Parental involvement in Western Australian secondary schools

Year: 2001

Author: Cavanagh, Robert, Dellar, Graham

Type of paper: Refereed paper

A survey type instrument was developed then administered in three Western Australian secondary schools to profile parent perceptions of their involvement in their child's schooling. The instrument solicited information about the school, teachers, their child and themselves. Data from 550 parents were factor analysed and the original instrument was refined. The refined instrument profiled: student values about education and schooling; student learning outcomes; individual parent and family capacity to support the student's learning; parent to student expectations; parental confidence in communicating with teachers, student to parent communication; teacher to parent communication; and the values of the school concerning improving the learning of students. Scale internal reliability (Cronbach Alpha) ranged from 0.87 to 0.95. Inter-scale correlation coefficients (Spearman) ranged from 0.17 to 0.70 signifying interaction between educational outcomes and the attributes of parents, teachers and the child. Analysis of the data revealed parents in all three schools had positive views of seven of the eight dimensions of parental involvement with the exception of teacher to parent communication. The report on the study concludes with a discussion of strategies for improving the involvement of parents in their child's secondary schooling based upon the empirical findings of the study and previous research.