14 SES 10 A, Parental Involvement. Commonalities and Differences across Europe (Part 1)
Symposium to be continued in 14 SES 11 A
As in many other countries the emphasis on home-school cooperation is stated official documents for example in Icelandic laws on compulsory schools from 2008 and the National curriculum. Re-search shows that parents and school staff agree that cooperation is of utmost importance but several factors influence how easy or difficult the relationship is. Supervisory teachers are responsible for initiating and maintaining the home-school relationship. Parents also have clear duties but their opinions regarding the relationship differ in an interesting way. The data comes from online questionnaires to parents, schools personnel and teenage students in 20 compulsory schools in Iceland, students age 6-16. The schools are in four municipalities. The students in these 20 schools were 17% of all students in compulsory schools in Iceland, so the sample is representative. School staff (N=823) responded to a questionnaire survey presented in four stages. An on-site survey was conducted for students (N=1821) in grades 7–10, and all parents (N=3481) were surveyed as well. Students found parents’ participation to be more desirable in activities related to the academic side of school life rather than to the social side, contradicting the opinions of both parents and school staff. Parents’ satisfaction and desires to become involved in their child’s schooling are affected by several factors. Some of them are out of the schools’ reach, like parents’ education or marital status. Other factors are school factors in the sense that local leaders can address them and school personnel´s practices can influence parents’ experience. The majority of parents were satisfied with their child’s schools. Those that felt that their child had special needs that were not met were more likely to be dissatisfied than other parents. Educational background was influential and single mothers were over-represented in the group of unsatisfied parents. Findings imply that equity in Icelandic schools is disputable and that parental involvement must be critically discussed. Keywords: home-school relationship, parents’ participation, social factors, quantitative study
Björnsdóttir, A., & Jónsdóttir, K. (2014). Viðhorf nemenda, foreldra og starfsmanna skóla. In G. G. Óskarsdóttir (Ed.), Starfshættir í grunnskólum við upphaf 21. aldar (pp. 29–56). Reykjavík: Há-skólaútgáfan. Jónsdóttir, K., & Björnsdóttir, A. (2012). Home-school relationships and cooperation between par-ents and supervisory teachers. BARN, 4, 109–127.
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