Date of Award

8-2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Advisor

Stegelin, Dolores

Committee Member

Correa , Vivian

Committee Member

First , Patricia

Committee Member

Grimes , Larry

Committee Member

Knoeppel , Robert

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine administrators' perspectives regarding parent involvement within the context of six typologies of parent involvement. A survey was sent to elementary principals in the state of South Carolina, which resulted in an overall response rate of 210 respondents. This study, which was exploratory in nature, utilized a logistic regression model with quantitative descriptive statistical analysis to understand the perceptions of administrators. The three research questions examined were: (A) what do South Carolina principals report are the parent involvement activities they implement in public elementary schools? (B) to what extent do these parent involvement practices associate with Epstein's six types of parent involvement (parenting, communicating, volunteering, learning at home, decision-making, and collaborating with the community)? (C) which variables (type of school, years of experience, gender, community size, and family structure) influence the principals reporting of parent involvement in South Carolina public elementary schools?
Overall, the results indicated that South Carolina elementary principals in this study perceived their programs as utilizing various forms of the six types of involvement to create opportunities for parents to actively participate in their children's education. In addition, parent involvement was associated with factors such as communication, varied times of activities, funding, available resources, transportation, and community size. In describing successful factors that promote involvement at their school, administrators emphasized the importance of open-door policies and contacting parents to come help at school. Also, the findings indicated that schools in South Carolina face challenges in funding programs and scheduling activities to accommodate working parents.
Recommendations for practice and further research are included in this study. This study added to research demonstrating the importance of elementary principals building programs that involve parents.

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