ERIC Number: ED415983
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997
Parents and Teachers: Advocates or Adversaries.
Many schools today emphasize parent involvement without having a clear understanding of what it means. A survey of parents and teachers in an inner city elementary school was conducted as a needs assessment, focusing on the school's existing strengths and weaknesses in order to plan better parent involvement programs. The assessment covered school involvement, personal involvement, parent attitudes, and teacher attitudes and practices. Fifty parent surveys were collected in total (10 per grade K-4). Findings for the personal parent involvement part of the survey were that all parents knew the name of their child's teacher and what their child did for homework the night before; 98 percent claimed to know what their child was doing in school; and 60 percent said they knew their child's classmates' names. Findings for parental school involvement included that 50 percent always attend parent-teacher conferences, 50 percent never volunteer in their child's classroom, 52 percent do not attend class trips, and 36 percent never attend Parent Association meetings. Comments indicated that many parents felt the association was interested only in making money for unclear purposes. Concerning parent attitudes, most parents found such programs as parent-teacher conferences, parent education workshops, parent participation in curriculum planning, and school outreach meetings to be important; the majority also found their child's teacher to be friendly, supportive, actively involved in their child's learning, and respectful of their child's needs. Of 20 teachers surveyed, somewhat more than half found parents to be supportive, non-confrontational, and concerned about their child's education, and 75 percent felt the school was parent-friendly. Most communicated with parents by letter rather than phone, and most did not like parent volunteers in the classroom, admitting that past negative experiences color their current perceptions of parents as volunteers. (EV)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A