14 SES 08 B, Family Education and Parenting - Parental Involvement in the First Stages of Schooling
Parent involvement has been widely accepted to be a backbone for educational effectiveness simply because parents are considered to constitue a critical role in how individuals would develop and learn (Bronfenbrenner, 1976; John-Steiner & Mahn, 1996). Particularly, defined as the participation of parents in the educational experiences of their children (Jeynes, 2005), parent involvement is cosidered to be multidimensional in nature, involving various forms of behavioral patterns and practices (Fag & Chen, 2001), ranging from basic obligations of families and schools, involvement at school, in learning activities at home, and in decision making, and collaboration and exchanges with community (Epstein & Dauber, 1991). Moreover, it has often been associated with various positive educational outcomes in the literature (Greenwood & Hickman, 1991). The recent report of OECD (Borgonovi & Montt, 2012) suggests that parent involvement in education can lead to an increase in students’ cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes and reduce achievement gap among students from different socioeconomic status.
Despite its potential value for improving educational practice, parent involvement is still difficult to promote and maintain partly because of such reasons as parents’ discomfort with school settings, low level of self-confidence to support the education of their children, scheduling, babysitting, and transportation problems, and cultural differences (Larocqueira, Kleiman, & Darling, 2011). It may also be influenced by socioeconomic status of parents (Lareau, 1987) and the size of their social network and beliefs (Sheldon, 2002). Moreover, the school staff is judged to be considerably in need of professional development concerning parent involvement (Ferrara, 2009). Although teachers and administrators may endorse parent involvement, their practices do not necessarily align with it (Barnyak & McNelly, 2009).
The curriculum reform based on constructivist approach to education in Turkey also underscored the significance of parent involvement (Koc, Isiksal, & Bulut, 2007). The literature seems to be limited in representing the current status of parent involvement in practice in the national context because it is chiefly concerned about parent involvement in early childhood education (e.g., Gürşimşek, Kefi, & Girgin, 2007; Tekin, 2011; Tezel-Şahin, İnal, & Özbey, 2011; Ünüvar, 2010). Otherwise, it is mostly based on the perception of parents, teachers, and administrators (e.g., Erdoğan & Demirkasımoğlu, 2010; Sabancı, 2009), leaving the perceptions of students unexplored. Seeking to fill an area of gap in the literature, the current study attempts to address the following research question: How does the parent involvement take place in the case of the 4th grade elementary classes in Turkey as perceived by students? The results are expected to contribute to identification of needs regarding parent involvement and proposal of several suggestions for practice and policy. Furthermore, the case of Turkey, representing the voice of the students, may provide insight for the European context which currently attempts to promote active citizenship via parent involvement (Eurydice, 2012).
Barnyak, N. C., & McNelly, T. A. (2009). An urban school district’s parent involvement: A study of teachers’ and administrators’ beliefs and practices. The School Community Journal, 19(1), 33-58. Borgonovi, F., & Montt, G. (2012). Parental involvement in selected PISA countries and economies (Report No. 73). Retrieved from OECD iLibrary website: http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/docserver/download/5k990rk0jsjj.pdf?expires=1358413413&id=id&accname=guest&checksum=199FA9ABABF9AC0ED9FECE849F1EE026 Bronfenbrenner, U. (1976). The experimental ecology of education. Educational Researcher, 5(9), 5-15. Epstein, J. L., & Dauber, S. L. (1991). School programs and teacher practices of parent involvement in inner-city elementary and middle schools. The Elementary School Journal, 91(3), 289-305. Ferrara, M. M. (2009). Broadening the myopic vision of parent involvement. The School Community Journal, 19(2), 123-142. Greenwood, G. E., & Hickman, C. W. (1991). Research and practice in parent involvement: Implications for teacher education. The Elementary School Journal, 91(3), 279-288. Jeynes, W. H. (2005). A meta-analysis of the relation of parent involvement to urban elementary school student academic achievement. Urban Education, 40, 237-269. John-Steiner, V., & Mahn, H. (1996). Sociocultural approaches to learning and development: A Vygotskian Framework. Educational Psychologist, 3(3/4), 191-206. Koc, Y., Isiksal, M., & Bulut, S. (2007). Elementary school curriculum reform in Turkey. International Education Journal, 8(1), 30-39. Lareau, A. (1987). Social class differences in family-school relationships: The importance of cultural capital. Sociology of Education, 60(2), 73-85. Larocqueira, M., Kleiman, I., & Darling, S. M. (2011). Parental involvement: The missing link in school achievement. Preventing School Failure, 55(3), 115–122. Patton, M. Q. (1990). Qualitative evaluation and research methods. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Sheldon, S. B. (2002). Parents’ social networks and beliefs as predictors of parent involvement. The Elementary School Journal, 102(4), 301-316.
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