Action Research Paper On Parental Involvement Activities

FOSTERING PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT: A CRITICAL ACTION RESEARCH STUDY OF TITLE I PARENTS' PARTICIPATION IN PUBLIC ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Author:
Piekarski Loughlin, Jodi
Graduate Program:
Adult Education
Degree:
Doctor of Education
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
February 25, 2008
Committee Members:
  • Edward W Taylor, Committee Chair
  • Daniele D Flannery, Committee Member
  • Jane B Keat, Committee Member
  • William R Freed, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • critical action research
  • parent participation
  • Title I
  • parental involvement
  • parent involvement
  • elementary school
Abstract:
ABSTRACT This qualitative action research study used a critical perspective to explore Title I parents’ perceptions of parental involvement in public schools and to foster awareness among Title I parents about individual and societal factors that influence parental involvement in school sponsored activities. The study looked specifically at Title I parents’ perceptions of parental involvement at a public elementary school. The theoretical framework of critical theory provided the lens for which this study was guided. Semi-structured interviews, group discussions, and monthly meetings were used to learn Title I parents’ perspectives about their participation in parental involvement activities and to support their decision in raising their own awareness about their existing roles at the school. Several findings emerged from this study which explored Title I parents’ perceptions about their involvement and also their awareness of individual and social factors hindering their involvement. The four findings that emerged from parents’ interviews and group discussions include: 1) parents’ desire to understand the Title I program at their school; 2) parents’ desire for increased personal communication between home and school; 3) parents’ perceptions of involvement; and 4) parents’ identified barriers to involvement. Additional findings include: parents’ role in planning a Title I program; parents’ active participation with homework; parents’ involvement in nonschool sponsored activities; and how an unwelcoming atmosphere at the school affects parent participation. Based on these findings, implications for practice and recommendations for future research are discussed in the following fields: elementary education and adult education.

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