Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Grace Lappin


AbstractThe active engagement of parents in the educational experiences of their children has been suggested to support high academic achievement for the children. In the project setting, an urban elementary school, educators were struggling to find effective strategies to promote family involvement in their children’s education. The purpose of this qualitative project study was to investigate family perspectives on family involvement strategies and potential barriers at the project setting and to determine new effective strategies to help them become more involved in their children’s education. The conceptual framework for the project is Epstein’s (2009) framework for parental involvement which explains how schools can work with families and communities to help families stay informed and involved in their child’s education. The study sample was identified using the purposeful sampling technique and comprised 18 family members— parents and /or guardians—of children in grade levels K-5. Data was analyzed using thematic analysis. The study found the key barriers to family involvement to be ineffective family-school communication, language barriers, poverty, low level of parental education, and low opportunities for parental participation in decision-making and volunteering within and for the school. Strategies for addressing these barriers and improving family involvement were identified based on Epstein’s (2009) typology of family involvement. The study’s findings have implications for addressing the barriers to family involvement and creating a change in attitude and practice among teachers so that families feel respected and can participate more in school activities. The findings will also contribute to the empirical literature on family involvement in children’s education.