Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Timothy Lafferty


Researchers have concluded that parental involvement is necessary for students' success in school because parent involvement in school activities can positively affect children's learning and school experiences. Parent presence and participation is lacking in an urban school district in western Tennessee. The purpose of this study was to investigate parents' participation in school activities, the current level of parental involvement, and teachers' perceptions related to ways to engage parents more effectively in participating in school-related activities. A conceptual framework of Epstein's model for parental involvement and Hoover-Dempsey's model of the parental involvement process guided this study. The research questions focused on primary teachers' perceptions about parental involvement, the influence of parental involvement, and ways to engage parents in school activities. A case study design was used to capture the insights of 7 participants through 1-on-1 interviews, reflective journals, and artifacts in the form of parent contact logs. Emergent themes were identified through an open coding process and the findings were developed and validated through member checking and triangulation. The findings revealed that primary teachers want to engage parents in school activities, that teachers believe parent involvement is a positive motivator for students, and that teachers need more strategies to effectively engage parents. A project was designed to provide strategies to meaningfully engage parents in school activities. This study may influence positive social change by supporting teachers' and administrators' efforts to improve engagement with parents in school-related activities.