CHAPTER #2Inthis chapter, a detailed review of accessible literature on Parent’sinvolvement in academic activities of their children and its effect on theiracademic achievement at elementary level has been presented. This helped toresearcher to draw theoretical basis for the present study.Parents’ involvementParents’involvement in their child’s education has been a focus of research for manydecades now. The definition of parental involvement is broad and difficult forresearchers to agree upon one infinitive meaning. Southwest EducationalDevelopment Laboratory (2001) stated that Literature review on parentinvolvement reveals that there is no constant conformity on the term parentalinvolvement there are multiple definitions that are used interchangeably todefine the relationship amongst parents and schools.
Accordingto Christenson & Sheridan, (2001) and Olgetree (2010) some of these termsinclude home school associations, home school teamwork, family schoolpartnership, and home school involvement. Christenson & Sheridan (2001)said that However, there was no specific definition of parental engagement orparental involvement that was used in literature consistentlyThereare a lot of type’s parent’s involvements which can effect on students achievementsin education. But my topic is Parent’s involvement inacademic activities of their children and its effect on their academicachievement at elementary level.
Therefore, this literature review will focus only on theelements relevant to students with academic achievements and will bearticulated in eight sections.Iwill begin with a description of theoretical models of parent involvement,noting the extent to which these models address the focal issue in the presentstudy, namely, and schools’ parent engagement efforts. Subsequent sections ofthe literature review will address parent involvement in elementary level,parent involvement for students academic achievements, parent involvement formiddle school students, barriers of parents involvements, parents’ perspectiveson their involvement with schools, teachers’ and administrators’ perspectiveson parent involvement, and comparisons of the perspectives of parents and schoolpersonnel. I conclude with a summary of the literature review. TheoreticalModelsNumerous lines of research provideilluminating models addressing the process and types of parent involvement;they do not, however, clearly integrate variables that index schools’ facilitationof parent involvement. Epstein (2001) outlined six types of parent involvementfor the purpose of supporting schools’ efforts to involve parents. The sixtypes of involvement are: (1) parenting (helping parents with parentingskills), (2) communicating (discussing student progress with parents), (3) volunteering(recruiting parents for in school opportunities), (4) learning at home(supporting parents to help with children’s home learning), (5) decision makingat the school level (recruiting parents for school committees), and (60 collaboratingwith the community (creating a connection between the school and community).
Themodel of parent involvement proposed by Hoover Dempsey and Sandler(1995)included five levels relevant to the process of parent involvement,(1)beginning with parents’ involvement decision, (2) parent’s choice ofinvolvement forms, (3) mechanisms that influence child outcomes,(4) mediatingvariables, and (5) ending with child or student outcomes.Inlevel one, the parents’ involvement decision is based on their roleproduction,sense of value for helping their child, and invitations from teachers. Inlevel two,involvement form is influenced by parents’ skills and knowledge, demands ontheir time,and invitations for involvement that are proffered by the child and the child’steacher.Mechanisms (level three) through which outcomes are influenced by parentinvolvementinclude modelling, strengthening and instruction. Mediating variables (levelfour) includethe parent’s use of developmentally suitable strategies and the fitbetween theparent’s actions and the school’s expectations. In level five, child or studentoutcomesinclude skills and knowledge, and effectiveness for doing well in school. Bothmodels speak about the parent’s involvement for students.
LikeEpstein’smodel, this model does not speak to parent involvement for students’ acceptancespecial education services and only includes two elements of schools’ effortsto involve parents, i.e., teachers’ invitations and the schools’expectations.Hilland Taylor’s (2004) presented model on theoreticalreview of research on parent involvement focused on identifying the mechanismsof parent involvement that have been revealed to be important for studentachievement. The first mechanism the authors identified is social capital; whenparents are more involved with their child’s schooling; this increases theirsocial capital, defined as their socially acquired knowledge and skills for helpingtheir child in Social control. The second mechanism was described as theprocess by which parents and schools work together to build academic andbehavioural opportunity to be communicated to children.Thisreview focused on the issue of context and discusses the issues related tosocial class and other social factors that may impact (positively ornegatively) parent involvement.
But these models do not explain schools’facilitation efforts or how parent involvement is related to efforts by theschool to engage parents. However, this theory is important for informingschools how their efforts to engage parents interact with parents’ socialcapital, which is an important build to consider in understanding parentinvolvement.Barriersto Parental InvolvementEpstein (1992) model explained that allthe conducted universally studies suggests there is a strong correlation betweenspecific components of parent involvement and student academic achievement;however, even with this knowledge, there are few schools and districts thathave a strong established parental involvement program in place.Rebecca Burns (1993) concluded that thereare four major barriers to parental involvement, especially pertaining toparents with a low socioeconomic status. The major barriers include: (1) Constraintson Parent’s Availability, (2) Disparities between Home and School Cultures, (3)Feelings of Inadequacies, and (4) Parent and Teacher Attitudes.Rebecca Burns (1993) further explainedthat the change in family structure has had a direct reflection on the time ofparental involvement and availability parents have in schools. The number ofsingle parent families that have more than one job, in addition to the numberof traditional type of families, has increased. Therefore, many families haveseveral time constraints that limit their ability to participate in activitiesduring regular school hours, including volunteer opportunities, as well asteacher conferences.
These types of socioeconomic changes directly impact thetype of parental involvement a parent may have at the school site. 18 Anotherbarrier that has an impact on parental involvement is the difference betweenthe cultures of the parents and teachers.Cultural Capital denotes the gathering of knowledge,experience, and skills one has had through the course of their life thatenables him a better chance to succeed versus someone from a less experiencedbackground.Cultural Capital is further defined as theadvantage gained by middle class, educated, European American parents fromknowing, preferring and experiencing a lifestyle matching with the culture thatis dominant in most American schools.
Bourdieu (1977) suggested that the conceptof cultural capital is based on the idea that schools and other socialstructures have a strong influence over an individual through the mechanism ofthe cultural capital.Mannan and Blackwell (1992) conducted a Studyby which they determined that when the school environment wasn’t sensitive tothe home language and culture, two way communications was often very difficult,and many parents were discouraged from initiating any type of dialogue with theteacher.Hill and Taylor (2004) also defined thatit was not recognized that parental involvement seems to function differentlyand serve different purposes in different cultural groups. Laureau (2001) another theorist, described thatstudents who lack cultural capital have limited parental involvement and arelikely to have lower academic achievement than their peers. One of thedisadvantages that may occur when parents whose culture or lifestyle differsHill & Taylor (2004) explained that fromthe dominant culture include parents, who have less of a wish to visit theschool, resulting in less opportunity for the parent to gain the social,informational and material rewards gained by those parents who do activelyparticipate. Also, the differences in cultural capital may reduce the abilityof parents to obtain information and parental skills (social capital) which canbetter provide their child in regards to school related activities, regardlessif the parents are active or not active in the school. Bourdieu & Passeron, (1977) elaboratedthat, which cultural capital exists in three states: (1) institutionalized, (2)objectified and (3) embodied.
Pierre Bourdieu, a French sociologist, suggestedthat in the objectified state, cultural capital can be increased bytransforming economic capital into goods and objects. For example, a textbook isan “objectified” form of cultural capital since it requires prior training tounderstand the text. Institutional capital is in the form of attained degrees(high school, college), and credentials (trades, jobs) which signify a level ofcultural competence recognized by others in society.
Stanton Salazar, (1997) as determined bythe researcher Michael Apple, embodied capital is recognized by a person’s dispositionor aptitude that reflects the personal knowledge base and skills of an IndividualBased on these findings, the importance of parental involvement and thepossession of cultural capital resources are significant. In order for a parentto participate and advocate for their child in the school, they must possesscultural capital resources that are recognized and acknowledged. Everyone,regardless of background, brings a set of norms and values to the school; thisis known as the social capital. Social Capital is a concept which “focuses onthe degree and quality of middle class forms of social support inherent in ayoung person’s interpersonal network” Stanton Salazar (1997) emphasized that theneed for educators to play an active role in the lives of students, therebyincreasing their social capital and teaching them how to “encode the system”.This study highlighted the communication breakdown that is prevalent in theschool system, which has denied students the ability reach a level of successin regards to their educational goals. The limitations of the social capitalresources are barriers that both the students and parents face.Stanton Salazar (1997) further explainedthat many students and parents thathave a low socioeconomic status may see attending school as a negativeexperience; however, when we equip our students with the skills needed todecode the system, they achieve at a higher rate. When considering SocialCapital from the parents’ perspective, a school’s responsibility is to providetraining and to ensure that parents become socially engaged in learning todecode the school system, which will provide more opportunities for theirchild.
This is not to imply that these parents don’t possess decoding skills inthe overall sense, but they may lack the skills and training within themainstream institution. Bourdieu (1986) described that the degree towhich a person possesses social capital depends on the size of their network ofconnections. A school is a prime source for students to gain social capitalbecause it is a primary place for their social interactions. The stronger the relationshipsbetween the school personnel and the students, the more students are exposed tosocial capital resources, as well as to decoding the educational system.James Coleman (1988) divided that socialcapital has three forms: (1) level of trust as evidenced by obligations and expectations,(2) information channels, and (3) norms and sanctions that promote the common goodover self interest.
Laureau (2001) described that Coleman’swork supports the idea that it is the family’s responsibility to adopt certainnorms to advance their child’s chances in life, whereas Bourdieu’s workemphasizes structural constraints and unequal access to institutional resourcesbased on class, gender, and race. However, both theoretical frameworks arebased on identifying an alternative explanation as to why there is a differencein academic achievement among high SES students and low SES students. Dika and Singh (2002) explained that Parentsplay a major role in student achievement; however, based on the Cultural and SocialCapital framework, teachers and administrators are very instrumental to thestudents’ academic achievements as well. While building a partnership withparents, teachers gain a better understanding of the child’s culture, theirneeds and their academic capabilities, thereby addressing the social capitalneeds. A study conducted by Stanton Salazar(1997) showed a significant difference in closing the communication gap thatexists between the school and home, thereby breaking down the barriers that arein place, and equipping the students with the skills needed to decode the systemand achieve at a higher rate.Henderson, Mapp, Johnson, & Davies(2007) defined that successful method to buildCulturaland social capital includes providing parents with information and knowledge asthe key to bridging the gap between home and school.
Informing families abouthow the educational system and local government work is one of the first waysto bridge the gap. Another method is to make the school a community resource centerin and of itself where parents receive information about programs and communityresources at the school site. Johnson, & Davies (2007) andother group authors also suggest showcasing local businesses at the school andproviding information about the services they offer while highlighting how theycan benefit the school and community, and ultimately impact their children in apositive way. Finally, the authors suggest that there is a greater chance foracademic achievement when parents are empowered with knowledge to promoteeffective change in the school and their child, providing many ways parents canmeet and discuss all issues with teachers and administrators concerning theirchild’s academic progress combining the findings of all the researchers.
Bourdieu, (1986) explained that there isan important connection between parental involvement and empowering the parentswith Social and Cultural Capital resources. Considering the findings ofBourdieu, conceptualization of social capital is rooted in the social reproductiontheory and symbolic power Bourdieu argues that the educational systemcontributes to the reproduction of the structure of class relations by unevenlydrawing on the social and cultural resources of members within the society.Bourdieu (1986), Roscigno and Darnell(1999) having studied race, cultural capital and achievement, also suggestedthat within the theory of cultural capital, schools are not necessarily viewedas unbiased institutions, but as institutions in which the preferences,attitudes and behaviours of the dominant class are most highly valued.Laureau (1989) suggested that for many lowincome and working class families, educating parents on the workings of the schooland the educational system is, at times, difficult.
Low income working familiesare faced with barriers such as parental employment or unemployment, linguisticbarriers, and extenuating circumstances that make the parents reluctant toparticipate fully or become involved even when the opportunities exist. Laureaualso suggests that schools and societies do not teach students, or parents,ways in which a parent can gain social and cultural capital resources, neitherthrough classes or other measures. Therefore, low income and working classparents may not be empowered or equipped with these resources, and may feel inadequatewith participating and contributing to the creation and implementation ofschool policies and the school governing body.
Despite these barriers, Lareau(1989) posits that low income and working class parents are still involved withtheir child’s education, and find ways to support and help their child achievesuccess at school. The difference is in the actual type of involvement betweenthe low income, working class parents and the higher income families.Bourdieu’s (1989) social reproduction theorysuggested that the school’s governing system will be a reflection of thedominant culture, thereby impeding the student and parent’s involvement in theschool. Therefore, the schools have the responsibility to educate the parentsand level the playing field, while parents can support the students and theschool equally.
In the situation of parental involvement, schools and districtsdetermine the types of social and cultural capital that are necessary tofacilitate positive parental involvement on behalf of their child’s educationalexperience.Joyce Epstein (1992) designed a model thatis comprised of six major types of parental involvement that supports academicachievement. Of the six components, four have been adopted to support the NCLBTitle I parental involvement requirement at the national level.
Epstein (1992)categorized parent involvement into six types:Type1 Parenting: Helping all families to establish supportive environments fortheir children.Type2 Communicating: Establishing two-way exchanges about school programs and children’sprogress.Type3 Volunteering: Recruiting and organizing parent help at school, home, or otherLocations.
Type4 Learning at Home: Providing information and ideas to families about how toHelpstudents with homework and other curriculum related materials.Type5 Decision Making: Having parents from all backgrounds serve as representativesandleaders on school committees.Type6 Collaborating with the Community: Identifying and integrating resources andservicesfrom the community to strengthen school programs.Epsteinargues that when schools frequently engage parents they have more successfuloutcomes because the students benefit from the consistent message generated bytheir home and the school about the importance of education. Another majorcomponent that supports the correlation between parental involvement and studentachievement is increasing the social capital. Bennett (2001) defined that increasingthe parents’ skills and knowledge base will better provide them to assist theirchildren at home. By providing the opportunity for parents to collaborate withone another, it makes room for them to share insight with one another on schoolpolicies, practices, community resources, as well as approaches to 25 parentingpractices.
According to Constantino (2003) creating aschool culture that is welcoming and engages the family is the key component toparental involvement, which, research shows has a positive effect on studentacademic achievements. Constantino (2003) viewed that schools and familiesshould engage and build a positive partnership by making schools the center ofthe community and not only involving the teachers, administrators and parents,but also including businesses and community members to support the school.National Coalition for Parent Involvement inEducation (2010) NCPIE described parental involvement as exchanginginformation, sharing in decision making, volunteering at the school, andcollaborating with teachers in the educational process Improving interactions betweenschool and parents is essential to developing and encouragement parentinvolvement.Epstein (1991), Constantino (2003), andCallison (2004) suggested that communication and collaboration are the keyfactors for improving interactions between the parents and the school. Epstein developeda concept known as “the spheres of influence” which places the student at thecenter of a partnership encompassing the school, family and community. If theschool students are the center of the community, it will allow all stakeholdersthe opportunity to positively influence students in the school.
When studentssee that parents, teachers and the community members working together in acollaborative effort on their behalf, it will give the child a sense of being caredfor from many vantage points. The students, as a result, see the value that theparents, school and community place on education. In 1998, the National Parent TeachersAssociation (NPTA) identified six domains thatRepresentkey areas for the success of parental involvement in education. (The sixdomains were adopted from Joyce Epstein’s model of parental involvement: (1) Communication,Parenting, (2) Student Learning, (3) Volunteering, (4) School Decision Makingand (5) Collaborating with the Community.Callison (2004) viewed that the followingways to implement and support the domain areas the NPTA identified as key areasthat will involve parents and have a positive impact on student achievement.