ERIC Number: ED233435
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
How Do Parent-Teacher Conferences Influence the Curriculum?
Zuga, Karen F.
In an effort to describe parent-teacher conferences and assess their influence on the curriculum, three researchers interviewed children, parents, teachers, and the principal of a midwestern elementary school and observed various school and Parent Teacher Association functions. High school and elementary school parents were mailed a survey. Research focused on how to describe parent-teacher conferences, parents' beliefs about conferences and what they learned, and children's views of conferences. Parent-teacher conferences were described as discussions of the students' attitudes and academic and social performance in school. Parents believed that they were to work in a partnership with teachers to help students and received information on their children's problem areas. Children reported that they were helped by the conferences, most often by their parents' advice and assistance with schoolwork. The evidence suggests that the major purpose and function of the conference is to help students conform to standardized school requirements. Communication flows from teacher to parent to student, but parents' comments to the teachers have little influence on the curriculum. Conferences are trivialized by class size and time limitations. Parents willingly attend conferences in the early school years but stop attending conferences as children advance in school. Because the effectiveness of parent-teacher conferences is limited by the parents' understanding of the discussion and communication of it to their children, teacher-student conferences might also be warranted. (MJL)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Communication Problems, Curriculum Research, Elementary Secondary Education, Faculty Workload, Parent Attitudes, Parent Participation, Parent School Relationship, Parent Student Relationship, Parent Teacher Conferences, Parent Teacher Cooperation, Parents, School Policy, Student Attitudes
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Montreal, Quebec, Canada, April 11-15, 1983).