Presentation Title

Beyond Back-to-School Night: Parent Engagement in Elementary Schools

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

Watkins 2141

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Abstract

Research studying students of color and low socioeconomic status consistently reports lower levels of achievement and educational attainment in this country. Researchers have since produced a wealth of work identifying the various barriers that low income and/or students of color face that their white, wealthier peers do not. One significant reported difference between these groups encompasses the level and types of parent engagement within schools. Prior research has identified the positive relationship between parent engagement and student achievement, although researchers disagree on how to best measure achievement. Consequently the question remains, how do elementary school staff (teachers, administrators, and office staff) work together to successfully engage parents? Therefore, this study aims to understand the practices employed in low-income elementary schools that are most successful in encouraging parent engagement. This research is rooted in Dr. Joyce L. Epstien’s framework of overlapping spheres of influence, which consist of schools, parents and communities and her definition of the six types of involvement that stakeholders should engage in to benefit children. Preliminary findings suggest that while research often overlooks the role of office and support staff in cultivating and maintaining relationships with parents, these individuals are an important part of the school community. In addition, differences between the cultural capital of school staff (and across different school staff members) and parents are crucial to understanding parent engagement. This presentation discusses the implications for future research and the practices of school staff (teachers, administrators, and office staff).

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Nov 12th, 3:45 PM Nov 12th, 4:00 PM

Beyond Back-to-School Night: Parent Engagement in Elementary Schools

Watkins 2141

Research studying students of color and low socioeconomic status consistently reports lower levels of achievement and educational attainment in this country. Researchers have since produced a wealth of work identifying the various barriers that low income and/or students of color face that their white, wealthier peers do not. One significant reported difference between these groups encompasses the level and types of parent engagement within schools. Prior research has identified the positive relationship between parent engagement and student achievement, although researchers disagree on how to best measure achievement. Consequently the question remains, how do elementary school staff (teachers, administrators, and office staff) work together to successfully engage parents? Therefore, this study aims to understand the practices employed in low-income elementary schools that are most successful in encouraging parent engagement. This research is rooted in Dr. Joyce L. Epstien’s framework of overlapping spheres of influence, which consist of schools, parents and communities and her definition of the six types of involvement that stakeholders should engage in to benefit children. Preliminary findings suggest that while research often overlooks the role of office and support staff in cultivating and maintaining relationships with parents, these individuals are an important part of the school community. In addition, differences between the cultural capital of school staff (and across different school staff members) and parents are crucial to understanding parent engagement. This presentation discusses the implications for future research and the practices of school staff (teachers, administrators, and office staff).