The role of parent involvement in their children’s education is not a new issue. The origins of parental involvement stems trace back from the language compensation programs carry out in the 1960s and 1970s in the US and Europe, among other aims of these programs is considered parents to be the primary role models in their children’s education. Assuring their children’s academic achievement and success in school career is one of the most important aspirations of every parent in many cultures.
In 1997, Parental Involvement has been on the Labour Government’s program. When New Labour came into power, they proposed to create courses for those families who are struggling to give a supportive home environment to their children.
There are several definitions of parental involvement. According to Redding (1992), it referred to parental engagement in learning and that involvement is neither limited within the home atmosphere nor is restricted to certain learning tasks. Sheldon and Epstein conceptualize it as complex interactions and cooperation between classroom environment and parents which create opportunities for children to boost their academic success.
It is a well-known fact that a child’s education goes into three steps: a family where it starts then school, the place where it gets shape, and the social environment where a child’s education continues its development. In other words, parents are the child’s first teachers who are supposed(opt to) to be sources of motivation and support for them. So, it would be appropriate to say that the success of children in their education is due to the great corroboration between families, schools.
According to Park (2008), it is very hard to separate culture from parental involvement. Especially, the relative effect may vary because of the behavior of the cultural context .relying on diversity that culture has, parental involvement engagement may differ from country to another as well as in family structure. Epstein (1992) claimed that there are six forms of parental involvement
1) Supportive and positive home learning environment, 2) parent and school interaction, 3) school participation, 4) home learning tasks, 5) the process of decision making that parents involve in within the school, 6) education resource that parent can achieve. He also claimed that from one child to anther depending on their families, schools and societies of the child.
There are three major factors that affect parental involvement:
Socio-political factors such as the negative experience that parents have lived before in school may play a major role in the way of parental engagement as well as the parents’ educational levels. This latter, influence the way parents to participate in their children’s education. In case that parents have a low level of education, parental engagement is less effective in comparison with a parent with high education level since they have a lack of self-confidence and that enables them to be in contact with school staff. However, parents with good-education show more authority and flexibility when dealing with school staff. On the other hand, parents’ income is considered significant factors in parental engagement.
Furthermore, cultural differences are also a matter of issue that affects parental involvement. The guidance paths that families follow are culturally specific. Sternberg (1985) point out that ideas of intelligence differ from culture to another, therefore different parenting style are culturally varied. For example, the Asian heritage parenting style is portrayed as highly controlling in comparison with other styles such as the European style.
The complex structure and language that use in school staff may have gaps between parents and school. Since parents consider the academic language that teachers use as challenged language and obstacles for them to getting touch with school staff. Another factor that may affect parental involvement is the teachers’ effectiveness. Studies show that understandings of parental support are linked directly with teachers’ efficacy. Relying on these studies there three categories of P.I activities, which are about teacher efficacy: conference, parents as volunteers, and parents as educators. Sometimes, parents are confused about their engagement in their children‘s education since they may not understand their children‘s learning needs. In addition, the complexity of the curriculum considers an obstacle incomprehension of children’s education process.
There is an inverse relationship between age and parental involvement. In other words, involvement increases when children lower grades and via verse. Children’s gender is also a subject that has a great impact on parental involvement. Namely, mothers who have male children are less frequently in touch with schools than mothers, who have females. Furthermore, children’s success in school is also another factor that influences parental engagement; the more successful child is the more parental involvement we have.
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