Lack of parental involvement in a child’s education is an existing problem that teachers and guardians face. When parents are not invested in their children’s future and education, their offspring may experience poor student achievements and growth in various ways (Boonk et al., 2018). For instance, children’s early learning is impacted when parents are not involved in their education (Hornby & Blackwell, 2018). Furthermore, young children may find it hard to adjust to a school’s social environment (Hamlin & Flessa, 2018). In addition, disengaged parents who fail to take an interest in their children’s academic life promote school failures as such actions can create future students who do not like studying or gaining information.
Significance Of the Study
Talking to parents from various communities can the whole society examine its deep assumptions about parental involvement. Through the study, educational stakeholders will be able to gain insights into why some parents feel disengaged from school settings. In addition, the study will allow teachers and parents to comprehend the barriers to engagement in students’ academics from a personal perspective (Hill et al., 2018). As a result, parents and educators can collaborate to find a better way to re-envision family involvement in educational settings.
Purpose, Research Question, and Sub-Questions
The study’s purpose is to comprehend the essence and meaningfulness of teachers’ and parents’ lived experiences of their involvement and engagement in schools. The overarching research question explores how teachers and parents perceive the significance of their lived experiences of their involvement in teacher-parent engagement. In addition, the study will explore several sub-questions as indicated below.
- How do teachers and parents describe lived experiences of their involvement in teacher-parent engagement?
- How do teachers and parents perceive and interpret the meaningfulness of their involvement in teacher-parent engagement?
Qualitative Research Design
The chosen research design is phenomenology which describes structures and textures of the significant meaning of lived experiences of a particular phenomenon that has impacted a person. Descriptive phenomenology is utilized when researchers want to describe a specific phenomenon in a study as well as document their biases (Zahavi, 2018). In contrast, interpretive phenomenology allows prior engagement with research questions that ask for the experience’s meaning.
Phenomenology is advantageous because it enhances a better understanding of various meanings attached to different experiences of people. The prospect of getting in-depth and authentic accounts of different phenomena experienced by groups of people as well as individuals increases. Phenomenology lacks an objective measure of reliability because it offers subjective accounts of lived experiences (Neubauer et al., 2019). In addition, it may not be possible for people to eliminate their presuppositions while considering other individuals’ opinions and views.
The data collection methods to be used are interviews and document reviews. Interviews are often conducted face-to-face and can be structured or unstructured. Document reviews provide a way to collect data through a review of existing internal or external documents and may include PowerPoint presentations, daily reflection diaries, and questionnaires. Both interviews and document reviews are time-consuming, which may impact a study’s progress. Furthermore, researchers need to collect responses and organize them, which requires extra attention. Interviews and document reviews provide the prospect of gaining understanding from personal interactions (Doyle et al., 2020). The use and review of open-ended questions allow flexibility and improve several points of view.
The interview questions that will be used in the study include the following:
Can you describe your child’s school and staff?
- How many children do you have and how old are they?
- What are their grades and overall academic performance?
- Do you like the school and its staff?
How is the school’s teacher-parent communication?
- Do you communicate with your child’s teachers and what methods do you use?
- Are the communication methods beneficial?
- What qualities can improve the school and why?
What is your experience as a teacher?
- How many years have you taught?
- How many students do you teach and at what grades?
- Do you have a good relationship with your students?
- Do you communicate often with children’s parents?
Why do you think schools lack parental involvement?
- Are parents involved in school activities?
- Is communication important in parental involvement?
- Do teachers have positive partnerships with parents?
What is the major concern in parental absence?
- Do you think academic success is affected by parental absence?
- How is student behavior when parents are involved versus when they are not?
- Do parents participate in parent-teacher conferences to learn more about students’ academic performance and behavior?
Demographic Description and Sampling
The study’s sample will originate from Oscar E. Rodriguez Rivera school in Morovis, Puerto Rico with 31 teachers and 231 students. In terms of sampling, there are two types including non-probability and probability. Probability sampling refers to a sampling type that enables researchers to create statistical generalizations to greater populations since every population member stands a selection chance. In contrast, non-probability sampling indicates that people who can partake in a study may not be given a fair opportunity. Purposive sampling is selected based on a population’s characteristics and a study’s objective. It can be useful in settings where a targeted sample is required quickly (Howitt, 2019). Maximum variation purposive sampling is selected to offer diverse views and detailed insight into the specific phenomenon under examination.
The study will use a phenomenological analysis consisting of five steps. First, the researcher will make a sense of the whole by carefully reading the entire description. Second, the process proceeds to the discrimination of meaning units after the first step. Ultimately, the process eliminates irrelevant meaning units and redundancies. Third, the data will be transformed into psychological language by emphasizing the essence of a participant’s statement. Fourth, the meaning units will be synthesized into consistent statements of the participant’s lived experience (Zahavi, 2018). Finally, a final synthesis will be conducted to fully capture an experience’s essence.
Strategies For Reliability
Several strategies can ensure the study is reliable and valid. First, the study will utilize member checking to ensure research outcomes are trustworthy and transparent. The member-checking technique assesses intentionality and maintains context. Question-answer validity involves paraphrasing the comments of participants to clarify and confirm the intended meaning (Vu, 2021). It allows the interviewer to check whether the interviewee has the correct interpretation of the questions.
Another technique that can validate research results is the audit trail. It relies heavily on findings from participants’ responses while ignoring the preconceptions and biases of the researcher (Coleman, 2022). An audit trail is an in-depth approach that entails the interviewees’ narratives and a description of data collection and analysis in a transparent manner. Audit trails challenge researchers to be careful and intentional about record keeping in the study (Carcary, 2020). In addition, audit trails provide an account of analytical steps taken by a researcher to improve transparency.
Data triangulation and maximum variation will be used to enhance the study’s reliability. Data triangulation uses different perspectives and methods to produce more comprehensive findings. In addition, maximum variation allows researchers to collect data from wide perspectives. As a result, the study will gain increased credibility through the sampling technique (Lemon & Hayes, 2020). Maximum variation does not need a large sample but allows multiple insights about a particular phenomenon.
Several issues must be fulfilled before the research. For instance, approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) is needed. To gain approval, IRB will ensure that risks to various subjects are reduced through conservative scientific procedures. In addition, subject selection must be equitable and informed consent must be sought from every subject and properly documented (Howitt, 2019). Furthermore, the study’s research plan must accommodate data monitoring.
Gaining approval from places or institutions where the research will be conducted is another challenge. A request to the institution to conduct research will be made. The researcher must complete relevant resource and program utilization forms and get the required signatures. Once the relevant documents are finished, it is critical to send them to the proposed research institution (Howitt, 2019). However, the forms must be signed by IRB, after which an institutional certificate is issued.
Informing participants of their actions and rights constitutes the clause of informed consent. The informed consent process entails information exchange between subjects and researchers. The process involves explaining the research including its purpose, benefits, participation alternatives, risks, and procedures. As a result, participants can ask questions and allow subjects enough time to consider their decision (Manti & Licari, 2018). The final step entails assessing if a potential subject comprehends the research, its benefits, and risks.
The strategies used to validate the research must be clearly stated. For instance, member checking allows researchers to investigate whether the interviewees understand the meaning of their comments during their interview. Audit trails allow researchers to record every detail of their research process to promote transparency (Howitt, 2019). Finally, data triangulation will be used in data analysis to lead to diverse results.
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