Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Dr. Shannon Decker


Strategies for Increasing Parental Involvement for Elementary School Students


Amanda N. Compton

MEd, University of Memphis, 1991

BS, University of Memphis, 1982

Doctoral Study Submitted in Partial Fulfillment

of the Requirements for the Degree of

Doctor of Education

Walden University

August 2016

Students are more successful in school when their parents are involved in their education; This concept is especially true for students living in poverty. The school staff of the elementary school studied in this project study identified the need for improved parental involvement to help close the student achievement gap. In this explanatory sequential mixed methods study, surveys were used to determine the ways parents were involved in their children's education followed by interviews with parents to learn how the school could improve parental participation and family engagement. The research was based on Epstein's model of parent involvement, which includes 6 elements of parental involvement: family obligations, obligations of schools, involvement at school, involvement at home, involvement in decision making, and community involvement. The quantitative phase consisted of 76 parent surveys, and the qualitative phase consisted of 11 parent interviews at the school site. The data were calculated and coded according to the 6 types of parent involvement. From the descriptive statistics used to report the quantitative data, it was evident that all 6 types of parent involvement were important in engaging parents in the education of their children. Communication and learning at home were more of a focus in the qualitative phase of this study. The results showed that schools should plan more effectively to help parents understand how to aid their children at home and to communicate more effectively for purposes of improving student achievement. Professional development will result in positive social change by causing school staff to improve upon the practices they use to engage parents in schools. The improved family engagement will benefit students' academic abilities and social skills.