Date of Conferral

1-1-2009

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Casey Reason

Abstract

Even though guidelines at a suburban elementary school in Georgia were in place for teachers regarding frequency and methods of parent communication, it was unclear if these methods were being used consistently and effectively. Research has shown that effective communication increases student achievement, but there is a lack of research examining communication preferences of teachers and parents. Therefore, this study evaluated current practices by comparing parents' and teachers' perceptions of what constitutes effective school-to-home communications. The researcher administered questionnaires to a random sample of teachers and parents of 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students to compare their perceptions of the communication methods currently used between school and home, and to expose any need for modification to current practices. Data analysis using a t-test for independent measures was used to compare the teachers' and parents' mean scores computed from the Likert-scaled survey. Based on the results of the independent samples t-test, there was a significant difference between teachers and parents in communication scores for all parts of the survey instruments. Specifically, teachers rated themselves higher than the parents rated the teachers' practices. The results of this current study will be shared with the school's leadership team to determine the need for modifications to the current practices in order to communicate more effectively. A future qualitative study could examine the particular preferences of parents regarding communication. This study highlights the need to educate teachers about adapting their communication practices to meet parents' needs. The overall implications for social change include using this information to strengthen the partnership between school and home to increase overall student academic performance.