Gauging Parent Involvement in Early Childhood Education

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Parent involvement, whether in the form of physically volunteering in the school, fundraising efforts, attending school events, helping students with homework, attending PTA meetings, or other types of involvement, is significantly lacking at St. Clements school and other schools across the nation. Lacking parent involvement deprives young students of opportunities for greater achievement, limits resources and benefits available to parents, teachers, and the school, and reduces cultural continuity (Galper, Feeney, & Seefeldt, 2011). Assessment is necessary to determine the challenges and barriers created by lacking parent involvement and determine whether potential solutions implemented have been effective. Popham (2011) describes assessments as formal attempts to determine status with respect to a specific variable. Assessment instruments or methods used to gauge parent involvement and problems related to such should be comprehensive, including parent and educator perspectives and program evaluation.

To determine the exact nature of the problem of lacking parent involvement and to determine how much the problem has been solved once potential solutions are implemented, it is proposed that the Parent and School Survey (PASS) and the Parental Involvement Effectiveness Assessment be utilized. The Parent and School Survey is a brief survey instrument based on Epstein’s six-construct framework (parenting, communicating, volunteering, learning at home, decision-making, and collaborating with community) for parent involvement that has been deemed fairly reliable (Ringenberg, Funk, Mullen, Wilford, & Kramer, 2005). The PASS is divided into two sections: 24 items about parent involvement behaviors and beliefs rated on a five...

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...iently as possible.


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