14 SES 12 B, Getting Parents Involved in Schools: A Challenge Across Europe
The involvement of parents has a positive influence on the education of their children – regardless of parents’ educational, economical or ethnical background (Cotton & Wikelund, 2001). It was demonstrated that parents' decisions about PTC are influenced by schools (in-)actions (Hoover-Dempsey et al., 2005).The Parent-teacher-collaboration (PTC) is one form of external collaboration, and its intensification is an important element of systematic school development (Muijs, 2003). Schools with the most successful PTC-efforts understand parents as partners and offer a variety of ways parents can collaborate (Cotton & Wikelund, 2001). In contrast to these findings, teachers’ usual PTC-offers often are scarcely adjusted to families with migration background and/or low SES (Schwaiger & Neumann, 2010; Hertel et al., 2013). Because of the composition of the parent body, possibly required resources for PTC (e.g., language, system knowledge and system trust) exist only to a limited extent. Perceptions of “normality” that are implicitly assumed in teachers’ offers of PTC can affect and reinforce social inequality when only privileged parents benefit from these opportunities (Bourdieu, 2005; Lareau, 1989). Yet, there is a lack of empirical findings about teachers’ perspectives on PTC – regarding socioeconomic, educational and ethnic heterogeneity of parents. That leads to the following research questions: What are teachers’ beliefs, perceptions and approaches on PTC? What role plays parents’ heterogeneity in teachers’ perspectives on PTC? To answer these questions some data of two studies will be presented: Both studies investigated secondary schools in North Rhine-Westphalia, characterized by a high proportion of students with migration background and low SES. In the first study, data were generated from a quantitative, multi-perspective approach, embedded in the project Developing Potentials – Empowering Schools. Correlation analyses revealed strong differences between teachers’ and parents’ ratings on satisfaction, opportunities and frequencies of PTC. Furthermore, teachers’ assessments showed strong significant correlations on parents’ backgrounds, while parents’ assessments did not. That led to the second study, which aims through qualitative case-to-case analysis on the reconstruction of teachers’ patterns of interpretation, patterns of action and implicitly assumed constructs of parents with different backgrounds. Initial results of those interpretative patterns analysis are presented.
Bourdieu, P. (2005). Die verborgenen Mechanismen der Macht. Hamburg: VSA-Verlag. Cotton, K., & Wikelund, K. R. Reed (2001): Parent Involvement in Education. The School Improvement Research Series, Close-Up 6. Hoover-Dempsey, K. V. et al. (2005). Why Do Parents Become Involved? Research Findings and Implications. The Elementary School Journal, 106 (2), 105-130 Hertel, S. et al. (2013). Elternberatung an Schulen im Sekundarbereich. In J. Nina, & E. Klieme (Eds.), PISA 2009 – Impulse für die Schul- und Unterrichtsforschung. Zeitschrift für Pädagogik, Beiheft 59, 40-62. Lareau, A. (1989). Home Advantage: Social Class and Parental Intervention on Elementary Education. London: Falmer. Muijs, D. (2003). Improving and Effective Schools in Disadvantaged Areas: A Summary of Research Findings. Improving Schools, 6 (1), 5-11 Schwaiger, M., & Neumann, U. (2010): Regionale Bildungsgemeinschaften. Universität Hamburg: Hamburg.
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