Parental Engagment: Research Article Reflection

To conduct the research on parental engagement and student achievement, I will utilize the following two journal articles to help support the study:

  1. Do parents know they matter? Engaging all parents in learning
  2. Low-Income Parents’ Beliefs about Their Role in Children’s Academic Learning

Do parents know they matter? Engaging all parents in learning 

The article Do parents know they matter? Engaging all parent in learning, is a qualitative study that summarizes the findings from a research project conducted by Alma Harris and Janet Goodall. The study was conducted in the United Kingdom to explore the relationship between parental engagement and student achievement and involved case studies from 20 schools, with 314 respondents. The study also included a range of documentary evidence and performance data for each case study.

Participants and Sample Population

The sample population was selected using a purposeful sampling technique. The schools chosen for the study were selected based on specific criteria: development and the particular focus of parental engagement. The schools chosen were selected to ensure that the population was representative of the geographical mix of urban and rural schools. The sample considered other factors such as economic status, how many students enrolled, and minority percentages.

Data Collection Methods

Data collection for the project was conducted in two phases over a 12-month period. Phase one consisted of data collection from 30 schools, selected based on the two main criteria types, which were the type of parental engagement and the schools focus. The data collected from the thirty schools consisted of student performance data, such as test scores, attendance and behavioral records.  Phase two of data collection involved in depth case studies from a sample of 20 schools, as well as, performance data from these sties. The schools were chosen because they involved the most innovative teaching practices. The case studies involved interviews with respondents that consisted of teachers, parents, support staff and students.  

Data Analysis Methods and Conclusions

The researchers analyzed the data to discover trends and patterns. The case study evidence allowed the researchers to detail and identify key themes in the relationship between parental engagement and student achievement. The themes were:

  • Students, parents, and teachers have different views of the effectiveness of parental engagement.  Parents view their engagement as supporting their child; teachers view the support as a means to improve the child’s behavior and as support for the school; while the student viewed the engagement as “moral support” and interest in their education.
  • Parents and students viewed parental engagement as the parents being supportive and valuing education.
  • The data revealed that parental engagement was a good effect on student behavior.
  • Some parents are “hard to reach.”

Based on the trends noted above, in my opinion the conclusions were valid given the study design used by the researchers. The researchers identified the factors and barriers to the study, as well as, used the interview process to identify and determine factors that can hinder, and promote parental engagement. The researchers ensured that the respondents chosen were reflective of the socioeconomic, racial, and geographical areas chosen for the study.

Low-Income Parents’ Beliefs about Their Role in Children’s Academic Learning

The article, Low-Income Parent’s Beliefs about Their Role in Children’s Academic Learning, is a quantitative study that summarizes the findings from a research study conducted by Kathryn Diamond and Deborah Stipek. The purpose of the study was to gather information on the belief of low-income parents and their role in their child’s educational future.

Participants and Sample Population

The sample population consisted of 234 low-income African-American, Caucasian , Latino, and Asian Parents of second and third grade students in three geographic locations: a rural community in the northeast, a large urban northeaster city, and a large urban west coast city. The 234 participants were representation 165 classrooms in 103 schools, which consisted of 31% of second graders and 69% of third graders. The participating schools chosen varied in economic status and diversity. For the study, the breakdown of the population of students is as follows: 41% Caucasion, 36% African American, 16% Latino, 2% Asian, and 1% Native Americans.

Data Collection Methods and Analysis

The researchers used a variety of data collections methods, such as questionnaires, interviews, and analysis of performance data of students.

The researchers used questionnaires to gather responses from teachers for each student who participated in the study concerning their reading and math skills. The questionnaire also provided room for teachers to explain further the role of the parent in their child’s studies and in this case, the teachers were able to elaborate as to if they provided the teacher with special suggestions to assist their child.  The participating teachers received a stipend for completing their questionnaire.

The researcher interviewed parents over the phone during late spring and early summer to allow parents the chance to reflect on the entire school year. Most of the parents interviewed were mothers and other adults were interviewed if they were the primary care taker of the student participant. The interview covered a range of questions including demographics, parent impressions of their child, and involvement in homework assignments or school functions 

The researcher used information from the parental interviews and performance data to create specific categories to analyze the data, based on ideas and trends that emerged from a few of the open-ended questions that were answered by the parents. The researchers thus created a rating system based on the results. The open-ended questions allowed the parents to elaborate on their role in their child’s educational process and provided a tremendous amount of information that was either negative or positive.

Conclusions and My Thoughts

The researchers concluded that low-income parents rated involvement as very important in their child’s educational success. Communication from teachers is vital to the success of the parental engagement interaction between the student and the parent. The study showed that students rely on parental reinforcement in the subjects of reading and math.

The research showed that because barriers such as ethnicity can create a language barrier, parents found it important to visit their child’s school to gain a better understanding of the child’s educational progress. It is important for parents to encourage their children’s educational success.

In my opinion, based on the study design used the results are valid. The researcher identified barriers, as well as, focused on the data trends from the interviews of the parents. The researchers did not make any assumptions but relied on the information from the teachers and the parents to draw general conclusions on the date involving low-income parents and parental engagement.

While the research covered all factors, the researchers should have provided the rating system for the parents in the form of a survey for the parents to mail back to the research the team. In the event, that there was a language barrier, the researchers could have translated the survey into the appropriate language.


Drummond, Kathryn V. & Stipek, Deborah (2004). Low-Income Parents’ Beliefs about Their Role in Children’s Acadmic Learning.   The Elementary School Journal, 104(3), 197-213. Doi: 10403-0002505.00

Harris, Alma & Goodall, Janet (2008). Do parents know they matter? Engaging all parents in Learning. Educational Research,        50(3), 277-289. Doi: 10.1080/00131880802309424

One thought on “Parental Engagment: Research Article Reflection

  1. Now that you know what a “case study” really is, do you think that the 1st article is the case study they claim? Is it grounded theory? Ethnography? Phenomenology? What does that tell you about the researchers? Since validity is a unitary concept, everything contributes to your evaluation of the findings…

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