Parent Involvement Matters!

If a student’s academic performance is low, who to blame – educators, parents, or children?

Usually parents send their children to schools and are not engaged in the schooling process of their children. Later students get low grades which is not only the children’s faults, but teachers’ and parents’ as well. There are several barriers parents can not overcome to get involved in studies of their children. First, these days adults are busy with their jobs, and children are under less control and attention (Caplan, 2000, as cited in Project Appleseed). Second, teachers do not try to attract parents to schooling process, because they are already overloaded and working with parents of their students seems to become extra work for them (Caplan, 2000, as cited in Project Appleseed). Moreover, educators misperceive parents’ abilities and think that parents are unable to help their children with their homework, for instance, because they have limited educational backgrounds (Caplan, 2000, as cited in Project Appleseed). Next, some parents, because of their own unpleasant experience t school, have negative attitude towards schools and feel themselves unwelcome and uncomfortable at schools (Jones, 2001; Caplan, 2000; Liontos, 1992, as cited in Project Appleseed). All these barriers result in tension in relationships between parents and teachers; and when children are in upper grades, it becomes more difficult to involve parents.

Nevertheless, what could we gain, if children’s parents were involved in the schooling process? According to Caplan (2000, as cited in Project Appleseed), students’ success at school is directly connected to family involvement in their studies, because if a parent shows interest in his or her child’s studies, the child gets motivated and gets interested in his or her studies as well. Moreover, students who experienced family involvement in their schooling process tend to get higher test scores and are more likely to be enrolled to Higher Education Institutions (Riggins-Newby, 2004; Norton, 2003; Caplan, 2000; Binkley et al., 1998; Funkhouse and Gonzalez, 1997, as cited in Project Appleseed). Undoubtedly, when parents are involved strongly, they get to understand what is being taught and learnt, which overcomes tension between parents and teachers and leads to a strong cooperation between them.

The USA has a non – profit organization which seeks to engage parents in schooling of their children. It is worth mentioning that all parents supporting the project are volunteers and there is no mandatory work done. The project named Project Appleseed focuses on low – income and undersaved families of public schools of America. They attract parents in the schooling process through cooperating, communicating, providing opportunities for parents to formalize their commitment to working with their children, or in other words, Project Appleseed provides parents with needed resources to help their children with their schooling.

So, do you think that this kind of project is applicable to Kazakhstan? Could we organize some special project for the parents of Kazakhstan to get them involved in the schooling process?

Reference:

Project Appleseed Parental Involvement in Public Schools. (2014, January 1). Retrieved February 15, 2015, from http://www.projectappleseed.org

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3 thoughts on “Parent Involvement Matters!

  1. Dear Arai! The topic you have discussed very interesting.
    Parent involvement is one of the most crucial issues in education. Of course, we need such projects in Kazakhstan. And it is possible! As you have mentioned, the benefits of parent involvement in education process overweights its shortcomings. That is why it is very essential to make first steps like opening, for example, reunions of voluntary parents who can help in schooling process or even official programmes for parents in the form of lectures, seminars, etc.
    Personally, I really understand the significance of parents’ help in schooling and their supports. From my childhood, my mother taught me how to read and write before entering school. After it, she helped to do my home assiggments as well as supplementary works to enhance my knowledge. Further, due to her new job she could not sit anymore with my little sisters and teach them. In comparison with my sisters, my mother’s share truly helped me to have a school success!
    One thing I have noticed that teacher parents are usually active in this matter, because they really understand how it is important for their children rather than other “professionals”!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much, Almazhay! You are absolutely right saying that teacher parents understand the schooling process better. As from my post, one of the benefits of educator – parent interaction is that they begin to understand each other better, the process of learning, what is learnt, and what is taught. And teacher parents are the insiders of this issue, and best sources of understanding the importance of teacher – student – parent interaction. And, maybe that is our chance to make contribution for the bright future of public school performance!

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  2. I think whatever project which is oriented towards parents-teachers reciprocity could solve many problems, thereby making educational process more effective. The bridge “teachers-parents” can be fruitful in terms of communication. For example, parents can inform teachers of things happening at home that might affect student behavior: family’s split up, illness, environment change (removal), etc. Moreover, I believe, parent and teachers together can prevent different types of bullying at school (face-to-face bullying, cyber bullying). Along with that, parents involvement can help students to increase their academic performance, as you have mentioned. However, I doubt in Almazhay’s remark that “teachers and parents are usually active in this matter”. As far as I noticed, there is only a small cluster of parents who display an active participation in school life (usually they are called “roditelskiy commitet”). Parents who are not so active usually tend to alledge their jobs and they do not have time to go often to school. Also, I noticed the following tendency – most active parents are females. So, I have a couple of questions: 1. How can schools attract parents to collaborate? 2. How to attract fathers to participate in their children’ school life?

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