Date of Conferral

2015

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Fatima Mansur

Abstract

This study addressed a prevalence of low achievement in science courses in an urban school district in Georgia. National leaders and educators have identified the improvement of science proficiency as critical to the future of American industry. The purpose of this study was to examine parent involvement in this school district and its contribution to the academic achievement of successful science students. Social capital theory guided this study by suggesting that students achieve best when investments are made into their academic and social development. A collective case study qualitative research design was used to interview 9 parent participants at 2 elementary schools whose children scored in the exceeds category on the Science CRCT. The research questions focused on what these parents did at home to support their childrenâ??s academic achievement. Data were collected using a semi-structured interview protocol and analyzed through the categorical aggregation of transcribed interviews. Key findings revealed that the parents invested time and resources in 3 practices: communicating high expectations, supporting and developing key skills, and communicating with teachers. These findings contribute to social change at both the local and community level by creating a starting point for teachers, principals, and district leaders to reexamine the value of parent input in the educational process, and by providing data to support the revision of current parent involvement policies. Possibilities for further study building upon the findings of this study may focus on student perceptions of their parentsâ?? parenting as it relates to their science achievement.

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