Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Educators and researchers have long considered parental involvement to be an integral factor in the success of students. However, parental involvement is low in many U.S. schools. Guided by Epstein's parental model, the purpose of this case study was to examine teachers' perceptions and experiences of parental involvement at an inner-city K-8 center in the United States which has had low parental involvement over the last 5 years. The overarching research question concerned teacher perceptions and experiences regarding communicating with parents, encouraging learning at home, and parents volunteering. Data sources consisted of interviews, questionnaires, and unobtrusive data. Purposeful sampling was used to identify the 11 teacher participants. Data were transcribed, coded and analyzed for various themes. The findings indicated that teachers perceive parental involvement to be important when they communicate with parents, when parents encourage learning at home, and when parents volunteer. The themes that emerged from the data were (a) the importance of parental involvement, (b) reinforcing learning at home, (c) communication, (d) encouraging parental involvement at school, and (e) increasing parental involvement. Based on the findings, a policy recommendation was developed to enhance the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) currently in place at the study site. This project could lead to positive social change by assisting the staff at the K-8 center in developing a PTSA program that may encourage parents to become more involved. Their efforts may provide a model for other schools struggling with a lack of parental involvement.