Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Date of Award

Fall 2014

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Department

Department of Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies

Advisor(s)

Kenneth R. Wright

Abstract

The purpose of this project was to identify successful approaches that teachers use to encourage involvement of all families. Following a review of professional and research literature, a survey of Pre-kindergarten through fifth grade teachers was distributed in a school division located in southeastern Virginia with varying income levels.

The findings in this survey suggested that participating teachers encouraged family involvement by inviting families into the classroom and explaining to them how they could help their children at home. The teachers utilized weekly communication in various forms such as printed material, electronic formats, and classroom websites. Teachers were also flexible in modifying their teaching methods and routines for extremely involved families and those of diverse cultures, beliefs, thinking, actions, and home environments. While potential barriers existed, such as uninterested families and the lack of increase in overall family involvement, the elementary school teachers in the school division of interest attempted to overcome those obstacles through communication and flexibility. They also relied on effective family involvement programs to bring families into the school. These programs encouraged the communication that was imperative for increased family involvement.

Based on this research, education does not only exist within the walls of a school, but follows the children into their homes. Thus, a home-school connection is an important factor in children’s education, making successful family involvement strategies crucial for academic achievement. For children to be the most successful, the three corners of an educational triangle consisting of families, teachers, and students must be connected at all times.

 
 

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