Educational Partnership in One Saskatchewan School: Perceptions of Parents, Teachers and Administrators
Quiring, Suzanne Gabrielle
This study strives to understand the perceptions parents, and teachers/administrators have about parent involvement in their school and specifically how they view their role as partners in education. This study was designed to describe the perceptions of different parent groups and educators. The parent groups consisted of parents whose children were in a French immersion program and parents whose children were in a regular English program. Teachers, a principal, and one member of senior administration made up the educator group. An assumption essential to this study is that there is a difference in the attitudes that the French immersion parent advisory council, the English parent advisory council and the educators hold towards parent involvement in the school. This study identifies factors that contribute to varied parental involvement in their children's education. This identification serves as a point of departure for educators who wish to understand the degree to which parents become involved in the school and possibly, through collaboration, develop improved parental involvement programs which will be both satisfying to all parties involved and beneficial to the education of the children. The study used qualitative research methods. The researcher conducted individual interviews with all participants to become familiar with the individuals taking part in the study. This provided information about the participants' educational background and their opinion about the importance of education. Focus group interviews provided an opportunity to determine the perceptions that each group of participants held toward parent involvement in the school. As weII, these discussions helped identify differences between groups. This study identified substantial differences in perception about the levels of involvement between the three groups of participants. Some parents wished to advise on management issues but felt they lacked the qualifications to make actual decisions about certain issues. Others felt that decisions on policies, curriculum and staffing should include more active parent consultation. Teachers and administrators felt that it is crucial for parents to be involved in the school, but drew the line at areas where they felt they have specialized training and in which they felt parents perhaps do not have enough knowledge.