Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

Parental Involvement in Schooling: The Perceptions and Attitude of Secondary School Teachers in a Local Government Area in Osun State

Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

Parental Involvement in Schooling: The Perceptions and Attitude of Secondary School Teachers in a Local Government Area in Osun State

Article excerpt

This paper examined the perceptions and attitudes of teachers in regard to parental involvement in schooling. A sample of 114 teachers (60 males and 54 females) was selected randomly from six randomly selected secondary schools in a local government area in Nigeria. An instrument titled "Questionnaire on Teachers' Perception on and Attitude to Parental Involvement in Schooling" (QTPAPI) and premised on Epstein's (1995) model was used to elicit information from the teachers. Data collected were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Results showed that the teachers had opposing perceptions on parental involvement in schooling. Some of the teachers were favourably disposed to parents being involved in schooling while others were not. Sex of the teachers also had significant influence on their perceptions.

Introduction

The first place of contact for most children as soon as they are born into the world is the family. The family at this time exerts a lot of influence on the child. It is from parents and the significant others that the child acquires his initial training. So, basically, the home is where most learning begins and parents are the first and important educators of their children. In Nigeria, many parents don't have time for their children because of the economic down turn in the nation. Both fathers and mothers now engage in jobs and businesses unlike in the past, when the mothers did not have to work but stayed at home to take care of the children and see to their total welfare. The trend now is for working mothers to take their babies to school where there are day care facilities about six weeks after the birth of the babies. These children will grow up to start schools there and while in schools many parents don't have much time to visit these children in schools to see what is going on there.

Parental involvement had been defined by Epstein (1995) as families and communities who take an active role in creating a caring educational environment.

Several researchers had identified components of parental involvement. For example, Moore (1991) identified use of parents as volunteers and facilitators of children's development as some approaches to parental involvement. Flaxman dd Inger (1992) had also identified three ways in which parents become involved in schools: through direct involvement in school management and choice; participation in special parenting programmes and providing support programmes. The common themes articulated by researchers had been summarized by Epstein's (1995) six types of parental involvement. These are parenting, communicating, volunteering, learning at home, decision making and collaborating with community.

Aremu (2005) observed that parental involvement is already an established phenomenon in developed countries like United Kingdom, United States of America and France. But, in Nigeria, many parents do not realize that their roles are important in schools and both practitioners and policy makers do not know how they can involve parents (Adeyemo, 2005). Researches had indicated that the students whose parents are involved in their education tend to have fewer behavioural problems and better academic performance (Adeyemo, 2005). Noraini dd Naima (2006) opined that the vast majority of the teachers they studied believed that parents should involve themselves in their children homework because their involvement would reflect in their children's achievement. The Metropolitan Life survey in U. S found that large majority of their respondents believed that schools could be improved by the federal government if they encouraged parents to be more involved in their children's education (Richardson, 1993)

It is common wisdom that schools and parental involvement cannot be separated. Studies (e.g. Hester, 1989; Henderson dd Berla, 1994; Telia dd Telia, 2003 and Adeyemo (2005) indicated that when parents participate in their children' education, there would be increase in their achievement. …

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