Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Dennis Lawrence


A school district in rural Alabama has encountered a lack of parental involvement, which research shows could have a deleterious effect on student achievement. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore parents' perceptions about their involvement and the impact of that involvement on students' academic achievement. The conceptual framework that informed this study was Vygotsky's theory of social constructivism. The research questions addressed the parents' perceptions of their role in the education process as well as the effectiveness of the district's 2 parental involvement programs. A purposeful sample of 6 parents of students at an elementary school in Grades 3 through 5 participated in open-ended interviews. Data were transcribed, member checked, and then inductively coded for emergent themes. The findings suggested that parents believed their involvement was important, as was a strong home and school relationship. These themes were used to develop 3 days of parental involvement workshops, designed to help improve participation in the district's parental involvement programs and improve family and community relations. This study may help students, teachers, administrators, parents, and community agencies identify strategies to reduce the lack of parental involvement and increase student academic success.