Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Lieberman, Joyce M.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Teaching and Learning


Education; Secondary--Parent participation--Illinois; Academic achievement--Illinois


Literature has suggested over the last several decades that parent involvement leads to higher student achievement. There are numerous documented benefits to parent involvement for students, families, schools, and communities. There are also many barriers that prevent parents from getting actively involved in their children's education. State and federal governments have recognized the importance of parent involvement and included this topic in much of the education legislation to date. The current study was designed to investigate critical aspects of parent involvement in schools serving students with high minority and poverty levels. Three schools were chosen to participate in this study based on student population of greater than 50% minority and greater than 50% low income. These schools were chosen because, despite these obstacles, the students scored in the top third of the state on the Illinois Standards Achievement Tests (ISAT). Participants were asked to complete a 42-question Likert scale survey with two open-ended questions at the end. The final data set contained 220 participants. The framework in which the study was conducted used the six typologies of parent involvement as defined by Epstein. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the parents' perceptions of their role in their children's education. Participants indicated a stronger tendency to participate in activities in two of the six typologies: Type I: Parenting and Type IV: Learning at Home. The open-ended questions provided more detail as to what parents felt was their role in education and their impact on academic achievement. The results of this study suggest that schools need to help parents with parenting skills and learning-at-home activities to improve education. Participants in the study found the Type I: Parenting and Type IV: Learning at Home typologies to be the types of activities they participate in regularly. This study suggests that schools struggling with unsatisfactory student achievement may benefit from providing resources to parents to improve parenting and learning-at-home strategies.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [135]-142).


vii, 169 pages




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