ERG SES H 07, Communities and Education
Positive effects of parental involvement on student academic success have been recognized by teachers, schools administrators, and policy makers across educational settings (Graves & Wright, 2011; Larocque, Kleiman, & Darling, 2011; Nguon, 2012; Topor et al., 2010; Wilder, 2014). Indonesia is not an exception to this effort. There are Indonesian government regulation and national education laws that aim to regulate family and community participations in the school system. In a previous large scale survey study on the effects of parental involvement on children’s education in Indonesia we have shown that Indonesian parents’ educational attainment and parental involvement at home have positive effects (although relatively small) on elementary school students’ academic achievements (Yulianti et al., 2018). The study also revealed that Indonesian parents were more strongly involved in their children’s learning at home than at school, that parents in urban schools showed higher involvement than parents in rural schools, and that parents with middle and high levels of education showed higher level of involvement than low educated parents. Interestingly, low educated parents in rural schools reported slightly higher school-based involvement (volunteering, decision making, and collaborating with community) than parents with a high education. This quantitative study answered some questions regarding differences in the involvement of Indonesian parents with various socioeconomic backgrounds in different geographical contexts. However, these findings raised new questions, such as: Why do these differences exist? What are relevant parental and school factors that can explain these findings? We do not know the answers, because research on these issues in the Indonesian context is scarce. Therefore we designed an interview study with parents with various backgrounds in different parts of Java to further examine the observed differences in parental involvement. We used the parental involvement model of Hoover-Dempsey and her colleagues (1995, 1997, 2005) to help us understand parental involvement differences between socioeconomic groups in Indonesia, specifically in urban and rural areas in the Java context. We expected that there are differences with regard to motivations of parents from different socioeconomic backgrounds in urban and rural school settings to be involved in their children’s education. Differences in how parents perceive teachers’ invitations to be involved in their children’s education were also expected.
Following the parental involvement model of Hoover-Dempsey (1995), the present study aims to provide insights into motivations, practices, and barriers to parental involvement of different socioeconomic groups in Indonesia in particular in urban and rural settings in Java. This study attempts to answer these questions: 1) What are the factors that motivate parental involvement in their children’s education? 2) How are parents involved in their children’s education? 3) Which barriers to parental involvement do parents perceive? The answers to these research questions can provide valuable information and recommendations to teachers, educators, and policy makers in Indonesia about what needs to be done in order to encourage involvement from parents from different socioeconomic backgrounds in urban and rural contexts.
E.g. the Indonesian government regulation number 17 of 2010, the Law of the Republic of Indonesia on the National Education System Number 20 of 2003 Chapter IV Article 8 and Article 56.
The participants in this study were selected from 8 of 18 participating schools in our previous large scale questionnaire study (see the sampling procedure in Yulianti et al., 2018). These schools were selected to represent the contextual characteristics that we addressed in the introduction. Besides two urban schools in Jakarta, we sampled urban and rural schools in West and East Java. We invited parents from different socioeconomic backgrounds and educational levels. There were sixteen parents (twelve mothers and four fathers) who participated, one parent per student. To prevent the sample to consist only of mothers, fathers who were involved in school committees were invited to participate in this study. The interview protocol The semi-structured interview protocol used for this study, in particular the questions about factors that motivate parental involvement, was mainly derived from Hoover-Dempsey and Sandler’s model of parental involvement (1995). In addition, we asked parents about their home and school involvement practices and the challenges or barriers to their involvement. Hence, the interview protocol consisted of questions about: 1) factors that motivate parental involvement a. parents’ role construction b. parents’ sense of efficacy for helping their children to succeed in school c. parents’ perceptions of invitation for involvement 2) how parents are involved at home and school 3) barriers to involvement Data analysis Once the data were collected, the next step was transcribing the materials. For accuracy purposes, the researcher chose to follow a simple transcription approach which means simply transforming the spoken word that has been recorded into the written word verbatim (word for word) without any attempt to correct what was said (Langdridge & Hagger-Johnson, 2009). Then, all verbatim data were translated into English. The verbatim data were coded with axial coding based on the dimensions and sub-dimensions of the parental involvement motivations model (Hoover-Dempsey & Sandler, 1995), parental involvement practices, and barriers to involvement as mentioned in the interview protocol. The interviews were conducted between October and December 2016. The interviews were conducted in the Indonesian language and lasted between 20 to 45 minutes. All interviews were audio-recorded. After the data were coded, we summarized the responses to the questions per research question. We compared parents’ responses in the context of the geographical area and their educational background and looked at commonalities and typical differences among them.
Findings: To learn about parents’ motivations of their involvement, we first discuss parents’ beliefs about their children’s schooling. Regarding parents’ aspiration for their children’s education, results indicated commonalities among the parents. Most parents irrespective of the school settings had high aspiration for their children’s education; they aspired that their children would go to college. With regards to parents’ beliefs about the importance of education, all parents shared the same beliefs that good education was important to their children’s futures. However, interesting differences were found in the other parents’ motivation factors which hinted different-educational level related contexts across the school settings. First, parents with low and middle educational levels viewed education as a means to improve their children’s future life, while highly educated parents viewed education as a means to contribute to the society in the future. Second, in terms of parents’ sense of self-efficacy to support their children’s learning, parents who were at least senior high school graduates reported higher self-confidence in their ability to be involved in their children’s education, both at home and at school. Third, with regards to perception to school and teacher’s invitation, all parents felt welcome at school, but highly educated parents felt that there was teacher resistance that hindered their involvement. This study also adds to the literature specifically with regards to a sense of community involvement in rural areas in the Indonesian context. While in Western contexts, parents in urban and rural settings are more prone to be involved in their own children’s education, this study showed that in a rural area in Indonesia, community members were also involved in the education of other than their own children. This indicates that the connectedness among the residents in the community in rural areas may offer advantages and opportunities for school-community partnerships over urban schools.
Hoover-Dempsey, K.V., & Sandler, H.M. (1995). Parental involvement in children’s education: Why does it make a difference? Teacher College Record, 97(2). Hoover-Dempsey, K.V., & Sandler, H.M.(1997). Why do parents become involved in their children’s education. Review of Educational Research, 67(1), 3-42. Hoover-Dempsey, K.V., Walker, J.M.T., Sandler, H.M., Whetsel, D., Green, C.L., Wilkins, A.S., & Closson, K. (2005). Why do parents become involved? Research findings and implications. The Elementary School Journal, 106(2), 105-130. Yulianti, K., Denessen, E., & Droop, M. (2018). The effects of parental involvement on children's education in Indonesia: a study in elementary schools in Indonesia. International Journal about Parents in Education, 10(1), 14-32.
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