Teacher expectations of parental involvement in learner education : perceptions of primary school teachers in Mpumalanga Province.
Mathebula, Tumelo Remember.
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There is a need to improve communication between teachers and parents regarding their respective roles in assisting learners to perform well academically. When these roles are not communicated clearly between the two stakeholders, often they blame one another especially when the learner does not perform as expected. Likewise, literature has shown that when parents and teachers are aware of their roles in the learners‟ education, they tend to behave in ways that promote learners‟ educational attainment. It is against this background that this qualitative study on teachers‟ perceptions on parental involvement was conducted to mitigate the possible undesirable effects of blame shifting when learners perform poorly. The study also seeks to pinpoint ways in which teachers expect parents to be involved in their children‟s education so that these expectations could be communicated with parents. Six semi-structured interviews (three from each school) were conducted with teachers from the two selected schools in Bohlabela District of Mpumalanga province. The findings of the study have shown that although not all parents are fully committed in partnering with the schools, the teachers admitted that parents are important partners in the learning of their children because they are equally equipped to assist with schoolwork when learners are at home. In addition, the study explored ways in which the roles that parents are expected to play are communicated to them. It was found that teachers use both verbal and written modes to engage with parents. The factors that contribute to poor parental involvement in learners‟ education were also explored in this study. These factors need to be addressed so that measures could be taken to overcome them. Lastly, recommendations were made for the schools understudy as well policy makers, to consider when formulating policies for the governance of schools.