Categories: General Date: Nov 21, 2014 Title: MPHIL THESISPARENTAL PARTICIPATION IN TEACHING LEARNING PROCESS OF SCHOOL CHILDREN-M.PHIL THESIS, KATHMANDU UNIVERSITY SUBMITTED BY YD TRIPATHI.
PARENTAL PARTICIPATION IN CHILDREN'S LEARNING PROCESS OF NEPALESE INSTITUTIONAL SECONDARY SCHOOL OF KATHMANDU DISTRICT
School of Education
in partial fulfillment of
the degree of
Master of Philosophy in Education
Presented July 17, 2008
Convocation September 17, 2008
PARENTAL PARTICIPATION IN CHILDREN'S LEARNING PROCESS OF NEPALESE INSTITUTIONAL SECONDARY SCHOOL OF KATHMANDU DISTRICT
School of Education
in partial fulfillment of
the degree of
Master of Philosophy in Education
Presented July 17, 2008
Convocation September 17, 2008
AN ABSTRACT OF THE DISSERTATION OF
Yashodham Tripathi for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Education presented on July 17, 2008. Title: Parental participation in children's learning process of Nepalese institutional secondary school of Kathmandu district
Abstract Approved: ____________________________
Asso. Prof. Mahesh Nath Parajuli, PhD
The purpose of this study was to explore the parental participation in teaching learning process of institutional schools. The study focused on the perception of school management body (headteachers, chairpersons and members of SMC) and beneficiaries (students and parents) on the parental participation in school teaching learning process. The study included the exploration of the examination of the readiness of the school management body on the parental involvement in school teaching learning, examination of the readiness of the parents to participate in this mission, diagnosis of the factors affecting and corrective measures of the parental participation and identification of the main areas of the parental participation and expected outcomes.
I used qualitative methodology for this study that included interview, discussion and focus group discussion and observation of the sample schools. I generated data required for this study from review of relevant literature and intensive field work in five institutional secondary schools of Kathmandu district.
During the study I came to know that there are several factors that influence the parental participation in school teaching learning process. The factors are related to home, society, school and education act rules and regulations. I found that the current parental participation is in terms of attending the school on the students' progress report card distribution day, visiting to school if invited, visiting to school to pay fees and participating in the educational activities organized by school. I found the participation of parents in teaching learning process of children is low. The reasons are: the schools do not have clear policy, and program to involve parents, the school management does not have adequate knowledge of making parental participation in school program, parents are busy with their work, parents cannot afford time to attend school, parents depend more on school, parents do not have knowledge of the need of their participation in school teaching learning process and the communication system between parents and school is weak to facilitate parental participation in school teaching learning process.
Based on the findings of my study, there is need of developing policy and program for parental participation in school teaching learning process. Ministry of Education and Sports and concerned agencies should take initiative for these policy related activities and program. There is need of creating awareness of the parents about the need of their participation in school teaching learning process. There is need of providing training to school management, teachers, student and parents to increase the parental participation in school teaching learning process by developing effective training modules, learning materials and sensitization parental education materials. The findings of this study would help to develop school parental program to improve teaching learning process. The identified areas of parental participation and perception of key informants need to be considered while designing parental program.
© Copyright by Yashodham Tripathi
All rights reserved.
This dissertation is dedicated to my father Mr. Sarbgya Tripathi and late mother Sabitri Tripathi. It is in honor of the support of my father and memory of late beloved mother. Also I would like to dedicate this work to my wife, Bharati Tripathi for her generous support during the entire process.
I hereby declare that this dissertation has not been submitted for candidature for any other degree.
Yashodham Tripathi, Degree Candidate
A dissertation of Master of Philosophy in Education has been submitted by Yashodham Tripathi and presented on July 17, 2008.
_______________________________ Date: July 17, 2008
Asso. Prof. Mahesh Nath Parajuli, PhD
________________________________ Date: July 17, 2008
Prof. Kedar Nath Shrestha, PhD
Member of Research Committee
________________________________ Date: July 17, 2008
Lekh Nath Paudel, PhD
_______________________________ Date: July 17, 2008
Prof. Shreeram Lamichhane, PhD
Member of Research Committee
_______________________________ Date: July 17, 2008
Prof. Mana Prasad Wagley, PhD
Dean, School of Education
I understand that my dissertation will become part of the permanent collection of Kathmandu University Library. My signature below authorizes release of my dissertation to any reader upon request for any scholarly purposes.
_______________________ Date: July 17, 2008
Yashodham Tripathi, Author
I would firstly like to offer my sincere thanks to my dissertation guide, Dr. Mahesh Nath Parajuli, for his inspiring guidance throughout the study. I heartily express my sincere gratitude to Dr. Parajuli for his professional guidance and encouragement for carrying out this study. I sincerely express my heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Parajuli for his valuable guidance to my study. Similarly, I express my sincere thanks to Dr. Lekh Nath Paudel for providing me immense help to make this study successful.
I would like to thank the School Management Committees, principals, teachers, parents, students and administrative staff of my sample institutional schools who participated in my study by giving their precious time and providing the most valuable data required for this study. I highly appreciate their enthusiasm and inputs provided to me during the data collection process at schools. I cannot forget their continuous support provided by making available all data required to me without hesitation, which became instrumental asset for my study. My sincere thanks also go to Mr. Sateesh Dwivedi for assisting in Computer support in shaping the dissertation appropriately.
I would like to extend my hearty thanks to all institutions, offices that provided me information for this study. I would like to appreciate the encouragement of my wife and colleagues in carrying out this study. Finally, I would like to express my hearty appreciation to all people who helped me for this study. Without their cooperation and support, this study would not have been possible to bring to this shape. Finally, I would like to thank all the experts and persons who provided me suggestions in the process of carrying out this study.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS. ii
LIST OF TABLE.. viii
LIST OF FIGURES. ix
CHAPTER I. 1
The Context of the Study. 1
Statement of the Problem.. 4
Purpose of the Study. 5
Research Questions. 5
Researcher’s Self-appraisal 6
Significance of the Study. 7
Conceptual Framework of the Study. 9
Delimitations of the Study. 10
Definition of the Key Terminologies. 11
Institutional Schools. 11
Teaching Learning Process. 11
Parental Participation. 12
Organization of the Dissertation Report 13
CHAPTER II. 15
REVIEW OF LITERATURE.. 15
Review of the Learning Theories in Education. 16
Teaching Learning Process. 19
Structure of Teaching Learning Factors. 22
School Environment 24
Involving Parent 25
Educational Acts and Regulations. 27
Review of Related Research Studies. 27
CHAPTER III. 32
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY.. 32
Research Approach and Design. 32
Selection of the study schools. 33
Source of Primary Data. 35
Data Collection Forms. 35
Key Informants. 35
Data Collection Methods. 36
Procedures of the Field Works. 36
Data Analysis and Presentation Methods. 37
Rigor Criteria. 37
CHAPTER IV.. 39
DATA ANALYSIS AND PRESENTATION.. 39
Perception of the Headteachers. 40
Involving the Parents. 40
Initiative Action. 44
Main Occasions of Inviting Parents and Reasons. 45
Perception of the SMC Chairpersons and Members. 46
Involving the parents. 47
Perception of the Teachers. 49
Parental Readiness. 51
Perception of the Headteachers. 51
Perception of the SMC Chairperson and Members. 52
Perception of the Teachers. 54
Perception of the Parents. 56
Perception of the Students. 58
Factors Affecting on Corrective Measures. 61
Perception of the Headteachers. 61
Perception of the SMC Chairperson and Members. 63
Perception of the Teachers. 64
Perception of the Parents. 65
Perception of the Students. 66
Areas of Parental Participation and Expected Outcomes. 67
Perception of the Headteachers. 67
Perception of the SMC Chairpersons and Members. 68
Perception of the Teachers. 69
Perception of the Parents. 70
Perception of the Students. 71
CHAPTER V.. 72
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, DISCUSSIONS, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 72
A Quick Recapitulation of the Study. 72
Summary of the Findings. 76
School Management Readiness. 76
Perception of the Headteachers. 76
Perception of the SMC Chairpersons and Members. 76
Perception of the Teachers. 77
Parental Readiness. 78
Perception of the Headteachers. 79
Perception of the SMC Chairpersons and Members. 79
Perception of theTeachers. 79
Perception of the Parents. 80
Perception of the Students. 81
Factors Affecting and Corrective Measures. 82
Perception of the Headteachers. 82
Perception of the SMC Chairpersons and Members. 83
Perception of the Teachers. 83
Perception of the Parents. 84
Perception of the Students. 84
School Policy. 84
Parental Program of School 85
Background of Parents. 85
Communication Mechanism.. 85
Expectations of Parents from their Children. 85
Causes of Low Parental Participation. 86
Areas of Parental Participation and Expected Outcomes. 86
Perception of the Headteachers. 86
Perception of SMC Chairpersons and Members. 87
Perception of the Teachers. 87
Perception of the Parents. 87
Perception of Students. 88
Readiness of the School Management Body. 92
Parental Readiness. 93
Factors Affecting and Corrective Measures. 93
Areas of Parental Participation and Expected Outcomes. 94
Further Research Areas. 94
Appendix A Facts of Study Schools. 100
Appendix B Interview Schedule for Participating Headteachers and SMC.. 103
Appendix C Interview Schedule for Participating Teachers. 104
Appendix D Interview Schedule for Participating Parents (Father and Mother) 105
Appendix E Interview Schedule for Participating Students. 106
Appendix F Researcher’s Personal Observation Form.. 107
Appendix G Data Survey Form of Sample School 108
Total Students. 108
Appendix H List of Class 9 Students with their Parents' Name. 109
Appendix I Sample School Management Committee (SMC) 116
Appendix J School Principals and Teachers of Sample Secondary School 118
LIST OF TABLE
Table 1 Number of Study Schools 34
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1 Conceptual framework of the study 10
Figure 2 Interaction of teaching learning process 22
SMC School Management Committee
PTA Parent Teacher Association
FGD Focus Group Discussion
MoES Ministry of Education and Sports
DEO District Education Office
DOE Department of Education
PAN Parent Association Nepal
NISS Nepalese Institutional Secondary School
The Context of the Study
These days, it has become quite evident that the institutional schools have been making efforts to make parental participation in children's teaching learning process. For example, in a preliminary meeting with the headteachers of Kathmandu-based two institutional secondary schools, I shared with a number of ways how the schools were attempting to involve the parents in their wards' teaching learning process and school management as well. The headteachers specified conduction of regular parent meeting on each term inviting open discussions on children’s progress and learning difficulties, behavioral problems, inviting the parents of the weak students to share the strengths and weaknesses, celebrating school anniversary and parent's day were some of the apparent evidences of parental involvement in these schools.
Regarding school teaching learning process and its effects on learning, Bista (2004) has identified that there exists positive correlation between the parental involvement and children’s test scores and class attendance. The scholar has remarked that the parental participation in school education may help leverage communication, collaboration, support, sharing expectations and interests to each other and understanding the stand-points of each member directly or indirectly involved in the mission of education.
A social activist and the member of Parents’ Association Nepal shared that the changed scenario of the country has made it mandatory for institutional schools to maintain adequate school-community relationship through the proper and timely interactions with the parents and involving them in school management. These practices might have supported the management in these schools significantly in improving their process of communicating information on student's progress to parents and taking general feedback from them during the discussions.
However, there is no obligation to implement the feedback of parents by the schools, and the feedback of school by the parents. Though there are many benefits of parental participation in school education system, especially in school management and teaching learning process, still there are some limitations from the schools, parents and students to make effective parental participation to improve the school management and teaching learning process. In this context, different scholars have expressed their convictions differently. At the same time, there exists some sort of consensus among them that the school management itself is one of the hindrances against active parental participation in teaching learning process. For example, a recent online article reads as:
Besides the parents' belief, school administrators and teachers discourage parents' participation. They believe that parents’ involvement in school decision may interrupt the regular flow of decision making and parents will achieve too much power and create conflict in school organization. They have a threat to parents' authority in decision making. These two main obstacles – the parents’ and teachers' mind-sets -- prevent parental participation although the researches have revealed that the parental roles can be an effective resource of school improvement (Robertson, 2005).
To pin down the problem for the study, I also inquired with a number of parents regarding their perception towards the response of school administration in relation to their participation in school affairs, especially school management and teaching learning process.
One of the parents in a discussion shared that he was hardly invited by the headteacher and hardly some information was passed onto him before his son got addicted in bad habits and possessed abnormal behavior, however, it was known to the school management fairly before getting worse. On the other hand, an institutional school headteacher felt that the need of parental participation in children's teaching-learning process was essential to improve students' performance though not easy to increase as expected.
There is essential of developing a systematic approach in which three concerned bodies: schools, parents and students should make a constructive effort since their equal participation in teaching learning process helps to share the responsibility of improving students’ performance through mutual considerations. But this concept has not been effectively materialized in school system. One of the most important things is that the parents are more dependable on school's effort. This is also supported by the following online statement:
Parents rely on the expert's opinion, and are passive recipients of school services. Moreover, they have been viewed as peripheral in decision making in a school system. Various researchers point out that parental participation/stakeholder participation develops more positive attitude about a school help develop support for the school program, involve actively in community affairs and participate in educational programs (Fredenson, 2006).
From the above information, the present researcher learnt that in spite of their deep potential to contribute to enhance the educational system, they are hardly either self conscious or make informed properly by the institutional schools in Nepal. As a researcher, my conviction is that the parents should be taken as supporters and recipients as they get information from school management about their children and contribute in the improvement of the school management and teaching learning process.
In my understanding the parental involvement does make a number of differences in the quality of a student's education learning process and sharing of experience. Questions such as what type of involvement the school wants from parents and stakeholders should be answered. Is it support, involvement or advocacy? Or does a school want all these?
To address these issues more systematically, I noticed the need of conducting keen observations to know perceptions of the parents on their participation in teaching learning mechanism including school management as well. In addition, I felt necessary to find out how the parents are participating at present in school teaching learning process and school management. In this context, I became more interested to discover the roles of school management, parents and students for making effective teaching learning process in schools and started to explore about its inquiry approaches. For this purpose, an academic study entitled, Parental Participation in Children's Learning Process of Nepalese institutional secondary school of Katmandu district was coined up.
Statement of the Problem
The role of school management and parents may be fundamental to deliver quality educational services to the students. One of the major aspects related to quality services would be to produce better students' performance by making effective teaching learning process in school. Effectiveness of teaching learning process may be dependent on a number of factors such as school management, teaching personnel, parents and students. Without their collaborative effort, it may be difficult to make an effective teaching learning process in school. Therefore, participation of parents may be taken as an essence of teaching learning process in schools.
In the case of institutional schools, the situation should be viewed further different. My fifteen years’ experience in managing an institutional school as a headteacher has encouraged me to undergo a self-inquiry to identify a number of facets related to the present status of parental participation in institutional secondary schools and perceptions of the school management (headteachers, teachers and SMC) and beneficiaries parents and students on the parental participation in school teaching learning process. For this, I have framed a single statement of the problem- How do the school management and beneficiaries perceive the need of parental participation in institutional secondary schools of Nepal so as to contribute for improving school teaching learning process? Therefore, my problem statement was that what role parents’ participation plays on children learning process.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the research was to explore the perceptions of the school management and beneficiaries on the parental participation in school teaching learning process.
The research questions of the study were: to diagnose the problem under investigation from a wider and fuller perspective; I used a set of four research questions. They are as follows:
1. How is the school management ready to invite parental involvement in Nepalese Institutional Secondary Schools (NISS) to improve the school teaching learning process?
2. What is the level of parental readiness to participate in school teaching learning process?
3. What are the factors affecting parental participation in school teaching learning process? And what are their corrective measures?
4. How do the school management and beneficiary perceive the main areas of parental participation for enriching current school teaching learning process and what are their expected outcomes?
These questions came into play partly from the situation analysis, and partly from my personal involvement in this mission since last fifteen years as the headteacher of an institutional secondary school. Some sort of feeling of uncomforted in dealing with the children in absence of adequate participation of their parents led me to think up on a systematic study to uncover the premise of parental participation in the school teaching learning process. Further, I inquired with a number of colleague headteachers and identified that they too had the similar situation of parental involvement. In addition to this, the preliminary review from a book - Involving Parents - helped me; the present researcher realized further the necessity of parental participation in school teaching learning process. Regarding the parental involvement in school, Stern (2003) says that involving parents in school means involving the people who have the responsibilities and duties that teachers borrow. This concept guided me that the parental involvement may facilitate the school management and helps share the responsibilities for delivering education to children successfully through a collaborative teaching learning process.
Significance of the Study
This study may serve worth contributing in a number of ways as it incorporates one of the crucial and common problems faced by the managers of institutional secondary schools. The study provides with enough scope for the assessment of relevant information related to attracting parental involvement. Since the present study incorporates the perspectives of school management body and beneficiary (i.e. parents and students), it would be worth contributing for both the school administrators, parents and students as well in learning how they could participate together to make school environment a more achievement oriented by improving in school teaching learning process.
According to Stern (2003) school is about the whole of life, and teachers need to draw on the outside world, including the world of pupils' families. The present study attempts to bring in this concept into school system. The present study would serve institutional schools for better planning, motivation, implementation and control mechanism through wider involvement of parents.
This study would also help creating awareness among the parents, school management and students on what their roles and responsibilities are, why they should participate in school teaching learning process, and how to participate in this mission. The raising of awareness of these related bodies to schools would help improving the school management by making them cooperative to each other and understanding their problems without hesitation. This study would ultimately facilitate effective operation of schools by sharing responsibilities to produce excellent citizen of the country.
School is a social entity where the roles of school management, parents and students are central to establish an effective teaching learning system in school and to produce good citizen of the country. This study intends to suggest what strategies should be taken for increasing effective participation of school management, parents and students to provide a synergic effect on student performance.
The educational planning of a school is one of the crucial guiding factors determining the progress of students in schools and degree of parental participation. There is need of parental participation in the process of preparing school plan and they should decide how they can involve in school teaching learning process. This study would help decide in what type of activities they should be involved to improve teaching learning process with a view of improving the performance of their children.
Pedagogy, which is related to school teaching learning process, is one of the highly affecting factors for delivering quality education and understanding behaviours of students. Pedagogies could be improved by making a joint effort of school management, parents and students if there is increased parental participation in teaching learning process. This study would facilitate for developing most favorable learning situation in school by making effective parental involvement for delivering education with the current resources and boosting students' talents. This situation ultimately would contribute raising the level of parental satisfaction with the school management and its services which, in turn result in the development of harmony among them for betterment of service providers and students.
The outcomes of the present study would support in designing sensitization activities and training programs for headteachers, SMC, teachers, parents and students to explore the scope of their participation in teaching learning process. Finally, such a study on parental participation in teaching learning process of institutional schools would develop a foundation for carrying other studies relating to parental participation in institutional schools, since there hardly any studies carried out earlier in the Nepalese context.
Conceptual Framework of the Study
To guide this study in a conceptually organized order, I have adapted a conceptual framework of the study as presented below.
Figure 1 Conceptual framework of the study
Source: Rao, 2003
The above framework illustrates that the roles of parents, children, teachers, school management that influence the teaching learning process and mentioned that they are interrelated. This conceptual framework is related to student's performance. I added that the involvement of parents in teaching learning process would help students learn better. This is the focus area of my study. The present study focuses on involvement of parents with the children, teachers, school management and headteachers to share, communicate, inform, be informed, give and take feedback, and contribute mutually to an effective teaching learning process in school.
Delimitations of the Study
Primarily, the overall scope of the study has been set on the parental participation in teaching learning process of Kathmandu Metropolitan City only. As the study was based on exploration technique, the entire research remained to the framework of qualitative information provided by the key informants of the sample schools.
The study has covered five institutional schools of Kathmandu Metropolitan City. The study units were limited to the headteachers, SMCs, teachers, students and parents of the selected five schools. It has represented a small size of key informants of the institutional schools of the country excluding a large number of sample populations. This constraint delimits the overall findings, discussion and conclusion of the study though they are valuable information obtained from limited sources of the sample schools.
The study has included only the students of class nine irrespective of their gender and did not consider by their school performance, age and home background. These factors might have limited the boundary of the study. Similarly, the study has included all the sample parents irrespective of educational background, economic status and ethnicity. So, the study treated all the study parents and students under the same category. Because of this, the findings of the study cannot be dealt with respect to the social class, educational status, economic condition and gender of the key informants.
Definition of the Key Terminologies
For the purpose of the simplicity to the readers of this report, this section provides with the operational definitions of selected terminologies that have direct relationship with the aspects of the study.
The Flash Report (2005) has defined institutional schools as – the three types of schools privately owned and managed; the first and second categories are approved as public and private trust and function with non-profit motives. The third category consists of institutional schools, which are approved under the company act and operate with profit motives.
For the purpose of this study, I have referred to the third category of schools as defined above, which are privately managed either by individuals or group according to the educational act, rules and regulations of the government and approved under the company act and have been operated with profit motives. For this study, only such secondary institutional schools were taken, which have been running from classes 1 to 10 taking school fees as per their financial rules.
Teaching Learning Process
In this study, school teaching learning process refers to all the learning activities planned and organized in or out of classroom situation either by teachers or by students to achieve better performance by students. Teaching learning activities consist of all educational activities which occur inside and outside school or within the periphery of school under the framework of curriculum. However, the activities should be contributing to develop the children's talent and achieving the goals of the specific class. Brubacher has defined, "Teaching is an arrangement and manipulation of a situation in which there are gaps and obstructions which an individual will seek to overcome and from which he will learn in the course of doing so" (as cited in Sharma, 2004). Learning is the process by which an activity originates or is changed through reacting to an encountered situation provided that characteristics of the change in activity cannot be explained on the basis of native response, tendencies, maturation, emotions or temporary state of organism (Sharma, 2004).
Gage (1969) has advocated that the process of teaching and learning must be adapted to each other so as to make whatever combination of procedure pay off best. The agents involved in it should conceive school teaching-learning as process for effective learning (as cited in Sharma, 2004).
On the basis of the above definitions of teaching and learning process, the present study emphasizes on the aspects related to teaching learning process giving due consideration to parental participation in this process of institutional schools.
In this study parental participation in school teaching learning process has been beyond the attending the school meetings and different functions organized by school. The operational meaning of parental participation relates to the involvement of the parents in school teaching learning process, assisting the children in developing and executing their learning plans, taking feedback from school management, providing necessary supports to them at home to improve their learning process, and encouraging them in this regard on the basis of their strengths they possess.
The term 'parent' refers to ‘a father or mother’ and parents refer to ‘both father and mother’. Similarly, the term 'involvement' refers to ‘the act of taking part in an activity or a situation’ (Wehmeier, 2006). Wolfendale (1983), in relation to a school uses the term in a more broader sense, e.g. parent being a member of a school board or joining parents’ day or participating in the teaching-learning processes and the curriculum developing.
The parental involvement is assumed to, create a lasting relationship between home-school link, which is beneficial to an individual child and to children collectively, and benefit in the cognitive and affective realms of functioning.
In this paper, the term ‘parental support’ has been used for that assistance, which can be obtained directly from parents by the children for their learning. This may include tutoring, and making educational materials available.
Traditionally, parents have been viewed mainly as clients (Wolfendle, 1983). The client concept assumes parents as dependent on experts (teachers)’opinions; passive recipient of services; and at peripheral in decision-making. This concept also assumes that parents need direction and they are inadequate and deficient.
Recently, the parents have been viewed as partners. This concept assumes parents as active and central partners in decision making and its implementation; having equal strengths and equivalent expertise; being able to contribute to as well as receive services. This concept also assumes that, parents share responsibility, thus parents and professionals are mutually accountable.
Organization of the Dissertation Report
The dissertation research report has been tailored in five distinct chapters. The first chapter of the study report has briefly introduced with the various facets of the problem under investigation. Review of related literature from theoretical as well as application perspective has been produced in the second chapter. The third chapter presents with detailed information related to research methodologies opted for the purpose of this study. On the basis of the qualitative investigation, necessary data presentation, analysis, and discussions have been produced in the fourth chapter, followed by summary, discussion, conclusions, and recommendations in the fifth chapter of the report.
In the first chapter, I mainly dealt with context of my study, problem statement, purpose of my study, research questions, researcher’s self-appraisal, significance of the study, conceptual framework of the study, delimitation of the study and definition of the key terminologies. And at the end of the chapter, I mentioned the organization of the dissertation report.
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
This chapter intends to establish a proper linkage between the principles and practices of parental participation in school education. Depth reviews have been incorporated in line with related concepts of parental participation and related research studies so as to have an extended understanding of the subject matter of the study.
For the purpose of systematic review of related literature, this chapter as a whole has been developed in two sections. The first section of the chapter presents the review of related theoretical perspectives of parental participation in education, followed by the review of selected studies aligned with the subject matter of the present study in the second section.
During the preliminary visits of the pilot study schools, I attempted to understand the teaching learning process adopted by schools, participation of parents and students in this process and activities carried out within and outside the classrooms. These dimensions helped the researcher to isolate within the limits of the access to specific types of literature required for reviewing. Primarily, the collection of literature included learning theories, teaching learning process, parental participation in schools, and issues governing parental participation in education.
Review of the Learning Theories in Education
To relate the present study with the grounded theories and basic concepts related to the aspects included in the study by gaining a deeper insight of the conceptual constructs, I have reviewed a selected collection of literatures from theoretical perspectives in this section.
Teaching and learning activities are interrelated, which take place simultaneously in classrooms. The two terms - teaching and learning are the keys of the present study. The present study has attempted to find out the conceptual association of the contribution of headteachers, school management committee members, teachers, parents and students in the process of classroom teaching learning.
Sharma (2004) has defined teaching as an interactive process, primarily involving classroom talks which take place between teacher and pupils through a set of defined activities.
Regarding the concept of learning, there are several definitions. "Learning is the modification of behavior through experiences and activities but not through maturation, emotions, motivations, fatigue, drugs, etc. Changes in the behavior due to these factors are temporary state of the subject" (Gates, as cited in Sharma, 2004).
It indicates that there should be permanent change in behavior of the learner if there is learning. In other words, learning is not a temporary phenomenon happening in learners. The permanent changes may be witnessed in terms of change in interpersonal behavior, scholarship, and the extent of social responsiveness of the learner. In this connection, two scholars - Crow and Crow (1968) have stated learning as the acquisition of habits, knowledge and attitude. This definition gives emphasis on three aspects: habit formation, development of knowledge and attitude of learners. Learning may take place anywhere and it should include one or all of these aspects.
Further, Hillagard (1972) has defined that learning is the process by which an activity originates or is changed through reacting to an encountered situation provided that characteristics of the change in activity cannot be explained on the basis of native response, tendencies, maturation, motivation, emotions or temporary state of organism. The author has further added that the key characteristics of learning may include –
1. Learning is the process as well as product.
2. Learning is the change or modification of behavior through activities, experiences and condition of learning.
3. It is the nature or tendency of human beings.
4. It is the process of mental development- cognitive, psychomotor and affective domain i.e. structure of learning.
5. Learning may be both positive as well as negative.
6. Learning is a socio-psychological process for problem solving.
7. It is the continuous or life-long process.
8. It relates to the acquisition of habits, knowledge and attitude.
9. Learning is the process of adjustment and conditioning.
10. It is both formal and informal process - controlled and open process.
11. Learning is the permanent change in the behavior and a process of growth.
The review of a number of theories of learning relates to the nature of learning applicable in teaching learning situation. Learning theories raise some crucial questions in relation with the process of learning. For example, how learning occurs, and how it can be improved are the prominent issues to be diagnosed.
Most of the learning theories have given emphasis on stimulus and response relationships. According to Thorndike (1963), stimulus and response (S-R) connection is a process that results in learning. In this regard, Hull (1977) has also stressed that in addition to stimulus and response, there is an active third variable -- the need of the learner, which causes the S-R relationship. In this regard, Insight Learning Theorist (Kohler, 1979) has emphasized on the fourth variable -- the intervening variable. It means that the intervening variable is the organization or configuration of the learner.
From the above discussions, it can be concluded that there are three key variables responsible to contribute in learning, viz. i. independent variables, ii. dependent variables, and iii. intervening variables. The studies have already proved that there exists an empirical relationship among these variables for learning.
Sharma (2004) has reviewed the following situations as the factors affecting learning:
1. Conducive situation or environment for learning.
2. Physical and mental health of the learner.
3. Appropriate learning methods and techniques of teaching.
4. Use of motivation and reinforcement.
5. Potentialities, attitude of a teacher.
6. Level of maturation of learner or growth of the learner.
7. Interest, attitude and need of the learners.
8. Learning will to learn.
9. Avoid the fatigue of the learner.
10. Practice for the learnt behavior (p.153).
In present study, it is necessary to consider these factors to know the effects of parental participation in school teaching learning process and other programs. Based on the review of learning theories, I have attempted to explore about school teaching learning process which is connected to the learning theories and their application.
Teaching Learning Process
Chand (1992) has described a set of guiding principles and methods of teaching. The methods of teaching include the regular ways or orderly procedures employed by the teachers in guiding the pupils in order to accomplish the aims of the learning situation. According to this scholar, the method consists of regular steps to guide the mental process of the learners in mastering the subject matter. The mental process involves a set of six sequential distinctive activities, viz. sensing, perception, memory, imagination, judgment and reasoning.
Sharma (2004) has defined teaching as a social and learning as a psychological phenomenon. It is difficult to define the term teaching as a series of acts based on the models of behavior which apply differently in different situations. According to the scholar, teaching behavior can be broadly classified under three categories, viz. authoritarian, democratic, and laissez-faire teaching behavior.
As the present study focuses on the exploration of parental participation in teaching learning process, I have attempted to review the principles and practices of democratic teaching behavior. In understanding what a democratic teaching learning behavior is and what it contains, it is again useful to refer Sharma (2004). The author has stated that the teaching in the democratic form of government which is based on human relation theory of organization: relationship-centered – allows the members from different backgrounds to contribute in the organization with their attitudes, values and goals. It is the responsibility of the organization to motivate them to participate in building and continuing with a collaborative approach of decision-making and operational functioning of the institution.
The attitude and morale of the workers should be given high priority on shaping the organization behavior. In these regards, Amidon (1967) has defined the term 'teaching’ in view of the democratic model of behavior. According to the scholar, teaching refers to an interactive process - primarily involving classroom talks which take place between teacher and students, and occurs through definable activities.
Further, Flanders (1973) has defined teaching as an interactive process. Here, the term interaction means participation of both students and teachers. The interaction takes place for achieving desired learning objectives.
Another scholar Gage (1962) has defined teaching under the perspective of democratic model of behavior -- teaching is a form of interpersonal influence aimed at changing or shaping the behavior potential of another person (as cited in Sharma, 2004).
The above mentioned definitions and discussions encouraged me to analyze the perception of school management, teachers, parents and students in the democratic perspective to know the parental participation in teaching learning process. According to Sharma (2004), teachers may play numerous and very much vital roles of democratic approach since their key aim is to lead the students in teaching learning process by mobilizing the parents, students and other partners of the schools to achieve the stated goals of the schools. This model may insist to develop more scope in classroom for interchange of their ideas, evidences, insights, and give and take the respect for one another's ideas. It includes the teaching activities consisting of motivating, planning, counseling, and evaluation.
The teaching and learning activities may be separated since they happen simultaneously. Teaching is the facilitation process for the learners of a given subject matter. However, there may be a number of factors that influence the teaching learning process. Sharma (2004) has classified these factors into four categories, viz. i. teacher related factors, ii. learner related factors, iii. content related factors, and iv. process related factors.
As the present study is concerned with the process related factors, I have reviewed mostly from this perspective only. This perspective of teaching is characterized by the practical or operative intensity of activities of teaching learning.
Teaching and learning activities move together for yielding out valuable results in the form of enriched students’ learning performance. The nature of operation is integrative. It fully accommodates interactive approach of teaching that creates a situation of participation of both teacher and students. It emphasizes that the learning situations or structures are more important in the process of teaching learning. In this process, teachers perform certain meaningful actions and activities for generating learning situation. The learners gain new experiences and perform some activities to learn. The attainment of students determines the quality of teaching.
According to Sharma (2004), this process includes i. teacher actions and activities (Tasks), ii. learners' activities and experiences (Achievement), iii teacher verbal and non-verbal interactions, iv. methods and techniques of teaching, v. learning conditions or structures, vi. techniques of solving classroom management problems, vii. generating classroom climate, viii. diagnosing the weaknesses of the learners and remediation, and ix. evaluation of learning outcomes.
All these factors are related to parental participation in school teaching learning process in one or another way. However, without the linkage of these factors with the home environment or with parents they remain incomplete to make effective teaching learning process in school. Under this perspective, I have reviewed literatures that discuss on school environment for learning.
Structure of Teaching Learning Factors.
Teaching and learning are interconnected. There are different factors that influence school teaching learning process, as it has been discussed earlier. Bernard (1962) has developed a paradigm of teaching learning relationship. This paradigm consists of four aspects of education, viz. teacher, student, learning process, and learning situation. The author has considered the learning process as an interaction between teachers and students. The learning situations may include teacher-taught interactions and other educational programs within or outside the schools. The following framework presents with the patterns of interactions in teaching learning process (as cited in Sharma, 2004, p. 218)
Figure 2 Interactions of teaching learning process
Source: Sharma, 2004, p. 218
The levels of interactions presented above indicate that the teachers are responsible for designing teaching activities to create a learning educational situation. Since the teacher plays an input role for learner development, his/her behavior and learning situation influence the students' learning and development process.
For the purpose of the present study too, this model may be useful to replicate the parental participation as an additional environmental factor to harmonize the teacher’s contribution in teaching learning process.
Home and school environment are the leading factors of parental participation in school teaching learning process. Bronfenbrenner (1979) (as cited in Devi, 2003) has stated that there is need of application of system theories that consist of interactions between the developing person and the environment. The author has further emphasized that the human development is the result of three major factors --
1. The person and what he/she brings to a particular situation or stage of development. This includes the results of experience as well as of motivation.
2. The environment or what is available to the individual in a particular situation or stage of life. This includes the significant context of life such as family, school and neighborhood or community.
3. The interaction between the person and the environment (p. 7).
The scholar has used two broad terms: home and school that interacts each other to make the participation in teaching learning process. This interaction takes place in certain social and physical setting or environment which refers to the school or home. The developing person is viewed as growing and active individual. The interaction between the developing person and the environment is viewed as a two directional or reciprocal relationship. In other words, there exists a process of mutual accommodation to which both person and environment make contributions. The environment that is relevant to human development is not limited to a single, immediate setting (e.g. the home, school, or work). Rather, the ecological environment is much broader and includes immediate settings, interaction between immediate setting (e.g. the relationship between home and schools or home and work place) and larger settings, including the culture (which influences specific settings).
The above discussions include a number of factors related to school teaching learning process. Among these factors, home and school environment may be the vital aspects which cannot be ignored during the study of parental participation in school teaching learning process and programs. Taking these aspects into consideration, I reviewed the literature related to school environment as described in the sub section:
School is a learning place that accommodates the parents and students having different backgrounds. School environment is one of the major factors related to parental participation in school teaching learning process and program. School management has to play a vital role in developing a learning and educating environment in school. Stern (2003) has said, "Schooling is about the whole of life, and teachers need to draw on the outside world, including the world of pupils' families". This statement clearly indicates that the school is an important place for students where teachers and school management should consider equally their families and environment of home and school for making betterment in teaching learning process.
Dave (1963) has defined educational environment as the conditions, processes and psychological stimuli which affect the educational achievement of the child. This author emphasized that different forcers may share a close relationship for learning. The school or college environment, home environment, as well as the environment of various other social organizations may have impact on teaching learning process of the students. Similarly, the learning climate may also constitute school climate and teacher's approach of teaching. In this connection, educational environment includes the activities such as teaching methods, institutional programs and school climate.
Elaborating the school climate further, Hall (1970) has emphasized the dimensions of interaction facilities, willingness to change, student's autonomy, and feedback to the students, instructor's contribution, and task concern as the key components. To add further in Hall's conviction, Bhatnager (1977) has stated that the unique quality of the environment largely depends upon specific ways the pupils are treated in the school and classroom. The author has elaborated the concept of ‘Treatment Environment’ as the product of the interactions between the teachers and the pupils in school situation.
Devi (2003) has claimed that the school environment implies as "A measure of the quality and quantity of the cognitive, creative and social support that has been available to the subject during their school life in terms of teacher-pupil interaction (p. 9)."
The term ‘Social Support’ is directly related to the present study as it includes the parents who have to play roles in the school programs and processes including teaching learning as the key process, school management, teachers and students.
Stern (2003) has mentioned the following four principles about the involving of parents --
1. School is about the whole of life, and teachers need to draw on the outside world, including the world of pupils' families.
2. The curriculum should be applicable to the rest of pupils' lives. The curriculum is not for the benefit of the subjects taught, it is for the benefit of the pupils- it should help them understand, grow, take hold of the world, become more 'real'.
3. Parents know more than teachers about their children, and are likely to have taught them more, too.
4. Parents are not cheap substitutes for teachers: teachers are, at best, quite expensive substitutes for parents (p. 3).
The author has further suggested for worth considering some less formal, special events that might be held in schools, and how these can be used to involve parents. It has also been mentioned that the schools are likely to have a variety of plays, concerts, fairs, sports days, and other productions. These activities have their values which can help involve parents and to motivate them to involve in education activities.
In addition, the scholar has suggested with a variety of other ways to make participation of parents in school programs. The schools should not have limitations on conducting informal discussions with parents about school programs, students’ progress and other activities.
Guidance to parents can be given through formal and informal approaches. The involvement of parents facilitates the learning process of students. Naturally, the parents are ever-involved in their children's education, whether or not they are involved in schooling. Building good relationships with parents by acknowledging the teacher's role as a specialist, professional, educator - adding to completing the work being done by parents and other family members and friends would maintain friendly relationships with parents.
Further, the scholar has explained that the parents are simply consumers - or second hand consumers - of schooling. School should treat them as adult educators. Barth (2003) has further added in this concept. According to the author, the biggest problem besetting schools is the primitive quality of human relationship among children, parents, teachers and administrators, and managing the school under the circumstances of their physical and human resource limitations that prevents the process of openness or participation in educational and teaching learning process. Therefore, congenial relationship between school management, teachers and students is needed for effective teaching learning process. Stern (2003) has given more emphasis on relationship between the parents and school. The author has suggested that the teachers should involve the parents because the world of parents is needed in school to make school work meaningful and not simply as helpers.
Educational Acts and Regulations
The Education Act 2028 (1971) and Regulations 2059 (2002) amended in 2061 (2004) has made provision of forming School Management Committee (SMC) for the management of institutional school.
According to the clause 12 of the Act, the SMC of institutional school consists of seven members that include one male and one female parent. The SMC can form teacher-parents association if needed to coordinate the school education programs with parents and to review whenever needed. These provisions have opened opportunity for creating parental participation in teaching learning process and program of institutional schools.
Review of Related Research Studies
Bista (2004) has conducted a research study on parental involvement in education in the Nepalese context. In this study, the scholar attempted to show the relevance of parental involvement as the primary stakeholders of education.
The scholar has critically examined the present status of the acceptance of parental participation in the Nepalese context. In this regard, the scholar has claimed that the parental involvement has not yet been taken as an important dimension in the Nepalese education system. Further, the scholar has suggested that the parents may support in education in a great deal through a number of ways that include – (i) as supporters, (ii). as teachers, and (iii) as advisors through mutual collaborations with the teachers, school management, and students in praising the children’s success, rewarding the performance, doing home assignments, showing interests in day-to-day school events, as well as acting as the sources of information required for better learning. Disclosing about the barriers of parental involvement in education in Nepal, Bista (2004) has identified seven critical problems. They are –
1. Parents and teachers act as adversaries rather than as partners,
2. There is lack of adequate policies on parental involvement,
3. The attitude of school administration and staff is generally unfavorable in inviting parental involvement,
4. Parents’ sense of inadequacy,
5. Lack of training on the part of teachers,
6. Language barrier between the teachers and parents, and
7. Job pressure on the parents.
Suggesting on the ways to attract the parental involvement in education, this scholar has stressed on the immediate need to –
1. Develop and implement appropriate policies on parental involvement,
2. Form parent-teacher associations,
3. Training teachers to work with parents,
4. Enhancement of the free flow of information,
5. Keeping schools open and accessible for the parents,
6. Organizing meetings at times when parents can be available, and
7. Educating parents and community members on how to support the children’s education.
A recent study on parental roles on improving dalit children’s learning in schools has identified at least five dimensions of the problems, viz. i. very poor parental roles to provide with adequate home-environment for learning, ii. poor teacher training and development status and quality of teaching in schools, iii. unsupportive education system, iv. inadequate system of feedback and motivation to the children as well as parents, and v. very high caste discrimination system (Tripathee, 2000).
Another scholar has argued that every school must open the doors for parents to their help (Poudel, 2003). This scholar was interested to find out the answers as to why the parents of the public schools are not able to effectively participate in their children’s learning and what effective remedial to be undertaken. The scholar has identified school-home relationship as the key factor underlying this problem.
The scholar has further added that the parental participation and improvement in children’s learning are the two sides of a coin -- there is widespread agreement that parents have a determining role in their children’s educational development through meaningful home school collaborations to facilitate better educational outcomes
Poudel (2003) has further added that the present context of parental participation in Nepalese public schools is not stimulating. Despite the Government’s continued efforts to minimize the problems of access and quality of education, the situation has not been improved to the extent it<