CHAPTER in eight sections. I will begin with


this chapter, a detailed review of accessible literature on Parent’s
involvement in academic activities of their children and its effect on their
academic achievement at elementary level has been presented. This helped to
researcher to draw theoretical basis for the present study.

Parents’ involvement

involvement in their child’s education has been a focus of research for many
decades now. The definition of parental involvement is broad and difficult for
researchers to agree upon one infinitive meaning. Southwest Educational
Development Laboratory (2001) stated that Literature review on parent
involvement reveals that there is no constant conformity on the term parental
involvement there are multiple definitions that are used interchangeably to
define the relationship amongst parents and schools.

to Christenson & Sheridan, (2001) and Olgetree (2010) some of these terms
include home school associations, home school teamwork, family school
partnership, and home school involvement. Christenson & Sheridan (2001)
said that However, there was no specific definition of parental engagement or
parental involvement that was used in literature consistently

are a lot of type’s parent’s involvements which can effect on students achievements
in education. But my topic is Parent’s involvement in
academic activities of their children and its effect on their academic
achievement at elementary level. Therefore, this literature review will focus only on the
elements relevant to students with academic achievements and will be
articulated in eight sections.

will begin with a description of theoretical models of parent involvement,
noting the extent to which these models address the focal issue in the present
study, namely, and schools’ parent engagement efforts. Subsequent sections of
the literature review will address parent involvement in elementary level,
parent involvement for students academic achievements, parent involvement for
middle school students, barriers of parents involvements, parents’ perspectives
on their involvement with schools, teachers’ and administrators’ perspectives
on parent involvement, and comparisons of the perspectives of parents and school
personnel. I conclude with a summary of the literature review.






Numerous lines of research provide
illuminating models addressing the process and types of parent involvement;
they do not, however, clearly integrate variables that index schools’ facilitation
of parent involvement. Epstein (2001) outlined six types of parent involvement
for the purpose of supporting schools’ efforts to involve parents. The six
types of involvement are: (1) parenting (helping parents with parenting
skills), (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 making
at the school level (recruiting parents for school committees), and (60 collaborating
with the community (creating a connection between the school and community).

model of parent involvement proposed by Hoover Dempsey and Sandler
included five levels relevant to the process of parent involvement,(1)
beginning with parents’ involvement decision, (2) parent’s choice of
involvement forms, (3) mechanisms that influence child outcomes,(4) mediating
variables, and (5) ending with child or student outcomes.

level one, the parents’ involvement decision is based on their role
sense of value for helping their child, and invitations from teachers. In
level two,
involvement form is influenced by parents’ skills and knowledge, demands on
their time,
and invitations for involvement that are proffered by the child and the child’s
Mechanisms (level three) through which outcomes are influenced by parent
include modelling, strengthening and instruction. Mediating variables (level
four) include
the parent’s use of developmentally suitable strategies and the fit
between the
parent’s actions and the school’s expectations. In level five, child or student
include skills and knowledge, and effectiveness for doing well in school.

models speak about the parent’s involvement for students. Like
model, this model does not speak to parent involvement for students’ acceptance
special education services and only includes two elements of schools’ efforts
to involve parents, i.e., teachers’ invitations and the schools’

and Taylor’s (2004)  presented model on theoretical
review of research on parent involvement focused on identifying the mechanisms
of parent involvement that have been revealed to be important for student
achievement. The first mechanism the authors identified is social capital; when
parents are more involved with their child’s schooling; this increases their
social capital, defined as their socially acquired knowledge and skills for helping
their child in Social control. The second mechanism was described as the
process by which parents and schools work together to build academic and
behavioural opportunity to be communicated to children.

review focused on the issue of context and discusses the issues related to
social class and other social factors that may impact (positively or
negatively) parent involvement. But these models do not explain schools’
facilitation efforts or how parent involvement is related to efforts by the
school to engage parents. However, this theory is important for informing
schools how their efforts to engage parents interact with parents’ social
capital, which is an important build to consider in understanding parent

to Parental Involvement

Epstein (1992) model explained that all
the conducted universally studies suggests there is a strong correlation between
specific components of parent involvement and student academic achievement;
however, even with this knowledge, there are few schools and districts that
have a strong established parental involvement program in place.

Rebecca Burns (1993) concluded that there
are four major barriers to parental involvement, especially pertaining to
parents with a low socioeconomic status. The major barriers include: (1) Constraints
on Parent’s Availability, (2) Disparities between Home and School Cultures, (3)
Feelings of Inadequacies, and (4) Parent and Teacher Attitudes.

Rebecca Burns (1993) further explained
that the change in family structure has had a direct reflection on the time of
parental involvement and availability parents have in schools. The number of
single parent families that have more than one job, in addition to the number
of traditional type of families, has increased. Therefore, many families have
several time constraints that limit their ability to participate in activities
during regular school hours, including volunteer opportunities, as well as
teacher conferences. These types of socioeconomic changes directly impact the
type of parental involvement a parent may have at the school site. 18 Another
barrier that has an impact on parental involvement is the difference between
the 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 that
enables him a better chance to succeed versus someone from a less experienced

Cultural Capital is further defined as the
advantage gained by middle class, educated, European American parents from
knowing, preferring and experiencing a lifestyle matching with the culture that
is dominant in most American schools.

Bourdieu (1977) suggested that the concept
of cultural capital is based on the idea that schools and other social
structures have a strong influence over an individual through the mechanism of
the cultural capital.

Mannan and Blackwell (1992) conducted a Study
by which they determined that when the school environment wasn’t sensitive to
the home language and culture, two way communications was often very difficult,
and many parents were discouraged from initiating any type of dialogue with the

Hill and Taylor (2004) also defined that
it was not recognized that parental involvement seems to function differently
and serve different purposes in different cultural groups.  Laureau (2001) another theorist, described that
students who lack cultural capital have limited parental involvement and are
likely to have lower academic achievement than their peers. One of the
disadvantages that may occur when parents whose culture or lifestyle differs

Hill & Taylor (2004) explained that from
the dominant culture include parents, who have less of a wish to visit the
school, resulting in less opportunity for the parent to gain the social,
informational and material rewards gained by those parents who do actively
participate. Also, the differences in cultural capital may reduce the ability
of parents to obtain information and parental skills (social capital) which can
better provide their child in regards to school related activities, regardless
if the parents are active or not active in the school.

Bourdieu & Passeron, (1977) elaborated
that, which cultural capital exists in three states: (1) institutionalized, (2)
objectified and (3) embodied. Pierre Bourdieu, a French sociologist, suggested
that in the objectified state, cultural capital can be increased by
transforming economic capital into goods and objects. For example, a textbook is
an “objectified” form of cultural capital since it requires prior training to
understand the text. Institutional capital is in the form of attained degrees
(high school, college), and credentials (trades, jobs) which signify a level of
cultural competence recognized by others in society.

Stanton Salazar, (1997) as determined by
the researcher Michael Apple, embodied capital is recognized by a person’s disposition
or aptitude that reflects the personal knowledge base and skills of an Individual
Based on these findings, the importance of parental involvement and the
possession of cultural capital resources are significant. In order for a parent
to participate and advocate for their child in the school, they must possess
cultural capital resources that are recognized and acknowledged. Everyone,
regardless of background, brings a set of norms and values to the school; this
is known as the social capital. Social Capital is a concept which “focuses on
the degree and quality of middle class forms of social support inherent in a
young person’s interpersonal network”

Stanton Salazar (1997) emphasized that the
need for educators to play an active role in the lives of students, thereby
increasing their social capital and teaching them how to “encode the system”.
This study highlighted the communication breakdown that is prevalent in the
school system, which has denied students the ability reach a level of success
in regards to their educational goals. The limitations of the social capital
resources are barriers that both the students and parents face.

Stanton Salazar (1997) further explained
that   many students and parents that
have a low socioeconomic status may see attending school as a negative
experience; however, when we equip our students with the skills needed to
decode the system, they achieve at a higher rate. When considering Social
Capital from the parents’ perspective, a school’s responsibility is to provide
training and to ensure that parents become socially engaged in learning to
decode the school system, which will provide more opportunities for their
child. This is not to imply that these parents don’t possess decoding skills in
the overall sense, but they may lack the skills and training within the
mainstream institution.

 Bourdieu (1986) described that the degree to
which a person possesses social capital depends on the size of their network of
connections. A school is a prime source for students to gain social capital
because it is a primary place for their social interactions. The stronger the relationships
between the school personnel and the students, the more students are exposed to
social capital resources, as well as to decoding the educational system.

James Coleman (1988) divided that social
capital 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 good
over self interest.

Laureau (2001) described that Coleman’s
work supports the idea that it is the family’s responsibility to adopt certain
norms to advance their child’s chances in life, whereas Bourdieu’s work
emphasizes structural constraints and unequal access to institutional resources
based on class, gender, and race. However, both theoretical frameworks are
based on identifying an alternative explanation as to why there is a difference
in academic achievement among high SES students and low SES students.

 Dika and Singh (2002) explained that Parents
play a major role in student achievement; however, based on the Cultural and Social
Capital framework, teachers and administrators are very instrumental to the
students’ academic achievements as well. While building a partnership with
parents, teachers gain a better understanding of the child’s culture, their
needs and their academic capabilities, thereby addressing the social capital

A study conducted by Stanton Salazar
(1997) showed a significant difference in closing the communication gap that
exists between the school and home, thereby breaking down the barriers that are
in place, and equipping the students with the skills needed to decode the system
and achieve at a higher rate.

Henderson, Mapp, Johnson, & Davies
(2007) defined that successful method to build

and social capital includes providing parents with information and knowledge as
the key to bridging the gap between home and school. Informing families about
how the educational system and local government work is one of the first ways
to bridge the gap. Another method is to make the school a community resource center
in and of itself where parents receive information about programs and community
resources at the school site.

            Johnson, & Davies (2007) and
other group authors also suggest showcasing local businesses at the school and
providing information about the services they offer while highlighting how they
can benefit the school and community, and ultimately impact their children in a
positive way. Finally, the authors suggest that there is a greater chance for
academic achievement when parents are empowered with knowledge to promote
effective change in the school and their child, providing many ways parents can
meet and discuss all issues with teachers and administrators concerning their
child’s academic progress combining the findings of all the researchers.

Bourdieu, (1986) explained that there is
an important connection between parental involvement and empowering the parents
with Social and Cultural Capital resources. Considering the findings of
Bourdieu, conceptualization of social capital is rooted in the social reproduction
theory and symbolic power Bourdieu argues that the educational system
contributes to the reproduction of the structure of class relations by unevenly
drawing 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 suggested
that within the theory of cultural capital, schools are not necessarily viewed
as 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 low
income and working class families, educating parents on the workings of the school
and the educational system is, at times, difficult. Low income working families
are faced with barriers such as parental employment or unemployment, linguistic
barriers, and extenuating circumstances that make the parents reluctant to
participate fully or become involved even when the opportunities exist. Laureau
also suggests that schools and societies do not teach students, or parents,
ways in which a parent can gain social and cultural capital resources, neither
through classes or other measures. Therefore, low income and working class
parents may not be empowered or equipped with these resources, and may feel inadequate
with participating and contributing to the creation and implementation of
school policies and the school governing body. Despite these barriers, Lareau
(1989) posits that low income and working class parents are still involved with
their child’s education, and find ways to support and help their child achieve
success at school. The difference is in the actual type of involvement between
the low income, working class parents and the higher income families.

Bourdieu’s (1989) social reproduction theory
suggested that the school’s governing system will be a reflection of the
dominant culture, thereby impeding the student and parent’s involvement in the
school. Therefore, the schools have the responsibility to educate the parents
and level the playing field, while parents can support the students and the
school equally. In the situation of parental involvement, schools and districts
determine the types of social and cultural capital that are necessary to
facilitate positive parental involvement on behalf of their child’s educational

Joyce Epstein (1992) designed a model that
is comprised of six major types of parental involvement that supports academic
achievement. Of the six components, four have been adopted to support the NCLB
Title I parental involvement requirement at the national level. Epstein (1992)
categorized parent involvement into six types:

1 Parenting: Helping all families to establish supportive environments for
their children.

2 Communicating: Establishing two-way exchanges about school programs and children’s

3 Volunteering: Recruiting and organizing parent help at school, home, or other


4 Learning at Home: Providing information and ideas to families about how to

students with homework and other curriculum related materials.

5 Decision Making: Having parents from all backgrounds serve as representatives

leaders on school committees.

6 Collaborating with the Community: Identifying and integrating resources and

from the community to strengthen school programs.

argues that when schools frequently engage parents they have more successful
outcomes because the students benefit from the consistent message generated by
their home and the school about the importance of education. Another major
component that supports the correlation between parental involvement and student
achievement is increasing the social capital. Bennett (2001) defined that increasing
the parents’ skills and knowledge base will better provide them to assist their
children at home. By providing the opportunity for parents to collaborate with
one another, it makes room for them to share insight with one another on school
policies, practices, community resources, as well as approaches to 25 parenting

According to Constantino (2003) creating a
school culture that is welcoming and engages the family is the key component to
parental involvement, which, research shows has a positive effect on student
academic achievements. Constantino (2003) viewed that schools and families
should engage and build a positive partnership by making schools the center of
the 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 in
Education (2010) NCPIE described parental involvement as exchanging
information, sharing in decision making, volunteering at the school, and
collaborating with teachers in the educational process Improving interactions between
school and parents is essential to developing and encouragement parent

Epstein (1991), Constantino (2003), and
Callison (2004) suggested that communication and collaboration are the key
factors for improving interactions between the parents and the school. Epstein developed
a concept known as “the spheres of influence” which places the student at the
center of a partnership encompassing the school, family and community. If the
school students are the center of the community, it will allow all stakeholders
the opportunity to positively influence students in the school. When students
see that parents, teachers and the community members working together in a
collaborative effort on their behalf, it will give the child a sense of being cared
for from many vantage points. The students, as a result, see the value that the
parents, school and community place on education.

In 1998, the National Parent Teachers
Association (NPTA) identified six domains that

key areas for the success of parental involvement in education. (The six
domains were adopted from Joyce Epstein’s model of parental involvement: (1) Communication,
Parenting, (2) Student Learning, (3) Volunteering, (4) School Decision Making
and (5) Collaborating with the Community.

Callison (2004) viewed that the following
ways to implement and support the domain areas the NPTA identified as key areas
that will involve parents and have a positive impact on student achievement.


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