14 SES 01 A, Migrant Parents' Perspectives, Engagement and Community Partnership
Background of the Problem
Organizations consist of many elements such as employers, employees, and resources. These elements and their interactions form an atmosphere in the work environment. In terms of geographical conditions, if the atmosphere has clouds most of the time, it can be said that there is a rainy climate. When organizations are considered, if the work atmosphere is closed due to distant relationships or incomplete tasks, then climate is negative in such organizations. As it is valid in all organizations, atmosphere or climate in schools has crucial importance because the schools have a significant function in educating children. Moreover, schools which have open climate have some advantages of drawing parents to school to be involved, increasing job satisfaction of teachers, protecting safety of students, to name a few. Schools are social organizations in which principals, teachers, students, parents, and community are in a relationship.
According to OECD Turkey Report (2013), success of primary and secondary schools in Turkey can be increased if the conditions for the schools, school leaders and teachers are improved. However, the 2013 OECD report explains that urban schools in Turkey have negative climate due to mass migration of people to large cities from rural cities, large class sizes, double-shift schools, and inadequacy of resources while rural schools are facing underpopulated schools, low academic performance, high teacher turnover, and low amount of girls going to schools. On the other hand, parents concentrate on exams instead of curriculum activities in the schools. Parents, especially those with higher education level and income prepare their children for the central exams in order to increase their chances of entering high quality schools. This choice may bring negative attitudes towards school instruction.
The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between parent perceptions of school climate and parent involvement. Specifically, this study seeks an answer for the research questions below:
“How well do parent perceptions of academic climate, safety, and social climate predict parent involvement and its sub-dimensions which are parenting, decision-making, school interaction, and learning at home?”
Importance of the bridge between parents and schools is emphasized not only practically but also theoretically. Bronfenbrenner’s bio ecological theory (1977, 1986) states that relationships and interactions between child, family, school have crucial importance for increasing academic achievements, decreasing psychological problems, and improving social relations. This perspective of the theory was coherent with the aim of this study because this study implied that student development is affected by the relationship between parents’ perceptions of school climate and their involvement in school. This theory has mainly five systems: “microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, macrosystem, and chronosystem.” Microsystem refers to relationship between child and its environment. This environment may be sometimes school while it may be sometimes family. Mesosystem emphasizes the interactions between environmental settings around the child. Interaction between school and family is an example for this system. The third system is exosystem in which societal conditions such as work and educational status of parents, media, and policies in education affect development of the child. This also indicates that educational background and socioeconomic status of the parents may be an important factor for parent involvement. The fourth system is macrosystem, includes culture and social interchanges. At last, chronosystem focuses on changes over time. For the current study, microsystem and mesosystem are included.
5. References Bronfenbrenner, U. (1977). Toward an experimental ecology of human development. American Psychologist, 32, 513 - 531. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1986). Ecology of the family as a context for human development: Research perspectives. Developmental Psychology, 22(6), 723 - 742. Erdener, M. A. (2013). Parents’ perceptions of their involvement in schooling. (Doctoral dissertation). University of Clemson, 2013. Fraenkel, J. R., Wallen, N. E., & Hyun, H. H. (2012). How to design and evaluate research in education. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. OECD. (2013): Education policy outlook: Turkey. Schueler, B. E., Capotosto, L., Bahena, S., McIntyre, J., & Gehlbach, H. (2014). Measuring parent perceptions of school climate. Psychological Assessment, 26(1), 314.
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