Studyspark Study Document

Qualitative Methods in Education Research Essay

Pages:6 (1944 words)



Topic:Student Achievement

Document Type:Essay


Background of the Issue

Parental involvement has long been established as an important variable in student achievement along various outcome parameters. Prior research has shown that parental involvement can lead to the cultivation of strong reading habits (Castro, Exposito-Casas, Lopez-Martin, et al., 2015), student self-esteem and self-efficacy (Ule, Zivoder & DuBois-Reymond, 2015), future success (Hill, Witherspoon & Bartz, 2016), and quantitative measures of academic success (Benner, Boyle & Sadler, 2016; Castro, Exposito-Casas, Lopez-Martin, et al., 2015). In fact, parental involvement can also promote the efficacy of the school s a whole, improving that school’s performance ratings, its reputation, and its effectiveness in forming strong ties with other governmental, human service, and community organizations (Ma, Shen, Krenn, et al., 2015). Therefore, one of the most important subjects in educational research and educational administration is parental involvement. Researchers need to learn how to increase parental involvement in meaningful ways, ways that yield desired outcomes for individual students and also for the school and community. Furthermore, researchers need to learn the best ways of increasing parental involvement while taking into account the socioeconomic and cultural diversity among the population.

Because of the evidence-based connection between parental involvement and student achievement, many schools have put into place formal methods to encourage parental involvement. Institutional supports that encourage and promote parental involvement has also been shown to be one of the most reliable means of increasing actual parental involvement, which in turn raises student outcome levels (Ule, Zivoder & DuBois-Reymond, 2015). Because of differences in parental attitudes towards involvement, towards educational institutions, and towards the value placed on educational attainment, it may be difficult to ascertain what works best in each scenario. Moreover, parental and student attitudes towards power distance, communications, and towards parenting practices as a whole will also be factors that play into parental involvement.

Prior research on the determinants of parental involvement include structural and formal factors like whether the school is perceived to have a “welcoming environment” for parents, whether the school and staff maintain “informative communication” with parents, and overall “parental satisfaction with the school,” (Park & Holloway, 2018, p. 9). Parental perceptions of the school itself are important factors, but so too is parental perceptions of the “power of education” in helping their children reach their goals (Ule, Zivoder & DuBois-Reymond, 2015). If some parents perceive education as being unnecessary for the future success of their children, then school administrators may need to work harder to shift those perceptions by forming strategic partnerships with public health and community service organizations. Alternatively, school administrators and teachers could learn how to mitigate negative parental attitudes by reaching out more strategically to high potential students. High potential students whose parents may be inadvertently holding them back can be considered at a high risk of unfulfilled potential due to a lack of parental involvement in school. Learning how to work with these types of high risk students in a sensitive and ethical way may help promote higher student outcomes.

It also helps to learn more about the types of parental involvement, given that what works well for one family may not work as well for another. Individual differences in parenting style and cultural differences will impact communication style and type of involvement, and yet educators should never assume that cultural background is a positive and immutable determinant of parental involvement. What some researchers call “general supervision” of their children’s performance at home and school may itself be considered sufficient forms of parental involvement to stimulate higher achievement outcomes (Castro,…

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…involvement? Does this information make parents more motivated to become more involved?

6. Alternatively, do parents react more to anecdotes: stories of how a busy parent became more involved with their children’s schooling to show a successful outcome?

7. Among parents who do not speak English, what can the school do better to ensure that all communications are accessible and that parents feel empowered in spite of the language or cultural barriers?

8. What are the best ways of overcoming parental resistance to involvement: what are some of the strategies teachers and students can use to engender more positive perceptions of education as a whole?

9. Among students whose parents remain uninvolved, how can the school provide mentors and role models that serve as surrogates to stimulate student achievement?

10. How can educators work better with parents on helping to forge realistic expectations of student success, showing how to capitalize on student strengths and interests rather than focusing on weaknesses?

Interview Process

The interview process for this qualitative research is as follows. Researchers will use a convenience sample of parents, teachers, and administrators who agree to participate in the study. The interview process will take place in the form of focus groups.

There will be several focus group sessions. Two of the sessions will involve the entire sample set. Additional sessions will divide the sample population into parents and educational professionals, to ask the more pointed questions directed at the specific population.

The focus group interviews will take place over the course of several weeks. For the full-group interviews, there will be four 90 minute sessions. There will be two 90 minute sessions for the parent-only and educational professional-only focus groups. Video recordings will be taken of…

Sample Source(s) Used


Benner, A.D., Boyle, A.E. & Sadler, S. (2016). Parental Involvement and Adolescents’ Educational Success: The Roles of Prior Achievement and Socioeconomic Status. Journal of Youth and Adolescence 45(6): 1053-1064.

Castro, M., Esposito-Casas, E., Lopez-Martin, E., et al. (2015). Parental involvement on student academic achievement: A meta-analysis. Educational Research Review 14(2015): 33-46.

Creswell, J.W. & Poth, C.N. (2018). Qualitative Inquiry Research Design. Los Angeles: SAGE.

Hill, N.E., Witherspoon, D.P. & Bartz, D. (2016). Parental involvement in education during middle school: Perspectives of ethnically diverse parents, teachers, and students. The Journal of Educational Research 111(1): 12-27.

Ma, X., Shen, J., Krenn, HY., et al. (2016). A meta-analysis of the relationship between learning outcomes and parental involvement. Educational Psychology Review 28(4): 771-801.

Park, S. & Holloway, S. (2018). Parental Involvement in Adolescents' Education: An Examination of the Interplay among School Factors, Parental Role Construction, and Family Income. School Community Journal 28(1): 9-36.

Ule, M., Zivoder, A. & duBois-Reymond, M. (2015). ‘Simply the best for my children’: patterns of parental involvement in education. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education 28(3): 329-348.

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