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ERIC Number: ED552000
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 148
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2678-7298-2
ISSN: N/A
Using Email to Improve Parental Involvement in Middle School
Radin, Benjamin Theodore
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Lehigh University
The purpose of this study was to test the relationship between the type of school-to-home communication (regularly sent, structured emails versus ad hoc emails), the originator of these emails (teacher or student), and Parental Involvement (PI) as measured according to the frequency of email contact and distribution of student and parent emails among the tested population, as well as pretest and posttest survey data of PI. As technology advances, schools have the opportunity to communicate more often with parents through school websites, classroom web pages, and teacher email rather than face-to-face meetings and letters. Schools can take advantage of technology to improve school-to-home communications and positively affect PI. The literature review found that ad hoc emails between teachers and parents positively affected PI; parents communicated more often with teachers (Bouffard, 2006; Reed, 2008). However, the research only looked at parents' behavioral involvement in communicating about their child's academic development and did not consider a broader definition of PI to include their child's cognitive and personal development. Previous research has not studied email communication to include the regularity or structure of school-to-home emails. In addition, the research did not consider whether the child in the communication exchange added an affective element to the communication beyond that of the teacher. The current study used Grolnick, Benjet, Kurowski, and Apostoleris's (1997) theory of PI that consists of Behavioral, Cognitive-intellectual, and Personal variables to identify type and degree of PI. The study randomly assigned three eighth-grade classrooms to one of three conditions: a) structured, bi-weekly emails from the teacher that included messages about the behavioral, cognitive-intellectual, and personal development of children in the eighth grade; b) the same bi-weekly emails as in (a) but sent by students in the second class; and c) no regular emails from the teacher or students of the third class. A pretest and posttest survey, the Modified Parental Involvement Scales (MPIS), based on Grolnick, Kurowski, Dunlap, and Hevey (2000) identified type and degree of PI as perceived by parents and students. Students rated PI significantly lower than their parents in the three dependent measures. Posttest scores were little changed from the pretest with the exception of the No Email group having significantly lower Behavioral posttest scores than the pretest results. Analysis of individual survey variables found 25 of 39 questions significantly different between parents and students. Core classroom teachers and the middle school principal recorded the total number of emails by class that they received from parents during the semester of the study. The number of emails received from parents during the study was very low, which is consistent with other literature (Bouffard, 2006; Thompson, 2008). Additionally, PI ratings were low on the Behavioral (School involvement) measure. Qualitative data found that parents were favorable to their children being involved in the communication process, and they preferred regular, consistent, and thorough communication from their child's teachers. More research is needed to test if an email treatment can have favorable effects on PI. Educators and researchers need to continue to investigate treatments in communications to encourage and support PI. [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: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools; Grade 8; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A