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Gauging Parent Involvement In Early Childhood Education

948 words - 4 pages

Parent involvement, whether in the form of physically volunteering in the school, fundraising efforts, attending school events, helping students with homework, attending PTA meetings, or other types of involvement, is significantly lacking at St. Clements school and other schools across the nation. Lacking parent involvement deprives young students of opportunities for greater achievement, limits resources and benefits available to parents, teachers, and the school, and reduces cultural continuity (Galper, Feeney, & Seefeldt, 2011). Assessment is necessary to determine the challenges and barriers created by lacking parent involvement and determine whether potential solutions implemented have been effective. Popham (2011) describes assessments as formal attempts to determine status with respect to a specific variable. Assessment instruments or methods used to gauge parent involvement and problems related to such should be comprehensive, including parent and educator perspectives and program evaluation.
To determine the exact nature of the problem of lacking parent involvement and to determine how much the problem has been solved once potential solutions are implemented, it is proposed that the Parent and School Survey (PASS) and the Parental Involvement Effectiveness Assessment be utilized. The Parent and School Survey is a brief survey instrument based on Epstein’s six-construct framework (parenting, communicating, volunteering, learning at home, decision-making, and collaborating with community) for parent involvement that has been deemed fairly reliable (Ringenberg, Funk, Mullen, Wilford, & Kramer, 2005). The PASS is divided into two sections: 24 items about parent involvement behaviors and beliefs rated on a five point Likert scale from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree” and six items about the level of difficulty certain barriers present rated on a three point Likert scale from “a lot” to “not a lot” (Ringenberg et al., 2005). Items to be rated, for example, include “there are many books in our house”, “I feel comfortable visiting my child’s school”, “I attend school board meetings regularly”, and more (Ringenberg et al., 2005, p. 125). This instrument, typically used with Kindergarten through sixth grade parents, will provide insight about parent perspectives on feeling welcomed by the school, desire to be involved, school and educator initiatives, and barriers to involvement. The PASS should be given to parents or guardians before and after implementing potential solutions.
The Parental Involvement Effectiveness Assessment is a more multifaceted survey developed by Appleseed Network for elementary school parents, leaders, teachers or others to complete (Appleseed Network, 2010). Appleseed is a non-profit network of public interest justice centers in the United States and Mexico (Appleseed, 2010). The assessment to gauge parent involvement was developed by a variety of parent involvement experts, professors from...

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