Children are impressionable and every moment under the protection of their parents is their formative window.
It is therefore pertinent that all parents be heavily invested in their child’s education. It is widely believed that the formal aspect is handled by teachers while the informal aspect is the responsibility of parents. Although this is true, parents should not shy away from being involved in the formal education of their children.
Understanding Parental Involvement
This is a parent’s or guardian’s active involvement in their ward’s academic journey. It refers to a lot of activities, including but not limited to the following:
- Helping them with take-home assignments.
- Attending Parent-Teacher meetings.
- Volunteering at school events.
- Active involvement in decision-making processes.
- Communicating effectively with their teachers.
Parental involvement extends from the confines of the home to the school community, fostering collaboration, communication and productivity among these strong community pillars in a child’s life.
Research findings suggest the following are results of a parent’s involvement in their child’s academic behaviour:
- It facilitates the students’ success. Learning Matters, a firm that trains teachers in India states: Effective communication between teachers and parents is essential for student success. By maintaining open lines of communication, teachers can foster trust, keep parents informed and involved in their child’s education, and prevent misunderstandings from arising. Also, open communication channels provide opportunities to exchange valuable insights and information, leading to better-informed decisions regarding educational strategies and approaches.
- It fosters a supportive learning environment. When parents and teachers share the responsibility for a child’s education, a cohesive, productive environment is developed. Through collaboration, challenges are addressed, strategies are developed and the parent is fully engaged. It is a win-win situation.
- Parents are encouraged to become more actively involved in their child’s education. When parents feel valued, respected, and heard, they are more likely to participate in school activities, volunteer their time, and provide ongoing support at home.
Positive Effects of Parental Involvement
We’ve already established that parental involvement does not end at dropping off your child, packing lunch or making sure their uniform is on right. It extends to being involved in their school community, down to delivering the goods.
School Compass highlights some of these positive effects. They include:
- Reduced absenteeism
- Improved student accomplishment
- Fostering good behaviour
- Fostering parent and teacher relationship
- Boosting positive school spirit/culture.
To put these in perspective, the following case studies were observed.
Case Study 1: School-Parent Partnership Programme
- Description: A public elementary school implemented a comprehensive school-parent partnership programme aimed at increasing parent involvement and fostering student academic and behavioural performance.
- Approach: Regular PTA meetings and workshops on effective strategies for parents and volunteer opportunities were made available. All resources were provided by the school to support the parents, e.g. homework assistance and access to educational materials.
- What were the results? In two years, the school noticed outstanding improvements in student behaviour, reduced disciplinary issues and academic improvement. Parent-teacher collaborations and communication channels were seamless and played a crucial role in this success.
Case Study 2: Home-School Communication Initiative
- Description: A high school implemented a proactive home-school communication initiative. The purpose was to strengthen parent-teacher collaboration and enhance student behaviour.
- Approach: The school introduced a user-friendly online platform where parents could access real-time information about their child’s assignments, grades, and attendance. Additionally, teachers sent regular email updates and utilised a mobile app for quick communication with parents.
Limitations and Problems with Parental Involvement
- Parents can feel stuck in a loop: While this is a good initiative, parents have their own lives and busy schedules. Some who may not be able to meet up with deadlines might begin to feel alienated.
- It could lead to helicopter parenting: Seattle PI and Forbes expound on the dangers of this type of parenting. While it may come from a well-intentioned place, it could lead to negative results in your child like low self-esteem and alienation from peers.
- Language barrier. The world is a global village, many people are immigrants in their countries of residence. If the language is their second, communication lines will be sullied.
- Parental inconsistencies/turnover.
- Socioeconomic factors.
- Varying levels of parental knowledge.
In conclusion, parental involvement in education plays a vital role in shaping student behaviour and academic outcomes. Through collaborative efforts between parents and teachers, a supportive and engaging learning environment can be established.
The importance of parent-teacher collaboration and open communication channels cannot be overstated. It fosters a sense of shared responsibility, enhances student success, and promotes a positive school community.
While challenges and limitations exist such as limited parent availability and cultural barriers, it is crucial to address these issues and work towards overcoming them.
By recognising the value of parental involvement and implementing strategies to foster effective partnerships, we can create a brighter future for students, enrich their educational journey and maximise their potential.