Addressing a Lack of Parent Involvement

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Parent involvement in children’s education plays a critical role in student achievement and outcomes later in life (Epstein, 1995). Much research has been conducted about the benefits of parent involvement in elementary school and middle school. Less research has been conducted pertaining to early childhood education, namely children from birth through age eight. The limited research that has been conducted demonstrates that parent involvement at the preschool and primary grade levels is associated with greater achievement in reading and less grade retention all the way through grade eight (Basile & Henry, 1996). Parent and family involvement provide comfort for children in social and cultural contexts, ultimately enhancing cognitive development (Pattni- Shah, 2008). Increasing parent involvement enables greater understanding of children and families’ needs, cultural continuity, more effective instruction, greater feelings of teacher and parent appreciation, and increased learning (Galper, Feeney, & Seefeldt, 2009). Parent involvement in early childhood education affords many benefits while a lack of parent involvement, which may result from a variety of reasons, creates deficiencies (see Appendix A). Instructional Problem Description Educators are faced with many problems of varying degrees of frequency and urgency. A lack of parent involvement in children’s education is a trend teachers and administrators are noting in schools across the nation (Finders & Lewis, 1994). However, before this lack of parent involvement can be addressed, it is essential that “parent involvement” is defined and contributing factors are understood. Parent involvement encompasses many things: nurturing and being sensitive to children's d... ... middle of paper ... ...11, from ProQuest Education Journals. Smith, J., Wohlstetter, P., Kuzin, C. & De Pedro, K. (2011). Parent involvement in urban charter schools: New strategies for increasing participation. School Community Journal, 21(1), 71-94. Retrieved October 4, 2011, from ProQuest Education Journals. Smith, J. & Wohlstetter, P. (2009). Parent involvement in urban charter schools: A new paradigm or the status quo? National Center on School Choice Conference: Nashville, TN. Walker, J., Shenker, S. & Hoover-Dempsey, K. (2010). Why do parents become involved in their children's education? Professional School Counseling, 14(1), 27-41. Wells, A. (2000). In search of uncommon schools: Charter school reform in historical perspective (Part 3) - Charter schools as uncommon schools. Teachers College Record. Retrieved October 15, 2011 from http://www.tcrecord.org.

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