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ERIC Number: ED506174
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 174
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
What Parents Think: Strategies that Facilitate a Successful Transition to Middle School
Yuen, Kaivan
Online Submission, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of California
Middle school transitions can cause a decline in academic achievement and motivation in learning for many students. Low income underrepresented students are especially vulnerable to this transition. Parental involvement also tends to decrease during the middle school years. This qualitative study examined the elementary to middle school transition for low income underrepresented students, from the perspectives of parents. The study took place in an inner city middle school and the sample consisted of six parents, a study that cannot be generalized to other middle schools. Each parent was interviewed four times for the duration of four months and in-depth case studies were developed for each parent. The interviews focused on parents' perceptions of their ability to help their children with the transition, the barriers they faced, and the strategies they used. Parents, especially non-English speaking parents, found that it was more difficult to provide academic support to their children at the middle school level. Whenever parents could not provide assistance to their children, they first relied on their own network of friends and family, then they went to the community for help, and finally they approached the school for support. One practice that parents held in high regard was having consistent communication with teachers and children. Parents wanted a partnership with the school and their own children in order to help their children attain academic success. Parents reported that taking an active interest in their children's lives resulted in higher achievement and less behavior problems in school. Contrary to the assumption that parents withdrew themselves from their children's lives during middle school, this study found that parents actually wanted to remain highly involved in their children's lives. Many parents were willing to volunteer in the classrooms, but the school never asked parents for their help. Two major concerns parents had about the middle school were school violence and the decrease in academic achievement from students during the initial months after the transition. Parents were very appreciative of the strict environment and academically challenging demands of middle school, which they believe thwarted some of the potential school safety concerns. Two appendices are included: (1) Letter to Parents of Southland School Community; and (2) Parent Interview Protocol 1: Parents preparing their children for middle school. (Contains 7 figures, 3 tables and 19 footnotes. A bibliography is included.)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California