Let me tell you about some myths which I always heard in my childhood ‘your success is based on how much your teacher is investing on you’, ‘if you want success in your exams, follow your teacher’. Why are these assumptions myths? Let’s assume if these are myths, then what factors should be involved in students’ academic success? Is it students’ socioeconomic profile, or the profile of the school in which student is learning. I believe, the most important factor that leads to student success is the extent to which families encourage learning at home and involve themselves in their child’s education.
What is Parental Involvement?
Experts believe that parental involvement means the sharing of responsibility between teacher and parent to help children learn and meet educational goals. Parental involvement is possible when teachers involve parents in school-related matters, for example, parent-teacher meetings, class assessment observations, engaging parents in some classroom activities or voluntarily support of parents at home and school. Parents oblige to prioritise their kid’s educational goals, and teachers compel to providing space for parent-collaboration and dialogue.
Why is Parental Involvement Necessary?
Parental involvement and engagement in education now matter most because it’s been declining. According to Blackboard (2016) research, The number of parents now believes that friendly parent-teacher communication is ineffective. Parents now prefer virtual methods of communication, like online student portals, and they are less likely to attend parent-teacher conferences or school activities. This change is sudden and alarming for the student who partly relies on their teacher and entirely relies on their parents. Tech-gears and virtual tools may help families to stay informed. However, students feel ignored when they observe that their parent have no personal time and support for them.
Factors Involve in this Sudden Negative Change in Parental Involvement
There are multi-layered factors involvement that may hinder the parent’s participation at school. For the past two years, I gathered some fascinating excuses from parents who were unable to attend any of the meetings and parental sessions that scheduled throughout the term.
- Some parents provide scheduling or transportation excuses that make volunteering or attending parent-teacher conferences tough.
- Some service-oriented parents have the usual ‘Unable to attend the meeting due to Job timings’ excuses.
- Some parents even complain back that teacher did not prior informed them (Even they signed the meeting circular which was delivered through their child).
- Some parents did not dare even to respond or showed up at PTM.
- Some business-oriented parents only prefer to be communicated on a cell phone and never showed up in person.
- Some parents felt ashamed because they thought they thought I might complain about their children’s classroom behaviour.
The above Responses and excuses become common nowadays. However, the matter of concern is that parent involvement in school are declining at a fast pace.
Parental involvement and Students Success Rate
Children with engaged parents are more likely to:
- Produce higher grades or test scores (APA)
- Graduate from high-school and join post-secondary education (GRPS)
- Develop self-assurance and enthusiasm in the classroom (Journal of Education and Practice)
- Required less likely redirection at the school (John Hopkins University, School of Education)
- Have improved social skills and classroom behaviour.
What Makes Parental Involvement Possible?
To build the foundations for parent-teacher communication in schools, The Waterford Organisation developed a document in which they suggest three ways to have better parent-teacher communication.
- Common Goals
Download the document in PDF.
Are you’re a Teacher: What are your experiences when you try to involve parents in classrooms?
Are you a Parent: Do you think parental involvement is the key to students’ success?
Share your thought in a comment below 🙂