Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

King, James H., 1923-2011

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)

Legacy Department

College of Education


Home and school


Statement of the Problem. This study was made to gather evidence of parent opinions reflecting attitudes toward parent-teacher conferences in Crystal Lake, Illinois, public elementary schools. The information was sought as an evaluation of the present conference program by the parents of the children for whom conferences were held. Methods and Procedures. A questionnaire including fourteen questions asking parents1 opinions of the success of conferences was prepared. Questions dealt with mechanical and scheduling factors, degree of communication and cooperation effected, and certain aspects of problem solving which had been considered among the objectives of the conferences. Additional questionnaire items secured background information about the respondents and the children for whom the scheduled conferences had been held. An introductory letter from the Superintendent of Schools in Crystal Lake was mailed to 400 parents of children enrolled in grade six or below of the public elementary schools. This mailing, one week after scheduled parent teacher conferences, was followed by a second mailing of a face letter from the author, together with the questionnaire and a self-addressed, stamped envelope. As responses on questionnaires were received, they were transferred by key-punch to cards for machine processing. Written comments were hand-transferred to large sheets of paper under headings denoting the type of comment which had been made. Comments were grouped according to whether remarks therein expressed satisfaction, negative criticism, constructive criticism, or general statements. From the original mailing, 245 questionnaires were returned. Of these, 229 arrived in time for processing and included usable data. No follow-up attempt was made of questionnaires which were not returned. Conclusions. Parent support for continuation end extension of the present conference program was indicated by the majority of those replying. Seventy-seven per cent of responding parents considered present time arrangements convenient and adequate for the needs of most conferences. They favored conferences being held according to the needs of the child, however, rather than on a set basis of so many per year, they liked conferences even in the case of the good student. Parents also suggested holding conferences earlier in the year as soon as problems developed. Most parents believed that there was cooperation between teachers and themselves during conferences. Parents also felt they were given adequate opportunity to express their own views at conferences. Conferences were cited as effective means of helping the parent understand a child's problems; finding specific ways to help, especially where help needed to be given at home; and finding workable and successful means of solving problems which were identified through conferences. Specific suggestions for possible improvement of conferences included recommendations for longer periods of time when reports are being given for students with problems, inclusion of a third party where difficulty arises or is anticipated, holding conferences as often as needed, and having more complete information available at a conference from all the teachers a child has for the major subjects. Parents also wanted more information about methods in teaching of reading and writing, but mentioned support of the "new math" program now in use. The goals and teaching methods of the school were not communicated effectively through conferences, according to over forty per cent of the respondents. However, comments showed some parents did not feel that there was time or need for inclusion of this information in the conference period. Parents praised conferences as a report method, but chose to retain use of formal report cards. The present plan calls for four such report cards per year. The general conclusion was that this sample of Crystal Lake parents was satisfied with present conference program provisions. At the same time, these parents did see some specific ways in which even successful conferences could be made more useful to them.


Includes bibliographical references.


vii, 73 pages




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