Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
This study examined an after-school tutoring and mentoring program that was implemented to help low-income students in the K-12 local district who were struggling with reading and mathematics. To date, the program has not been successful in improving student achievement. The purpose of this qualitative case study is to provide administrators and teachers with insights into parents' and teachers' perceptions of the program, with an emphasis on parental involvement (PI). Vygotsky's theory of social constructivism focused this study on the tenet that social interactions between parents, students, and teachers all impact the program students' construction of knowledge. The research questions focused on the teachers' and parents' perceptions of the effectiveness of the tutoring program, parental involvement, and suggestions to improve the program. Detailed qualitative data was collected through seven parents and three teachers structured interviews that were transcribed, open-coded, and analyzed across participants to identify recurrent themes. There were 5 themes: PI is crucial, behavior problems, improving parent-teacher communication, inadequate PI, and improving PI. Participants had mixed opinions of the effectiveness of the tutoring program, emphasized the importance of PI, and had many suggestions to improve the program. The project white paper includes 6 detailed recommendations supported by data, a timeline for implementation and materials for a teacher training component and a teacher-parent collaboration component. Positive social change may result if the study helps increase the amount of interaction between teachers and parents, increases attendance at parent meetings, and these changes help increase student test scores.