Examining Research-Based Solutions

19 May No Comments

Examining Research-Based Solutions

ED 5500

Capella University

Examining Research-Based Solutions

Parental involvement is an important part of a child’s education. The following review of literature will show how parental involvement can affect children in the classroom. This research will show how technology affects parental involvement through the activities in the classroom, and how technology helps communication with teachers and families. The literature will address the lack of participation from parents and what else can be done. Many of the findings are positive and can overlook the negative effects.

Describe a Problem in Your Field of Professional Practice

A major problem that I come across in the public school systems is the lack of parental involvement in low income communities. Parental involvement is often defined as the participation of significant caregivers in activities promoting their children’s education as well as their academic and social well-being (Fishel and Ramirez 2005). Evidence supports the positive influence parental involvement has on children’s learning and achievement.

Analyzing Two Research Reports

Analysis of Article One

This article titled “Parental Involvement: Rhetoric of Inclusion in an Environment of Exclusion” explains how parental involvement positively affects a child’s performance in school yet gaps exist between school rhetoric and actual parental involvement. The researchers conducted a case study to show the approaches taken in schools that often negate the many ways that minority parents are active in their child’s education because the approaches do not correspond to “norms set up by the institution in power” (Barton et al. 2004, 8). The aim of this study was to use qualitative methods, including ethnography, to examine how parents and school personnel perceived and experienced parental involvement at an elementary school serving a low-income, mainly black, community. At the time of this study, there were thirteen lead and assistant classroom teachers serving 125 students enrolled in pre-kindergarten (three- and four-year-olds) through fifth-grade as well as five special subjects teachers. There were also three support staff, two nurses, and four administrators. Of the eighteen teachers, fourteen were white females, one female assistant teacher and one male special subject teacher were black, and one female lead teacher and one female special subject teacher were Hispanic. Of the nine staff and administrators, eight were white females and one member of the support staff was a black female. The data collected in this study were analyzed using an iterative process including ongoing observations recorded as field notes, interviews, analysis, and reflection. Field notes were organized into a broad narrative of the school context based on careful analysis and reflection. In addition to field notes, the first author also conducted in-depth interviews with school community members. After conducting fifteen in-depth interviews, transcribing the interviews verbatim, and storing them in the system, the authors began identifying preliminary themes.

Though all participants widely accepted the idea that parental involvement was beneficial, perceptions of what this meant went beyond the parental involvement policy implemented in the school; all participants’ definitions of parent involvement spoke to a connection between the home and the school environments. The colorblind ideologies perpetuated within the school created barriers to meaningful connections between parents and school personnel.

Analysis of Article Two

Article two titled “A social ecological, relationship-based strategy for parent involvement: Families And Schools Together (FAST)”. Most schools struggle to get busy and stressed parents to come repeatedly to the school building for events. At primary schools, especially those with pupils living in low-income communities or with many immigrants, involving parents to come at all is seen as a challenge. The purpose of the article was to present a social ecological strategy of using the school building as a site for families to gather and for community networks to grow by building relationships between parents who have same-aged children attending that school. When families know other families, they feel more comfortable coming into the school building, and probably will return frequently. The researchers implemented the SERB strategy which overall goal is to influence the child’s performance and well-being by many means simultaneously, focusing specifically on the parent’s role in facilitating the child’s social, emotional and academic improvement (which are often correlated), and connecting the parent positively to multiple resources and social supports of the school and community. The data came from 52 title one schools serving low income families in four school districts. Half of the schools were randomly selected to receive FAST and the other half served as controls; no significant differences were observed in the demographic characteristics of the two groups (see Table I). All children (and parents) in the first grade were recruited into the study to sign informed consent forms, agree to respond to four surveys over three years and allow school district data to be shared with the research team. In total, 3,091 first-graders and their families were involved in the study. At the 26 schools with FAST, parents were invited to attend an after-school multi-family group session; they could come once any time over the eight weeks and/or they could also come repeatedly. The groups were kept open to new participants and could accommodate many families. Attendance data were collected from sign-in sheets. We calculated descriptive data on FAST participation rates per school and on average. The data provided some evidence suggesting that FAST brought many low-income and immigrant parents into primary school events and that many of them came back and attended multiple school events (three or more), suggesting parent engagement and not merely involvement. This study merely focused in on one marginalized group, the Latino community. There was no data to compare from previous school years as it relates to parent involvement.

Examining Transferability of Research Findings to Your Professional Practice

The two research articles I examined, have quite a few similarities between each other as well as they relate to my school setting. The groups that were studied in both articles were minority groups, attending schools that serve low income families. I am currently in a school setting that services 98% of low income families and 90% of the students are African American. The studies examined here focused in on how parent involvement can have a positive impact on student success but it also showed where the gap is between the school and the parents. The ideology in both articles were not far fetched and I feel the strategies could be used in my current school setting.


The purpose of conducting research is to generate new knowledge or to validate existing knowledge based on a theory. Research studies answer specific questions or test hypotheses using disciplined, rigorous methods. While research is about investigation, exploration, and discovery, it also requires an understanding of content being presented in the research. For research results to be considered reliable and valid, researchers must use the scientific method in orderly, sequential steps.


Allison A. ParsonsKatrina M. WalsemannSonya J. JonesHerman KnopfChristine E. Blake. 2016. Parental Involvement: Rhetoric of Inclusion in an Environment of Exclusion. Volume: 47 issue: 1, page(s): 113-139

Fishel, Maria, ramirez, Lucila. 2005. “Evidence Based Parent Involvement Interventions with School-Aged Children.” School Psychology Quarterly 20 (4): 371.

McDonald, LynnMiller, HannahSandler, Jen.Journal of Children’s Services; 2015. A social ecological, relationship-based strategy for parent involvement: Families And Schools Together (FAST) Bingley Vol. 10, Iss. 3,   218-230.

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