Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Shaw, Carla C.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Teaching and Learning


Parent-teacher relationships--Illinois--Midwest County; Home and school--Illinois--Midwest County; Email


Research strongly suggests that collaborative partnerships between teachers and parents help to improve the educational success of each child. While parental involvement is more evident in the early grades, as children reach higher grade levels, parental participation tends to decrease. This problem may be due, in part, to barriers that make it difficult for traditional means of communication between parents and teachers to be effective. The purpose of this study was to examine high school teachers' perceptions and practices related to the use of e-mail in communicating with parents to improve instructional effectiveness. Out of 933 high school teachers from nine of fourteen high schools in Midwest County, Illinois, a random sample of 400 participants was chosen to receive a survey that consisted of four sections. One hundred ninety-one participants returned the survey (48%). Descriptive statistics, analysis of variance, and Tukey's post hoc comparison tests were used to analyze the data. Findings revealed that e-mail ranked fifth between the telephone, the method used most often, and home visits, the method used least often. The findings also indicate that while 100% of the respondents reported using e-mail in the demographic section, 64.5% of these high school teachers use e-mail to communicate with parents and only 29.4% of the respondents initiate parental/guardian contacts through e-mail. Furthermore, regardless of whether or not a teacher uses e-mail, teachers reported that e-mail practices help to facilitate classroom instruction. Further, the findings suggest that teachers benefit from parental involvement through e-mail as related to Epstein's Six Types of Parental Involvement, primarily Type One—Parenting and Type Two—Communication. Several implications arose from the findings, which include: (1) E-mail is one method that teachers use to communicate with parents; therefore, they would benefit from being formally taught the appropriate related skills. (2) Implementing effective school-family partnerships in schools requires much effort from everyone involved in the educational process. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that the Illinois State Board of Education require all pre-service teachers to take a course in school and family partnerships as a part of their teacher certification curriculum.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [133]-139).


x, 150 pages (some color pages)




Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type