Public Pedagogy in Public Schools: The Journey to Creating a Welcoming Environment for Parents to Support Involvement and Student Learning
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Purpose: The purpose of this study is to find out how a school system, as a site of public pedagogy, can create a welcoming environment for parents in order to understand if parents support parental involvement.
Research Method: A qualitative method using a case-study approach was used. The within-site case was a public school district in Texas. Participants were parents, principals, and parent community liaisons of the district. Focus groups were used for all participants and data from the district parent survey and the researcher’s reflection journal were used. Lichtman’s (2006) three C’s of data analysis (codes, categories, and concepts) were used on all data sets and were triangulated to increase trustworthiness.
Findings: The findings suggest that parents do associate a welcoming environment with parental involvement and support parental involvement. The results of this study strongly support the school district using a concept model, such as the one developed from this research, to design and improve on four measures to systematically create a welcoming environment. They are: systematic communication, customer service training, providing key personnel, and explaining organizational policies, guidelines, rules and norms.
Implications for Research and Practice: Recommendations for usage of the concept model are given as well as recommendations for further research into the role of the classroom teacher in providing a welcoming environment in order for school districts and campuses to effectively work together with parents to meet the needs of their children.