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ERIC Number: ED513363
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 202
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1092-6838-6
ISSN: N/A
An Action Research Study: How Can Elementary Teachers Collaborate More Effectively with Parents to Support Student Literacy Learning?
St. George, Carol Yerger
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Rochester
Parental involvement (broadly defined as including both natural parents and other significant adults) has been consistently shown to produce positive results in students' literacy achievement, and there is widespread agreement among parents and school personnel about the value of parental involvement in education. However, educators do not routinely include parents in literacy learning programs. The literature suggests that there may be many reasons for this phenomenon, including educators' unfamiliarity with ways to build and sustain productive home-school connections. I developed this study with the ultimate goal of initiating better home-school partnerships to support elementary students' literacy learning in my district, capitalizing on the findings of the rich literature on parental involvement. As a first step in this direction, I engaged a mixed group of elementary teachers and parents in my district in a Collegial Circle (a type of professional development offered in my district) designed to explore effective ways to collaborate with parents to support literacy learning. The Collegial Circle involved the participants in readings and discussions to make them aware of relevant literature findings, personal perceptions and biases, and alternative viewpoints, with the ultimate goal of producing a list of concrete recommendations about how to establish productive home-school collaborations to support literacy learning in our district. Assuming action research as the research methodology, this intervention along with the accompanying data collection and analysis was designed to address the following research questions: (1) What are some of the perceived challenges to building effective partnerships between parents (broadly defined) and teachers in our district? (2) How can the challenges thus identified be overcome? (3) How has participation in the Collegial Circle changed the thinking of the participating parents and teachers concerning the concepts of parent-teacher partnerships and literacy? I collected data from a variety of sources, including participants' reflective journals and other assignments, audiotapes and artifacts from the Collegial Circle sessions, and a researcher's journal. Qualitative methodology was employed to analyze these data with the goal of uncovering emerging themes that could shed light on each of the research questions. Epstein's Theory of Overlapping Spheres and her typology of parental involvement provided the theoretical basis and framework informing the study. In the spirit of action research, teachers and parents participating in the Collegial Circle were not "passive participants" but rather were involved in on-going reflection about the Collegial Circle activities and provided input that changed some of the original plan and activities, as well as co-constructed with the researcher the list of recommendations constituting the end product of the Collegial Circle. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A