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Do race and household income impact parental perceptions of homework - Thesis Example

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Carefully defining parent involvement in school is necessary precondition for identifying the factors that control it (Epstein, 1997; Keith, 2001). Though, developing clear definition of such multifaceted concept is not easy. Parent involvement encompasses broad range of parenting behavior, ranging from discussion with children about homework to attendance at parent-teacher organization (PTO) meetings…
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Do race and household income impact parental perceptions of homework
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Download file to see previous pages The first category, school choice, refers to parents selecting educational institutions and experiences for their children. While school choice is not yet widespread practice, this movement seems to be gaining momentum (Murphy, 2000). In second type of parent involvement, decision making through formal structures, parents sit on school councils or governance groups where they are expected to take part in collaborative administration of school. This type of involvement is typically the result of school restructuring efforts that devolve decision-making authority from the central office to individual schools. (Coleman 1998)
The third category, involvement in teaching and learning, refers to parent involvement in classroom (when parents volunteer), out of classroom (when parents converse with teachers), and at home (when parents help with homework and discuss school-related issues). The fourth category, effect on the physical and material environment, concerns efforts by parents to ensure safe and comfortable school environment for their children. Finally, Dimock, O'Donoghue, and (Robb 1996) discussed parents' responsibility in communicating between home and school. The authors suggested that in this category, parents play significant responsibility when they contact the school and when they obtain communication relating to student progress, school rules, student behavior, and so forth. (Rioux 1996)
While those categories give useful framework for analyzing various types of parent involvement, they are not specific enough to measure parent activity in statistically meaningful way. Fortunately, several quantitative measures of parent involvement have been developed. Most of those measures fall into (Dimock et al.'s 1996) teaching and learning or communication categories. Milne, Myers, Rosenthal, and (Ginsburg 1996), such as, focused on issues such as the degree to which parents help with homework, their attendance at parent-teacher conferences, and the association between parent behaviors and student accomplishment. (Merriam 1998)
The authors also examined three variables that measure the time children spend on homework, watch television, or read. In another study, (Astone and McLanahan 1998) studied measures related to at-home supervision, discussions within home, observed school progress, and parent aspirations. Findings in both of studies suggested positive association between parent involvement and student accomplishment. Though, after analyzing data from the Longitudinal Study of American Adolescence, (Madigan 1996) developed 10 indicators of parent involvement and found that parent help with homework and the provision of rewards for good grades sometimes had negative effect on student accomplishment. Also, (Sui-Chu and Willms 1996) developed measure of parent involvement for use with the National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS) base-year data. That measure included 12 indicators of parent involvement clustered around four variables: home discussion, home supervision, school communication, and school participation. (O'Brien 1998)
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