Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

DeSpain, Stephanie

Degree Name

B.A. (Bachelor of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Special and Early Education


Parental involvement in education is mandated by law (i.e., NCLB, IDEA) and it is the educators’ responsibility to reach out and include parents in the education of their child(ren). To date, there is little available research on parent and educator definitions of parental involvement and the activities with which they engage in or are expected to engage in. The level and intensity of a parent’s involvement is a multifaceted issue (i.e. home environment, job demands, culture); however, investigating definitions, expectations, and activities is an important step in understanding whether or not educators and parents are on the same page. Therefore, the purpose of this project was to investigate parent and educator definitions of parental participation. It was further to investigate educators’ expectations for parent involvement and determine whether parents engaged in activities that matched those expectations. In order to conduct this investigation, I developed online surveys to collect data from parents and educators on their definitions of parental involvement and engaged and expected activities. The surveys involved questions aimed to answer the following research questions: 1. How do parents define parental involvement? What activities do they report being involved with? 2. How do teachers define parental involvement? How do teachers expect parents to be involved? 3. Do parent and teacher definitions of parent involvement match the involvement activities they engage in or are expected to be engaged in? A qualitative analysis of definitions and engaged/expected activities was conducted following data collection, and findings will be reported during this presentation.


67 pages




Northern Illinois University

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