The role of the school in promoting parental participation in education : an investigation in a public primary school.
Kannapathi, Kathlyn Lillian.
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The study aimed to explore the role of the school in promoting parental participation in education. Parents’ perceptions of their role in education and the benefits of their participation were also explored. Lastly, the study aimed to identify support structures designed and implemented by schools to assist parents overcome barriers to their participation. The study employed qualitative methods. Data was collected in two stages. Firstly, questionnaires were administered to parents and school staff. Returned questionnaires were analysed. The data collected using the questionnaires was used as a springboard for the second stage of data collection. This second stage included semi-structured interviews conducted with educators and school managers. These interviews provided the researcher with in – depth information which built on the information gathered through the questionnaires. The study aimed to explore the role of the school in promoting parental participation in education by exploring various aspects that impact parental involvement within the school. Attitude of school staff, school climate, school policy, communication and management of parental participation were identified as aspects within a school that impact parental participation in education. The research revealed that while parents and school staff agreed that parental participation in education is beneficial, parents’ perception of their participation was limited to assisting their children with homework tasks. In addition, school staff were unclear of their expectations of parents. Findings revealed that the school plays an imperative role in promoting parental participation in education since they have control over factors such as school climate, school policy, home-school communication and management of parental participation which all impact levels of parental participation within a school. The study also found that the school in the study lacked support structures to assist parents overcome barriers to their participation. The study concludes by making recommendations for improved levels of parental participation in education based on the findings of the study.