Perception of Parents of Parent Involvement in Education: A Descriptive Study

Perception of Parents of Parent Involvement in Education: A Descriptive Study

Author: 
Mary E. Mann
Program of study: 
Ed.D./CI
Abstract: 
This qualitative descriptive study explored parents’ perspectives of how parental involvement in education has positive academic outcomes for students. The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation mandates parental involvement in education as an accountability component to close achievement gaps between student sub-groups. The study elicited the responses of 11 parents in face-to-face interviews and triangulated responses with archived assessment data of two Title I schools, using NVivo, a computer assisted qualitative data analysis system (CAQDAS) to gain greater validity for the conclusions of the study. The parents in the study, active in the Parent/Teacher Organization (PTO), participated in other school-related activities and actively assisted the child with reading activities in the home. The findings from the archival assessment data revealed the two schools in the study did not make adequate yearly progress (AYP) consistently from 2005-2006 to 2010-2011. The themes that emerged from triangulating the data included: parent involvement with a subtheme of father involvement, parent/teacher communication, parents’ expectations for the child, and parents’ motivation to participate in the education of the child. The study supports research findings that parent involvement helps to improve students’ academic outcomes. Limitations for the study included: the restriction to archival data for two schools, the small number of respondents at one school, and the results of the study are not generalizable to larger populations. The results from the study have implications for future research on parent involvement in similar schools within similar communities.
Dedication: 
I dedicate this dissertation to my husband, William, who has stood beside me and supported me before, during, and after my decision to pursue a doctorate: to my children William T. (Terry) and Sharonda, for their support and encouragement; to my parents, Mr. & Mrs. Willie W. (Evlin B.) Johnson, who instilled a love for learning in my siblings and me; to my grandchildren; William (TJ), Kristen, Aaron, and Lily, who bring me such joy; and to my siblings, James, Joseph, Hazel, Deloris, Annette, Gregory, Garry, and Darell, who give me strength everyday. I also dedicate this dissertation to the memory of my late brothers, Carl J. Johnson, and Willie L. Johnson. The two of them showed courage that is rare during the adversities of their illnesses. Each family member has supported and encouraged me throughout all aspects of this and other endeavors. My family encouraged me when I felt like giving up, gave me a shoulder to cry on when situations in life seemed to overshadow me, and gave me the strength to carry on when I needed the extra push. The poem, Invictus, by William Ernest Henley, describes the many highs and lows one experiences in life. One can be proactive and move forward with anticipation, or be reactive and remain stagnate. I have experienced both proactive and reactive attitudes during this process but the support I received from my family helped me to be more proactive.
Acknowledgements: 
I give honor to God in guiding me through this entire dissertation process. This dissertation journey has been possible through the guidance and the patience of my mentor, Committee members, interview participants, and University of Phoenix staff, academic counselors, and technical support team. My mentor, Dr. J. Paul Gallagher, was patient throughout the dissertation process and through many setbacks I encountered. His professionalism, support, and guidance were the encouragement I needed to press forward. I also appreciate the help and support of Dr. Jeffrey Roach and Dr. Susanne Beier. Their input and encouragement were valuable. I am grateful for the willing permission of the parents who participated in the interview for this study. The parents enthusiastically gave of their time and input about their involvement in their children’s education. Their help is very much appreciated.