UBC Theses and Dissertations
Parents' perspectives : the role of parents in the education of their children Amaral, Deborah Margaret
In this study, the behaviours, processes and self-perceptions of parents, in relation to their children's education across time, are examined. The study's primary purpose was to generate a theoretical model that describes parents' involvement in their children's education. Participants in the study included 15 parents of children in grade 10. Qualitative grounded theory techniques were used to investigate how parents are involved in their children's education. Data collection included one-to-one semi-structured interviews, diary entries, written responses from the participants, to the researcher's summary of the participants' responses, and field notes during interviews. All data were coded, categorized and analyzed using a constant comparative method. The researcher maintained an audit trail documenting the data analysis and the theory building. A peer auditor reviewed the data, the analysis process, and the product of the study. Findings resulted in a two-dimensional, visual representation of parent involvement in children's education, illustrating the primary processes of parent involvement behaviour. At the core of the model is the process of parents relating to their children. Surrounding this core category are the processes describing parent-involvement behaviours of planning, shaping, fostering and supporting their children's education. The parents' constructions and reconstructions of their roles and involvement in their children's education emerged as an indirect process of parent-involvement behaviours. Findings indicate that parent involvement in children's education is active, responsive and strategic, and that the involvement of parents in their children's education is developmental, changing as children grow. Implications of the findings for educators and school psychologists suggest efforts to involve parents need to be grounded in the knowledge that parents hold strong and deep beliefs that they are instrumental in their children's education and that children's education includes more than school learning.
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