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Effect of Low Income University on Parent Involvement - Article

(Smith 2006, p. 43) in her article has attempted to measure the impact of strategies undertaken to involve parent in child education at a low income school using qualitative research methods.

Aims of Article

The main seeks of the article are to:

  1. Define what sort of low-income institution defines intentional parental involvement strategies
  2. Define effects of those strategies

The Methodology

The above article is performed as a qualitative research. Qualitative research is performed to get a deep knowledge of a particular event, rather than a description of a sizable sample of the population. It is also called ethnomethodology or field research. It helps create information about individuals groups in communal options. Qualitative research aspires to provide a much better knowledge of a occurrence through experience, appropriate reporting, and quotations of actual conversations. It seeks to offer an understanding about how participants tend to interpret their area, and exactly how their interpretations affect their behaviours.

The main methodology for performing this research was executing a report at a minimal income institution whose new framework was exchanging an outdated structure in 2002. During the planning stage of the school community users, parents and organization professionals were involved with development of the new college structure to appeal to the needs of low income people and of programs to require parents in students education at the school. The efforts were then assessed using qualitative data collection methods such as participant observation, interviews and record reviews.

Participant observation is an interval of intensive sociable interaction between your researcher and the topics, in the latter's environment. It becomes the full-time profession of the researcher. Participant observers are been trained in techniques of observation, which distinguishes them from regular members.

Interviewing is one of the very most commonly used options for gathering data in qualitative research. Qualitative interviewing is usually different from quantitative interviewing in a number of ways.

  1. Interviewing is commonly much less set up in qualitative research. In quantitative research, interviews are usually retained much more organized to be able to provide a valid way of measuring of key concepts that can answer some specific research questions.
  2. In qualitative interviewing, deviating is prompted to give information into the particular interviewee sees as important. That is however discouraged in quantitative research.
  1. In qualitative interviewing, interviewers can significantly change the routine and guide of the interview.
  1. In qualitative interviewing, The questions of interview get specific answers; in quantitative research the interview creates answers that can be processed and statistically analyzed quickly.

Researchers dietary supplement qualitative research methods such as interviewing and observation with gathering and analyzing documents produced specifically for the research accessible. As a result, the overview of documents is an unobtrusive method, abundant with portraying the prices and beliefs of participants in the setting up.

Sampling was done using snowball sampling approach. A snowball sample is anon-probability sampling techniquethat is appropriate to use in research when the customers of a population are difficult to locate. A snowball test is a sample where the researcher collects data from the few associates of the mark population they will get, then they ask those associates from whom the info is gathered to provide information on the location of other members of that populace whom they know.

Snowball sampling scarcely contributes to a representative test, but sometimes it may be the best option available. For example, if you are studying people smoking cannabis, you are not more likely to find a set of all people smoking cannabis in your area. However, if you identify one or two people smoking cannabis that are willing to take part in your study, chances are that they know other cannabis smoking people in their area. However snowball sampling can be averted if data about something is easily available.

Source: http://www. northumbria. ac. uk/static/images/schoolimages/ar_images/cetl/gilldavisondiagram1. jpg

The Setting

The setting because of this research was Clark Elementary Institution that was situated beside a city park in a small commu­nity encircled by large professional complexes. Most of the residents in neighborhood were low income. During the 2003-2004 school 12 months, 5% of the students were American Indian, 3% of the students were Asian, 7% were Dark, 19% were Hispanic, and 67% were White. According to the Clark Elementary School website, by Oct 1, 2003, the dialects spoken were 79% British, 11% Spanish, 6% Russian, 3% Ukrainian, 1% Vietnamese, and 2% other.

In 1998 the area began to create a new school to be able to replace the old one. A advisory group was produced consisting of people from community organizations, gov­ernment firms, the local cathedral, the neighborhood relationship, the Clark Parent Teacher Business (PTO), teachers from Elementary School, and school district staff to provide type for development of new university. The institution was finally completed in 2002.

Data Collection

This research was qualitative in characteristics. Data was gathered from the members in 3 ways:

  1. Observation
  2. Interviews
  3. Document Reviews
  1. Observation:The publisher acted just like a participant observer for before and after college programs, Read and play programs and accolades assemblage to which all families had been asked.
  1. Interviews: Semi-structured, open-ended interviews were conducted with teachers, family staff, and parents from Clark Elementary University. 4 administrators were interviewed including the principal, the region expert, The family Liaison coordinator and the Family Services planner. 6 instructors were interviewed, 6 parents were interviewed. For interviews snowball sampling was used.

Source:http://www. featurepics. com/FI/Thumb300/20090704/Interview-1236952. jpg

  1. Document Reviews: Documents assessed pertained usually to the development process for the new institution. All materials collected during the design process were reviewed and all references to the school in the neighborhood paper were evaluated. In addition, the school website and regular monthly newsletters were reviewed.

source:http://websites. adobe. com/acrolaw/data files/2011/01/00_quick_review_illustration. png


  1. A Base of Understanding: Because the school architecture and its programs were developed keeping the opinions of the neighborhoods, parents and customers of community organizations. After the college opened educators and personnel were made to understand the life circumstances of college families. This helped professors understand parents more and reduced the likelihood of instructors blaming parents when their children faced academic troubles and instead has increased the desire to have teachers to assist the children.
  1. A Broad Definition: A meaning of parental involvement emerged at the institution which recognized several behaviors of engagement such as receipt of social services or picking right up food or clothing at Family Learning resource centre. These behaviors also included the training activities families involved in while at home.
  1. Creating Intentional Parental Engagement Strategies: The intentional parental engagement strategies were designed in two unique ways:
  1. Strategies to supply Services: During preliminary meetings after taking into consideration the needs of neighborhood family members it was decided to make the school in a community centre style so as to provide services for low income households. The family resource center in the institution helped hook up parents with the many activities in school and provide them with many facilities including computer systems, free food and clothing provided by federal agencies.
  1. Strategies to Enhance Parental Participation: The Clark Committee experienced designed parental participation plans based on broad meaning of parent engagement and on basis of understanding. These strategies included welcoming parents to school conferences, family times and gain access to resources offered by Family Source Centers. Each one of these services were found to truly have a positive impact of parent or guardian involvement and hence positively impacted Clark Elementary Institution.
  1. Benefits of Parental Engagement: Interviewers described better parent involvement leading to educational success. Teachers discovered that students were more determined and experienced better self-confidence because of this of parent participation. Parents also were found to get other benefits of involvement other than academic ones plus they could feel themselves part of an community.


Following things are recommended in this research:

  1. In order to develop approaches for parent engagement in low income classes it would be better to input the advice of neighbours and interested firm representatives to be able to understand the lives of men and women the school shall serve.
  2. If we can get a specific knowledge of the lives with their school families, we ought to encourage definition of parental involvement which would recognize a wide set of parental manners that lead to educational success.
  3. Educators serving low-income populations must consider offering services to the groups of their students, thus bringing parents into the school buildings. Full-service schools provides services predicated on the understanding of the needs of a nearby, intended to meet the needs of low-income university families.
  4. Educators should ask the type and participation of commu­nity agencies, businesses, and faith-based organizations in any work to meet the needs of college families. Offering the chance to provide input can encourage them to own the process and make them have a long term participation in the process
  5. Educators need to simply accept that parents may not choose to be involved with education in commonly accepted ways.


The main point of this article is that a much better understanding of the community needs is crucial for forming a better definition of mother or father involvement for the community. Hence, Educators employed in low-income communities need a willingness to learn about their college student populations and a high degree of dedication to school family members in order to better formulate parent engagement strategies in schools. The author has used qualitative research solutions to show a marriage between better knowledge of the city by the institution for introducing steps to increase mother or father involvement at the faculty. However, the main problem lies here in the sampling for interviews. Here snowball sampling is being used. This should have been prevented as snowball examples are hardly staff of focus on populations and are just used for exploratory purposes. Since data for educators and parents might have been made available by the institution I this case, Using that data might have lead to an improved sample might have been prepared that could have been more rep of the populace at hand. As it stands the study can be considered a good starting place of research for adding steps for parent engagement in low income colleges.


Smith, J. G. (2006). Parental Involvement in Education Among Low-Income Households: A RESEARCH STUDY. College Community Journal, 43.

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