Lack of Parental Involvement in Urban Schools
From the 1980s, a major educational issue has become the involvement of parents in the education of their children. The quality of education has been concerned increasingly in particularly this era. Academic standards are being monitored and maintained by the states. The expense of public education is also being watched by the communities. Provision of high-quality teaching is being continued and concern is showed by the local schools.
In this regard, resources are being utilized, in order to provide best quality education to the children. Adequate preparation of having a rewarded adult lives is wanted by the parents from these teachers. However, the education providers and teachers are also feeling a need of the parents’ involvement in the education of their children, which is considered as very important and essential in a student’s life by a number of experts and educationists.
A plethora of challenges is faced by a number of teachers in schools that have been built in places like large urban centers. Multitude of languages, violence, poverty, and diversity of the culture are some of the challenges that are faced by the teachers as mentioned above.
Suburban settings are quite different and easy, as compared to these abovementioned multicultural urban schools. Less homogenous students’ populations are found in these urban schools, which make it very difficult for the teachers to handle the student individually and specifically.
In this regard, parent support is felt as one of the most important factors that are necessary for the education of children in these urban schools. Various studies have been carried out, in order to understand and analyze the need and importance of parental involvement in the education of children in urban schools, and it has been observed that the involvement of parents plays a vital role in developing a disciplined and rewarded human being on this planet.
In this paper, we will try to understand and discuss the different problems that are related with the issue, and will discuss the importance of parental involvement and its advantages in the education of urban schools. Various perceptions have been received and collected from surveys that have been carried out in this regard. We will try to confer our findings in this point of view.
A sense of community and commitment is enhanced, and the students’ achievement is increased by the involvement of parents in the education of their children according to a number of surveys in this regard. State-of-the-art education and instruction are being used and provided by urban schools that are acting with dwindling and diminishing resources in these schools.
Parental involvement is being considered as a valuable and efficient resource for the teachers that are making their efforts in educating their teachers with the limited resources that are available in these schools. In this paper, we will try to understand the positive effects that parental involvement gives on the achievement of students in these schools. In addition, we will discuss the impact that is affecting the education of these students by the lack of parental involvement in the education system of these urban schools.
Definition of Parental Involvement
In this study, the term ‘parental involvement’ is being used in broad terms. Several different forms of participation in education of urban schools have been included in it. The involvement with schools, teachers, and children has been associated with the parents. School functions and obligations can be attended by the parents, in order to support the schooling of the children by their parents. For instance, parent-teacher conference or parent-teacher meetings can be attended by these parents, in order to understand and keep posted of one’s children in the schools.
In addition, schoolwork or homework can be completed with the help and involvement of the parents in the home. In this way, children can improve and enhance their work at home. Encouragement can also be provided regarding the studies and extra-curricular activities to the children by the parents. Appropriate space and study time can be arranged by the parents, which can be a sign of their involvement and interest in the education.
Homework and behavior can also be monitored and improved by the guidance and interest of the parents’ involvement in the education. In case of educated parents, children can also be tutored actively at home, which can increase the efficiency of students in the schools. In this way, a number of perceptions are available that can be included in the definition of the parental involvement, which is being lacked in the present urban schools.
Problem and Literature Review
A number of studies have been carried out, which has found that many urban schools have reported lack of parental involvement in their schools, which has affected the studies, as well as, the personal behavior and development of the children and students in their schools.
Urban schools are generally found to be facing a number of challenges as already mentioned in the introduction. These challenges also accelerate chances of deteriorating the educational life of a student, when the parents do not involved in the studies and education. In the light of these facts, the opportunities for providing rich learning opportunities to the students are being found by the urban schools. In this regard, the lack of parents’ involvement discourages the efforts of teachers and school management that make efforts to enhance and improve the standards of the students in these schools.
Parents’ involvement in the education of their children has been selected for the research by a number of experts and researchers at a number of places and times, which can be found in stand-alone reports, journals, books, etc. Research reports, theory papers, program descriptions, effects and impacts, expert opinions, as well as, the guidelines have been included in these abovementioned writings on this subject.
Urban schools have found these writings very informative and useful for their enhancement in this field according to the perception of teachers, students, and their parents. In the past few years, a hot topic has become the parental involvement, and considerable information is available in this regard.
Different aspects of parental involvement have been synthesized in this study, and we have found a number of different advantages that are not benefited with the lack of parental involvement in the urban schools education. Higher grades, graduation rates, and test scores have been shown by various researches that have been done since decades regarding the parental involvement. Better school attendance has also been observed in the students that were found to be getting the attention of parents during their studies.
In addition, students were also found to be increasing their motivation, and were observed as very enthusiastic during their studies. Self-esteem of these students was also found to be in a better form, as compared to the students whose parents were not involved and taking interest in their studies and other activities related to it, as previously mentioned in the introduction.
Various studies and researches have shown that drugs and alcohol were used in a very diminishing manner, when the parents took interest in the studies and related work of their children. However, drugs were used by the students at a higher extent, who did not receive any attention of their parents concerning their education. In this regard, violent behavior was also observed in fewer instances.
Therefore, it is considered that the involvement of parents is very necessary and important in the development and enhancement of students, particularly, in the urban schools, where the teacher-student ratio is very big, and teachers cannot give proper attention to every student individually.
Parental involvement has not enhanced and improved the educational life of the students, but teachers and school management have also been founded to progress and developed a lot by their interest in the education. It has been observed that teachers and management in the urban schools are found to be already over-burdening with the high amount of students that are usually more than the allocated one from the states.
Therefore, teachers are supported with the involvement of parents in these urban schools. Parents who take interest in the education of their students help their children to complete their schoolwork, homework, as well as, encourage their children to take participation in other related activities in the school, which is merely not possible for a teacher to do with every student of the class.
In this way, researches and studies have shown that teachers’ morale is increased and improved with the increase in the parental involvement in the urban schools. It has been observed that the urban schools, which are able to get the involvement and attention of the parents in the education of their children, are most likely to get the higher reputation in their community, as well as, in other localities too.
Therefore, we can say that a positive relation is found to be in the learning of children by the involvement of parents in the education of urban schools. Impressive results have been achieved by the different programs that have been organized, in order to get the parental involvement in the urban schools.
In this regard, a number of urban schools are trying to prepare and organize different programs that can be able to receive interest of almost every single parent that is associated with the schools by their children. However, urban schools are still found to be complaining lack of parental involvement that is affecting their own children in their studies, as well as, in their daily lives and activities.
Children are attached with the parents since the first day of the life. Parents guide their children on every single step that is taken after a child is born in the world. The children are sent to the schools to get proper education, in order to live a rewarded life. At this point, a number of parents think that their role of educating and guiding their children stops and the role of school starts, which is very wrong and affects children in the schools.
Children spend a limited hours with the teachers, and remains at home more time. Parents are considered as the second teacher or tutor after the teachers, no matter what the qualification is, and what the standard of living the parent is giving to the children. Different students come from distinct and various cultures, backgrounds, ethnicity, race, etc. In this case, there are very few teachers who can even be counted on hands, and who can teach and handle these different students based on their own culture and background individually.
Therefore, it is very important for a parent to take keen interest in the progress and development of the child and to involve with the studies that is given to the child. It is very essential for a parent to sit, read, and revise everything that is taught by the teachers in the schools. If not possible, parents are required to at least, ask their children about the daily activities that their children perform in these urban schools.
However, urban schools are found to be getting very few parents who are able to perform the abovementioned with the children. One of the reasons of unavailability of the parents is the poverty. Most of the urban schools are facing challenges of poverty in their schools. Students of these schools are poor, and do not live a high standard life.
Subsequently, parents are not available due to high number of hours that are worked by them, in order to earn living for their families. The abovementioned is one of the main reasons that discourage the involvement of parents in the education of their children in these urban schools.
In this regard, a number of programs are being launched by the urban schools to attract the parents, who can give minimal time to their children for their studies. Different policies are being planned and implemented in these schools, which can increase the number of supportive parents in the schools, and which can, improve and enhance the education and life of their own children.
Research Questions and Hypotheses
In order to understand the role of parental involvement and their lacking of interest in the education of these urban schools, a number of urban schools, their teachers, parents, and students were interviewed and survey was carried out to achieve accurate results, which can be supportive for further studies and development in the education sector.
Different and various questions were prepared, which were related to the education, personal life, psychology, importance of education, reasons of lacking support, etc. These questions were then gathered and findings were provided, in order to understand the effects and impact of parental support and its lacking in the children and students of the urban schools.
During this survey, teachers were interviewed, who were inquired regarding the importance and need of the parents in the education of their children, who were studying in their urban schools. In this regard, teachers were found complaining lack of parental involvement and support in the education of their urban schools.
A number of reports found that child abuse, as well as, bad nutrition and health were found in the students who were lacking support of their parents during their studies. One of the reasons of child abuse and bad health was that these children were feeling less attentive, and were subjected to the feeling of inferiority in them. In the result, children were found to be deteriorating their health during their study time, which was failing and decreasing their grades and test scored in the schools.
A sense of frustration in the classroom was found in thousand of teachers who were surveyed during the study, which was based on the lack of parental support and involvement in the urban schools. These teachers were also felt powerless during their teaching hours, as most of the students were found to be distinct and different from each other.
Secondly, the number of students in a class of urban schools was also high, as compared to their counterparts, suburban schools. In the result, the teachers were frustrated due to no support of parents for these teachers. In this regard, the states should make planning for the better and effective ratio of teachers and students in a class, in order to allow teachers to teach the students effectively and efficiently in the urban schools.
Poverty and poor health were found by a majority of these teachers during the survey. Undernourishment and problem-neglecting habit were also found in the parents of the students of these urban schools, which was also a reason of aggravation and disturbance among these teachers. Different questionnaires and interviews provided almost the same results, which signified the importance of parental involvement in the education system of urban schools.
In different findings, it was observed that a problem was created in ninety percent of the urban schools due to lack of parental support with the teachers. In addition, abused and neglected children were found to be in eighty-nine percent of these schools, who were going through a same situation of lack of parental involvement with the children at homes.
During the survey, sixty-eight percent of the teachers complained of poor health in their students, as already discussed earlier in the study. In addition, undernourishment and famine problems were found in the students of the urban schools according to sixty-six percent of the teachers and management, who were surveyed during the study.
Most of the teachers expressed that parental support and their involvement in the education of their children was becoming very essential and important, as the teaching and nourishing job was not being able to done alone by the teachers and the management. The need of parents was highly felt by these teachers during the survey. Families and communities were also required to involve in the schools activities by the teachers of these urban schools.
In this regard, a number of teaching and educational organizations are trying to cope up with this problem, and are planning many parent-teacher courses and programs that can enhance the relationship of parents and teachers, as well as, parents and children at their homes.
These courses are also being planned to develop and boost the knowledge of every single parent regarding the importance of their support and involvement in the life of their children, who are going to urban schools to get quality education and become good members of their community, and better citizens of their country.
Another reason of lack of parental involvement in the urban schools is the worse amount of pay of the teachers that are teaching in these schools. According to the findings of the survey, the pay of forty-nine percent of the teachers was not even that was expected by them, that is, it was below the average of their expectations. However, forty-one percent of the teachers were satisfied with their pay, as it was as per their expectations. Only ten percent of the teachers were found to be happy with their pays.
In addition, an average of fifteen years of teaching experience was done by the teachers in these schools. In the result, the morale of most of the teachers was low, and therefore, they were not satisfied with their pays, as well as, their teaching style, which was applied by them during their teaching hours. Due to this low morale and spirit, these teachers were not found to be communicating with the parents properly. In the result, parents were not encouraged to support and involve in the education of their children in these urban schools.
These teachers were found to be appreciating the support of parents with them, as well as, the involvement with their children. However, the only reason of lack of communication with these parents was their frustration due to their low pays, which did not allow them to include their motivation and personal interest during their teaching hours with the students at these urban schools.
Lack of parental involvement in urban schools has been found to deteriorate the achievement of students at the preschool and primary levels of these urban schools. A much lower incidence was found in the middle and secondary levels of these urban schools in this regard. This is one of the main reasons that young children and their families have been selected for a majority of the studies and surveys regarding the parental involvement in the urban schools.
In recent years, it has been found that negative achievement and adverse outcomes have been achieved with the lack of parental involvement in the abovementioned levels of the urban schools. For many reasons, parents are found to be going away from their children, as soon as, they grow older. Sophistication of the curriculum and textbooks is another reason of lack of parental involvement during their studies.
It has been found that most of the parents have gone through the high school level, and have not done graduation. In the result, these parents were unable to understand the complexity and difficult terms and knowledge that have been given in the updated textbooks of their children.
Another reason of this parental lacking is that several teachers teach students different subjects, and therefore, it becomes very difficult for the teachers to communicate with every single teacher, in order to inquire about the child and his/her progress and developments in the school.
Urban schools are also found to be farther from the residential homes, and this is another reason that keeps the parents of these students to remain away from the schools, thus, the teachers of these urban schools. Another reason that has been mentioned earlier in the study is the employment and job timings that clash with the school timings, as well as, the homework timings of the students. Most of the parents are employed, and therefore, they cannot take time to give time to their children after coming from their tiring jobs of long hours.
In this way, some sense of severance and separate begun in the students, who then, accept this lacking of their parents involvement in their studies, as well as, their lives. Most of the children take this lacking as their independence from their parents, which is basically, the lacking of involvement and support to them from their parents.
Another reason of lack of parental involvement is that the parents of the students of urban schools are found to be shy and embarrass of their economic background, as compared to the other persons of high-standard living in their community. Lack of linguistic abilities and low educational level of the parents discourage them to communicate with the teachers of their children, as well as, their own children.
The structure of the urban school is often misunderstood by the parents of the students, and therefore, they do not feel good in supporting the teachers of getting involved with their students in their studies and schoolwork. As discussed previously, teachers, administrators, and management are also found to be lacking their welcome to these parents, who already feel mortified due to their low educational and economical level.
In this way, a number of reasons are responsible for the lack of parental involvement in the education system of the urban schools. However, parental involvement in the urban schools have been studied by many professionals and educationists, there is still lack of support and the participation of parents, as well as, families in the education of their children, who are studying in the urban schools of their community.
The school governance is another area that is also affected by the lack of parental support in the urban schools. The decision-making opportunity that is given to parents regarding the school programs has been considered in this term of governance. In order to involve the parents in the urban schools, a number of these schools have been giving various opportunities to the parents to involve themselves in the schools.
Some of the examples are schools board member, and the member of a parent advisory committee. The abovementioned are some of the posts that are given by the urban schools, which encourage the parents, as well as, appreciate their work for the schools. Goal setting and implementation of program activities in a particular school are being supported by a number of parents in this regard.
The most controversial issue was found to be the parental involvement in the school governance during the survey and interview of different parents from distinct backgrounds. As discussed earlier, parents were not satisfied with their positions, and therefore, they were found to be hesitant in performing these roles in the urban schools. However, great reluctance in this type of involvement of parents in the urban schools was exhibited by most of the teachers and administrators of the urban schools.
Due to this communication gap, a number of urban schools have not been able to get the support of the parents, as well as, the families of the students of their schools. In this regard, states, as well as, the urban schools are planning and implementing a number of courses and training programs for the parents, as well as, the teachers, in order to prepare a workforce of parents who can support the teachers at times of their frustration. In this way, children will also been able to get the involvement of their parents in their studies, and thus, in their lives.
Different parent-teacher conferences and meetings are being held in various urban schools of the United States. Nowadays, the issue of parental involvement has become of great importance, and policies are being made, in order to get all the support of parents in the education of their children in the urban schools.
In addition, parents are also being encouraged to participate in the key positions of these schools. Parents who are found to be from a low economical background and low level of linguistic abilities are being encouraged to participate in the training programs, which are often organized at free cost.
In this way, it has been observed that coming year may bring a significant change in the involvement and support of the parents in the urban schools. Conclusively, the role of parents in the urban schools, as well as, in the educational lives of their children, is an important and significant issue that should be considered by the schools. The government should provide the best quality education to the students who cannot avail education from high standards of educational institutions and organizations in their countries though a number of ways that can be applied to encourage parental involvement and their support in the running of urban schools in their communities.
We hope that our study will help and support the further researches and studies regarding the parental involvement in the urban schools. We hope that our suggested ways will bring an end to the lacking of the parental support. In addition, parents will also move a step ahead to support the urban schools, which are trying to provide best quality education to their children.
In the end, we also hope that teachers will be provided with high amount of pays, which can allow them to teach the students effectively, and communicate and welcome the parents who take interest in the urban schools and their structures, which are associated with their children in some or other ways.
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