Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Parents, teachers, and administrators have different perceptions of the importance and effects of parental involvement. A rural school district was experiencing low levels of parental involvement; therefore, to address that problem, the purpose of this concurrent mixed methods study was to explore the experiences and ideas of parents, teachers, and administrators related to parental involvement. The theoretical framework was based on Epstein's 6 types of parental involvement: parenting, communicating, volunteering, learning at home, decision making, and collaborating. Data were collected from parents (n=67), teachers (n=4), and administrators (n= 3) from 5 rural elementary schools. Instruments included Epstein's School and Family Partnership Survey and a qualitative questionnaire to examine the perceived effects of parental involvement. Descriptive analysis of the survey data indicated that parents wanted more communication from schools, ; teachers reported that active participation from parents is vital for student success, and administrators indicated the need to support both parents and teachers. Content analysis of the qualitative questionnaire determined common themes, indicating that frequent communication was an important factor in projecting student outcomes and future relationships within the learning community. The study contributes to positive social change by providing the local district with knowledge that supports parental involvement programs and provides ideas for improvement, which may ultimately improve student outcomes.