14 SES 16, Parent Engagement in Diverse Communities
Parents as well as schools play a meaningful role in children’s socialization as well as in their education (Busse & Helsper, 2007). Parents are understood engaging in the lives of their children as they structure their children’s everyday lives and also influence the pathways they take (Niggli, Trautwein, Schnyder, Lüdtke, & Neumann, 2007). This is the reasons why school officials especially try to increase parental involvement of those parents not integrated in their children’s schools. This done in order to have more contact with these parents.
This current study focusses on a parental mentoring program trying to increase school based parental involvement (Eccles & Harold, 1996; Epstein, 1987; Hoover-Dempsey & Sandler, 1995; Walker, Wilkins, Dallaire, Sandler, & Hoover-Dempsey, 2005) in disadvantaged districts of Hamburg officially identified by their social index. This index classifies schools in Hamburg based on students’ educational outcomes and background information on their families (Schulte, Hartig, & Pietsch, 2014). The mentoring program aims among other things particularly at parents of pupils living in these districts. Thus, the mentoring program focusses on involving parents in school based on a peer-to-peer level by allowing different kinds of interactions in schools.
The first phase of this project took place from 4/2014 to 9/2017. We evaluated this phase in applying quantitative as well qualitative methods. The results of this evaluation underline following factors as increasing the success of the parental mentoring program in the participating schools: In some schools, an established parental network was relevant for the parental project participation. Other participating schools could expand the parental network in conducting the project itself. Additional factors for a higher number of parents to get involved in the schools were among other things the project offers (e.g. activities), low thresholds for participation, language spoken by the parental mentors.
In the second phase of the project (from 10/2017 to 3/2020) we are especially interested in discussing the results from the first phase of the project with the participants in order to answer following question:
- How do the parents evaluate the results of the project phase I?
- Which additional success factors can they identify?
- Which recommendations do they have for other schools planning to implement the mentoring project in their schools?
In the second phase of the evaluation, we are going to identify four best-practice-schools based on documents as well as the recommendation of the project officials. As a methodical approach we will conduct structured group interviews with parents involved in the parental mentoring (parent mentors as well as their mentees) in the selected schools. Based on a modification of the Delphi method the results of phase 1 will be discussed with the parents (Häder, 2009; Hasson, Keeney, & McKenna, 2000). However, the study is open for further exploration based on observation as well as document analysis in the selected schools. In order to understand the range of contributing factors for the success in the selected schools we will develop two case studies considering the parental mentoring (Merriam, 1998).
The currents study has two objectives. Firstly, the method of the Delphi method allows us to evaluate previous results of the study. In this phase of the study, we understand parents as experts of their own school engagement especially considering the mentoring they are providing or experiencing. This allows validating the results with the agents influenced mostly by the project and validates our results or illustrates which results we may have to revise. Furthermore, the additional exploration allows us to derive additional project knowledge in order to create recommendation for other schools that are planning to implement similar mentoring programs. Secondly, we can identify which context factors are relevant for the success of the mentoring program in the two selected schools in developing two case study. The development of the case studies allows other schools to understand which structural factors (e.g. teacher teams, parental network) they can modify in order to implement the project and which factors may not be alterable (e.g. building structure). The results will inform how to develop school parental involvement based on mentoring in the participating schools in urban areas successfully.
Busse, S., & Helsper, W. (2007). Familie und Schule. In J. Ecarius (Ed.), Handbuch Familie (pp. 321–341). Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften. Eccles, J., & Harold, R. (1996). Family Involvement in Children's and Adolescent' Schooling. In A. Booth & F. Dunn (Eds.), Family-school links: How do they affect educational outcomes? (pp. 3-34). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Epstein, J. L. (1987). Parent Involvement: What Research Says to Administrators Education and Urban Society, 19(2), 119–136. Häder, M. (2009). Delphi-Befragungen. Ein Arbeitsbuch (Vol. 2). Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften. Hasson, F., Keeney, S., & McKenna, H. (2000). Research guidelines for the Delphi survey technique. Methodolohical issues in nursing research, 32(4), 1008-1015. Hoover-Dempsey, K. V., & Sandler, H. M. (1995). Parental Involvement in Children's Education: Why Does It Make a Difference? Teachers College Record, 97(2), 310–331. Merriam, S. B. (1998). Qualitative Research and Case Study Applications in Education. Revised and Expanded from "Case Study Research in Education.". San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers. Niggli, A., Trautwein, U., Schnyder, I., Lüdtke, O., & Neumann, M. (2007). Elterliche Unterstützung kann hilfreich sein, aber Einmischung schadet: Familiärer Hintergrund, elterliches Hausaufgabenmanagement und Leistungsentwicklung. Psychologie in Erziehung und Unterricht, 54(1), 4–14. Schulte, K., Hartig, J., & Pietsch, M. (2014). Der Sozialindex für Hamburger Schulen. Walker, J. M. T., Wilkins, A. S., Dallaire, J. R., Sandler, H. M., & Hoover-Dempsey, K. V. (2005). Parental Involvement: Model Revision through Scale Development. The Elementary School Journal, 2, 85–104.
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