Teachers' and parents' perceptions of their relationship : a case study of two secondary schools in Ubombo circuit, KwaZulu-Natal.
Sibiya, Simamile Nontokozo KaPhumasilwe.
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Parent-teacher relationship and support to children are essential for effective education to be functional. Sound parent-teacher relationships influence teaching and learning. Hence it was evident from literature review that so many studies were conducted in parent involvement in schools to enhance teaching and learning, this study focused on the dimension of the perceptions of both teachers and parents on their relationship to accelerate parent involvement in schools. The study focused on how parents and teachers view their relationship, how they raise problems encountered in the relationship, what enhances and/or aggravates the status of their relationship, and the issue of policies pertaining parent-teacher relationship. The objectives of the study were to examine and define the concept of the parent-teacher relationship, to investigate the perceptions of parents and teachers about their relationship with a focus on their obligations and responsibilities, to understand what enhances and/or impedes the parent-teacher relationship in rural Black communities, and to discuss possible solutions towards enhancing parent-teacher relationship. The research questions were: a) How do parents and teachers describe their relationship? b) What factors do parents and teachers suggest impede and/or enhance their relationship? c) What school policies and practices are in place that facilitate or hinder the relationship? The outline of the dissertation took this shape: Chapter One provides a background to the study explaining the motive behind it, and discussing the rationale of the study. The main objectives of the study and the research questions are explored in this chapter and the chapter has further furnished readers with the description of the setting of the schools under study. Chapter Two defines terms used in the study, and then reviews relevant literature adopted in this study. The contextual and theoretical framework of the study is explored in this chapter. Chapter Three deals with the methodological aspects and procedures. A justification on the use of qualitative approach is given and the choice of research instruments is also discussed. How access was gained from high structures to the parents on the ground level is also discussed. Experiences and methods used during interviews are also explored. Chapter Four embarks on the clear milieu of the two schools, the initial visits and the description of respondents. Chapter Five present, analyses and discusses the findings and implications of the study employing literature reviewed. Chapter six concludes the entire study and makes recommendations. The briefing of the study is of two schools that were selected purposively and then three teachers per school including the principal and six parents per school community that resulted in eighteen respondents in all. The study opted for a qualitative approach and for a case study. The findings of the study were that there is poor or no parent-teacher relationship. Teachers and parents admitted the need for each other. Though parents admitted their deficiency in supporting schools and in making good relations with teachers, however, they shifted more blame to teachers who do not initiate the relationship whilst they stand a good chance. The study revealed that there are factors that impede parent-teacher relationship and those that are supposedly to enhance the relationship. Both parents and teachers raised a need for empowerment on how to deal with each other.