14 SES 02 B, Parental Involvement with Schools and Children‘s Education (Part 1)
Parental involvement is reported to influence in particular students’ academic performance on both primary and secondary level (Grossman, 1999; Fan & Chen, 2001; Hoover – Dempsey et al., 2005; Bakker et al., 2007; Georgiou & Tourva, 2007; Pomerantz et al., 2007; Koutrouba et al., 2009; Taliaferro et al., 2009). The involvement itself is defined as a multidimensional construct representing many different behaviors and practices at home and at school throughout the entire process of education. It entails both “parental beliefs and expectations in academic achievement and parental multifaceted behavior at home and in school in order to improve their children’s educational performance” (Koutrouba et al., 2009).
Although parental involvement is sometimes considered as an ‘all-encompassing and imprecise term’; some typologies, nevertheless, exist. The most well-known counts six types of involvement (Epstein & Sanders, 2000): (a) parenting - help in establishing home environments that support children as students; (b) communicating - designing and conducting effective forms of communication about school programs and children’s progress; (c) volunteering - recruiting and organizing help and support for school functions and activities; (d) learning at home - providing information to families how to help their children with homework and curriculum related activities; (e) decision-making - including parents in school decisions; and (f) collaboration with the community at large - identifying and integrating resources and services from the community in strengthen and supporting schools, students and their families. Various agents contribute to parents being involved. They range from parents’ beliefs and goals for involvement, previous treatment that they received when attempting to interact with the school system, to other engagements and everyday responsibilities accompanying parents’ lives.
In the last decade education systems of all South East European countries have been involved in increasing decentralization of responsibilities related to school governance and adaptation of innovative methods of management. Therefore importance of parental involvement has only recently been recognized in the SEE region, with high concordance on the subject. In 2009 as a part of Advancing Educational Inclusion and Quality in South East Europe Initiative supported by the Education Support Program of the Open Society Institute a Cross-National Survey of Parents in SEE countries took place aiming to provide a panoramic view of parental participation in schools from the perspectives of parents, parent representatives and principals. Study was conducted in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo (as defined by UNSCHR 1244), Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, and Serbia. Analysis in this paper will be aimed towards general perceptions on parental involvement in subsample of mainstream parents and corresponding schools in all 10 countries, entailing 9215 parents and 317 principals. Regular or mainstream parent distinction refers to a parent whose child attends elementary school, while the parent himself is not a member of school board, PTA or parents’ council nor comes from a socially excluded group.
Bakker, J., Denessen, E. and Brus-Laeven, M. (2007). Socio-economic background, parental involvement and teacher perceptions of these in relation to pupil achievement. Educational Studies, Vol. 33, No. 2, pp. 177–192 Epstein, J. & Sanders, M. (2000). Connecting home, school, and community: new directions for social research, in (ed.) Hallinan, M. Handbook of the sociology of education, New York, Kluwer Fan, X. and Chen, M. (2001). Parental Involvement and Students’ Academic Achievement: A Meta-Analysis. Educational Psychology Review, Vol. 13, No. 1, pp. 1-22 Georgiou, S. N. and Tourva, A. (2007). Parental attributions and parental involvement Social Psychology of Education. Vol.10, No. 4, pp. 73–482 Grossman, S. (1999). Examining the origins of our beliefs about parents. Childhood Education; Vol. 76, No.1, pp. 24 – 27 Hoover-Dempsey, K. V., Walker, J. M. T., Sandler, H. M., Whetsel, D., Green, C.L., Wilkins, A.S. and Closson, K. (2005). Why Do Parents Become Involved? Research Findings and Implications, The Elementary School Journal, Vol. 106, No. 2, pp. 105-130 Koutrouba, K., Antonopoulou, E., Tsitsas, G. and Zenakou, E. (2009). An Investigation of Greek Teachers’ Views on Parental Involvement in Education, School Psychology International, Vol. 30(3): 311–328. Pop, D.; Powwel, S.; Miljević, G. and Crighton, J. (2009) School governance and social inclusion: involvement of parents: south-east Europe cross-countries survey of principals' views. Ljubljana: Faculty of Education, Centre for Educational Policy Studies Pomerantz, E. M., Moorman, E. A and Litwack, S. D. (2007). The How, Whom, and Why of Parents’ Involvement in Children’s Academic Lives: More Is Not Always Better. Review of Educational research, Vol. 77; No. 3; pp. 373-410 Taliaferro, J.D., DeCuir-Gunby, J. and Allen-Eckard, K. (2009). ‘I can see parents being reluctant’: perceptions of parental involvement using child and family teams in schools, Child and Family Social Work, Vol. 14, pp 278–288.
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