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A comparative study of teachers' attitudes toward parent involvement in the schools

Joseph Ernest Arsenault, University of Massachusetts Amherst


A study of two hundred and fifty (250) public school teachers employed in a partial regional school district was conducted in order to examine their attitudes toward various forms of parent participation with the schools. Teachers were asked to respond to a fifty (50) statement survey investigating seven categories of parent involvement. These categories included: parent and teacher relationships; parents as supporters; parents as an audience; parents as decision makers; parents as advocates; parents as tutors for their children; and parents as learners. The purpose of the study was to determine if any differences in attitude existed among these teachers concerning parent participation in the schools. Comparisons were made among the teachers according to grade level, educational background, age, family status, formal training for parent involvement, years of service, and gender. Several interesting patterns emerged from this investigation. The results indicated that there are significant differences among teachers at the elementary, junior high, and high school levels toward parent involvement with the schools. Elementary school teachers revealed more positive attitudes toward parent involvement than junior high and high school teachers in the areas of parent and teacher relationships, parents as supporters of the schools, and parents as tutors assisting their children with school related activities. Significant differences surfaced between elementary school and the junior high teachers concerning parents as an audience for school activities. High school and junior high teachers disagreed concerning the role of parents as learners in the schools. Other factors also influenced teacher attitudes toward parent participation. A significant difference surfaced between teachers who had received training for parent involvement activities and those who had not participated in any training programs. Teachers who are parents also held views that differed from those who are not parents concerning parent involvement. Examination of the teacher responses by gender revealed that the attitudes of male and female teachers differed concerning parent participation with the schools. Age, years of experience, and educational background did not significantly affect the attitudes of the teachers toward parent involvement with the schools.

Subject Area

School administration|Education|Curricula|Teaching

Recommended Citation

Arsenault, Joseph Ernest, "A comparative study of teachers' attitudes toward parent involvement in the schools" (1991). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9132812.