Academic journal article Education

Effects of Teacher Communication on Parents' Attitudes and Their Children's Behaviors at Schools

Academic journal article Education

Effects of Teacher Communication on Parents' Attitudes and Their Children's Behaviors at Schools

Article excerpt

Data from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA, 2005), shows that American 15-year-old high school students ranked 24th out of 29 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The assessment focuses on mathematics, which include problem solving and real world math problems that emphasize on the application of math outside a classroom. Research has shown that students' conduct in the school is related to their academic achievement (Guepet, 2002). Students who are inattentive, tardy, or disruptive in classrooms have a higher chance of failing academic subjects (Frick et al., 1991). Research has shown that by involving parents in their children's schooling, students will achieve higher academic achievement (Epstein, 1995; Sexton, 1990; Rogers, 2000; Henderson, 1987); however, most studies have concentrated on elementary school students (Keith et al., 1995; Keith et al., 1986; Matzye, 1995; Mendoza, 1996; Patrikako, 1997).

The first 18 years of life, students spend about 85% of their waking time outside schools under the guidance of their parents. If these children live in an academically stimulating environment, then their amount of learning will increase (Walberg, 1984). Former President Bush, in America 2000, mentioned that American parents are an important component of their children's academic future success (U.S. Department of Education, 1991). Langdon and Vesper (2000) found that lack of parental involvement is an obstacle to school improvement. Henderson and Berla (1994) showed that parent participation is not only critical in elementary school, but it is essential throughout children's middle school and high school years. Guepet (2002) found that when parents are involved, students stay longer in schools, their dropout rates decline, and their referrals to the principal's office decrease. Cotton (1990) mentioned that discipline problems in schools are a serious problem in the U.S. educational system, and approximately one half of a teacher's classroom time is spent on activities unrelated with instructional activities which mostly deal with discipline problems.

The current study presents a model that examines student achievement through several indirect variables. The researcher believes that by using parental involvement, teachers are able to improve student conduct and parent's and children's attitude toward school. The purpose of this study is to examine the effects teacher communication on student conduct (the degree to which students are disruptive or participate in any behavior that takes up class instructional time) and engagement (the degree to which students are working on class activities and being attentive to the teacher). Another purpose of this research is to find how teacher communication affects student's and parents' attitudes towards math work.

A Teacher Communication Model

Teacher Communication-Student Achievement

In Figure 1, the arrow numbered 1 shows the effect of teacher communication on student achievement. Several researchers found that teacher communication improved student achievement (Cowan et al., 2002; Shaver & Walls, 1998; Ames et al., 1995). Both school-to-home and home-to-school communication are effective in improving students' learning (Epstein, 1990; Muller, 1998). Sexton (1990) showed that more frequent teacher communication with parents resulted in higher school performance in comparison with those students whose teacher had either little or no communication. Epstein (1995) mentions that communication between a teacher and a parent could consist of phone calls, personal contacts, report cards, e-mails, or home visits. In this study, the communication between the teacher and the parents was through sending report cards, progress reports, and making phone calls.

Teacher Communication-Student Attitudes

In Figure 1, the arrow numbered 2 shows the effects of teacher communication on student attitudes. …

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