Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Diverse populations of students in public schools have led to differences in how the phrase parental involvement is understood. The problem at one local elementary preparatory school in urban Southern California was this varied understanding on what parental involvement entailed, specifically in school activities. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of parents, teachers, and administrators regarding parental involvement and the influence of parental involvement on student academic progress. Bandura's theory of self-efficacy and Lee and Bowen's theory of social and cultural capital provided lenses into parental involvement and students' academic progress. A qualitative case study design was used with a purposeful sample of 5 parents, 8 teachers, and 3 administrators of 4th and 5th grade students at this preparatory elementary school. Individual interviews were transcribed and then subjected to constant comparative analysis until theoretical saturation occurred. Interpretations were then member-checked to ensure their credibility. Findings indicated all participants believed parental involvement was essential for students' academic progress, but differed in their views of the term itself. Parents believed involvement was ensuring homework completion, teachers believed parental involvement should be parent's engagement in every aspect of their child's life, and administrators believed parents were involved when they participated in school-wide committees. This project study is significant because the findings can be used by the local site leadership team to create workshops for parents, teachers, and administrators to help develop a common understanding of parental involvement and the influence parental involvement can have on student academic progress.