and 8th grade class
sponsor, and Mike Hogan, the school’s band director. They did it by
involving parents in music festivals and other school ceremonies. They
proved to be great examples for the future teachers to come.

If the children’s academic development programs are to prove successful
they must share two characteristics:

1) Developmentally appropriate practice:

A child’s academic progress is clearly reflected by the appropriate
practice he/she administers while in school life. During transitions from
pre-school to kindergarten, a child if given the exact developmentally
appropriate practice tends to learn a great deal of language and playing
skills. He develops a keen interest in exploring his environments and
interacting (without hesitation) with his adults.
2) Supportive services:

These include the assistance that the school provides to low-income
family students. The services include health care, childcare and
community care. This strengthens the relation between school and children
and creates a sense of security and confidence among the children. They
get to learn that their communities are a part of their school since the
school’s supportive services strive to help community development.

It is commonly believed that children are good self-teachers. Their self-
initiated strategies help improve their expression, creativity,
intellectual capabilities and extra-curricular skills. This idea is
proved by the documentation of young children’s work provided by Reggio
Emilia :

“The Reggio Emilia educators highlight young children’s amazing
capabilities and indicate that it is through the unity of thinking and
feeling that young children can explore their world, represent their
ideas, and communicate with others at their highest level.”(Edwards,
Pope. C, Springate, Wright.K)

The climax rests in the fact that how the parents would know that their
sincere involvements are really proving worthwhile for their children.
The answer lies in the attitude of the children. The degree of parental
involvement can be judged by a child’s attitude towards his school
subjects, his academic desires and achievements. There is a direct
relationship between academic achievements and the attitude towards
school. Schunk in 1981 had the following idea of aspiration or academic

“Level of aspiration is defined as one’s subjective probability that he
or she will reach a certain level of education.”(Abu, H. & Maher, M)

As a result children who received adequate parental concern were found to
be much more confident in their academic desires and achievements than
those who could not get the right amount of parental concern. The
individual involvement of mothers and fathers also plays a vital role in
the behavioral development of a child. Students from one-parent household
were observed to show less positive attitude towards schools and studies
as compared to students from two-parent households. One study aimed at
investigating parental concern showed that despite mothers’ sincere
endeavors, the role of fathers could not be ignored and both served as an
important foundation for the future progress of the child. This can be
proved from the following fact:

According to a recent report from the National Center for Educational
Statistics (1997), compared to their counterparts, children with involved
fathers are more likely to have participated in educational activities
with their parents (e.g., to have visited a museum or a historical site
with their parents in the past month), and are more likely to have access
to multiple types of resources at home as well (as measured by the
proportion of parents who belong to community or professional
organizations, or regularly volunteer in the community). (Flouri, E. And
Buchanan, A, Pg.142)

Also, the parental involvement has been discussed and implemented in
terms of interventions or prevention programs, which are nothing but
safety measures taken to assure healthy and perfect upbringing of the
child. The study uses school-based and home-only intervention programs to
find out the extent of intellectual capabilities found in children from
different family backgrounds. The success of one school-based
interventions can be proved from the following fact, which was a part of
“Education Service Improvement Plan 2001-2005” of Edinburgh:

----The Scottish Executive Discipline Task Force, which studied the
causes of poor behavior among pupils in schools produced a report of
'Better Behavior - Better Learning' in June 2001. The report included 36
recommendations for action, which were then turned into an Action Plan in
2002. Many of these have implications for the Education Authority. (Craig
Millar Instep Project)

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