Author

Mark Creevey

Date of Submission

12-1994

Abstract

This case study is centred on the examination of the role of parental involvement in school policy development. It documents the collaborative process of school policy development in the field of Computer and Technology Education. Examination of the process of school policy formation was undertaken in a qualitative manner, by the recording of a journal, interviews with committee members, and comparative questionnaires conducted with staff and parents eliciting attitudinal data with a view to refining this process for subsequent school policy development opportunities.

The following research questions were generated on an apriori basis.

  • Do parents wish to be involved in the collaborative development of school policy design and in what capacity?
  • What are the factors and conditions that need to be present to promote parental involvement?
  • What are the barriers and obstacles that impede the involvement of parents in policy development?
  • What are the benefits to the school community of parental involvement in school policy making?

Whilst the particular task of this study was to develop a school Computer and Technology policy the process undertaken by staff, parents and administration personnel was within the scope and design of an action research project. This project commenced with the formation of a committee comprised of staff, parent and administration representatives. The committee developed a.strategy that was collaborative in nature within the relationships of the working party, yet consultative with the wider respective communities namely the school parent body and the teaching staff.

The findings of the case study revealed that parents generally sought to be involved in school policy development particularly in the non-academic domain. The factors that promoted this parental involvement in policy development were the existence of a conducive atmosphere, role of the Principal, open channels of communication, a consultative process, the existence of a suitable incentive for parents, and external factors such as government and /or systemic policies.

There were some identified barriers to this collaborative policy formation. These included available parental time, parental feelings of inadequacy, expressions of apathy, the use of technical language or jargon by teachers, and the presence of some negative parental energies that hindered the process.

Finally the case study identified the benefits of the collaborative involvement of parents in school policy development as the establishment of a constructive partnership between parents and teachers, comprehensive policy development, and the increased level of ownership and commitment exhibited by staff and parents.

Document Type

Thesis

Access Rights

Open Access

Extent

125 pages

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

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