Date of Award

8-2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Constance W. Iervolino

Second Supervisor

John J. Koster

Abstract

The study purpose was to develop and evaluate a low-cost school-based intervention to increase parent s’ involvement in their children’s education . Although parent involvement is associated with increased student educational achievement, many children who most need effective parent involvement support do not receive it. In Phase 1 of the study, 17 parents of 8 th grade students in a low-income, immigrant, minority school district were interviewed to conduct a qualitative assessment of factors for lack of effective parent involvement and to assess the feasibility and acceptability of the planned intervention. In Phase 2 of the study, 192 students in nine 8 th grade English classes were given weekly homework assignments for seven weeks that required parent/child interaction to complete the assignment. Three of these classes were randomly selected to receive teacher outreach to initiate parent/teacher bidirectional c ommunication with students’ parents . The main hypothesis was that teachers would have bidirectional conversations of at least five minutes duration with a greater proportion of intervention class parents than with control class parents. Additional hypotheses were that intervention class students would submit more homework assignments and have higher homework grades than control class students. These hypotheses were confirmed by chi-square analysis, p < .001. The study demonstrated that a low-cost intervention to improve parent involvement at-home and atschool among 8 th grade students is feasible, acceptable to all stakeholders, and effective. Since the federal No Child Left Behind Act prioritizes greater parent/teacher bidirectional communication, policy makers may be interested in supporting this intervention.

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