A review of past studies reveals that involving parents in educational matters contributes to the success of their children (Izzo, Weissberg, Kasprow & Fendrich, 1999). Parental involvement is also emphasized by modern studies such as those carried out by Joyce Epstein (Epstein et al. 2009). What emerges from evaluating the Epstein’s six types of involvement is that for communities and families to not only become well informed but also take part in the progress of their kids in learning institutions, collaborations must be seen as a critical element of planning or organizing education system (Epstein, 2011). This paper analyses Epstein’s model of involvement in real issues such as achievement or engagement of their children. While connecting to real issues, the paper will explore the impact of parental and community support on the success or engagement of their children. To some degree, the paper will also touch on the level of education of parents on the achievement of their children in academics.
Joyce Epstein researched on the involvement of parents, particularly in the US (Epstein et al. 2009). Just like previous researches such as (Izzo, Weissberg, Kasprow & Fendrich, 1999; Catsambis, 2001), the typology of Epstein’s model is not presumed on empirical evidence but instead, it is pegged on the presumed things that could be done by parents to help in the development of their kids in schools. For instance, parenting involves the provision of things such as health, housing, home environment to support their studies, parental skills in parent-child associations and provision of information to assist schools in knowing more about their children(Epstein et al. 2009).
Communication, on the other hand, might comprise home to school communication, and also a school to home communication. Aspects of volunteering are also presented in several past studies (Izzo, Weissberg, Kasprow & Fendrich, 1999; Catsambis, 2001; Crozier, 2001). Learning or simply teaching at home is when parents help their children with homework and in terms of making educational choices or picking subjects (Epstein et al. 2009). Decision making might occur when parents appear or become members of school boards as this would enable them to make deliberations that help their children to succeed in schools. Collaborating with the community might be in various ways, such as keeping an eye on the conduct of the child.
According to Rockwell, Andre, and Hawley (2010) before Epstein’s model of involvement, previous researches showed some encouraging connections between the participation of parents and the progress of their children in schools. However, such involvement of parents was mainly connected to their status in society, although it positively led to the success of their children in education (Epstein et al. 2009). Unlike Epstein’s model, the design of the past researches did not embrace the multifaceted relations among variables to be singly studied to identify their specific impacts. Therefore, their conclusions, though, positive and constructive needed more enhancements.
The Interest in Epstein’s model
The interest in Epstein’s model is pegged on the presumed import for involving parents in the educational progress of their children (Epstein et al. 2009). Epstein’s model of involvement is designed like a functional connection between the status of parents, the success of their children as well as their modification. As such, the aspirations and material deprivation of parents are presumed to highly influence their involvement or participation in the school affairs of their kids. Supporting this, Izzo, Weissberg, Kasprow, and Fendrich (1999) indicted that when the community or parents are poor, they are less likely to be involved in the school affairs of their children.
On the other hand, the proven educational success and development of children positively impact the aspiration of parents (Epstein et al. 2009). That is, the expectation of parents increases with the evident success of their children. In general, when the six types of involvement are interlinked, clearly showing the direction of both factors and effects, some hidden factors such as the social standing in the community influence the development of children in schools via aspiration of parents, the participation of parents, and composition of pupils in schools.
Major patterns in Epstein’s model
When items such as the time dedicated to studies, frequency of discussion with parents and the time allowed to watch television are taken into consideration, the level of parental involvement can easily be established (Epstein et al. 2009). Even though Epstein did not mention it, her model of parental participation revolves around two forms of participation. The first form entails the activities executed between parents and children at home. Just like the home activities, the model also presumes about two types of involvement at school (Epstein, 2011). In other words, it is all about how parents and school relate in connection to the educational affairs of students.
When all these factors are analyzed, the deviation in participation is only established within schools (Rockwell, Andre, & Hawley, 2010). That is, it is not easy to find a school that has extreme levels of participation. This implies that, in most cases, very few learning institutions strongly impact the home learning environment or the involvement of parents (Epstein et al. 2009). This, therefore, leads to the missing aspects such as a social class of families. When the relationship between parental social status in the community and different forms of participation is brought into perspective, it confirms the findings of previous studies such as (Izzo, Weissberg, Kasprow & Fendrich, 1999) that social class impacts the way parents involved in the educational affairs of their children. That is, parents who have a high standing in the community are likely to participate maximally in the success of their children in schools.
Upon reviewing Epstein’s model of involvement, it emerged that out-of-schools factors greatly influence variation in the success or achievement of children. The social status of the family has been found to significantly influence the participation of parents and ultimately, the success of their children in schools. As a form of parental participation, home indulgence is not affected by school involvement.
Epstein’s model of involvement confirms several past types of research particularly on the parental involvement and educational achievement of their children, other related factors such as the influence of gender should be studied further. Catsambis (2001) held dome views that women affect student success in schools more than males. This link is missing in Epstein’s model of involvement. That is, to know how strong the element of gender (male or female) determines the involvement and success of children.
Further studies should also be carried out to determine the contribution of the race to parental participation and student engagement or success. Crozier (2001) showed some hint that Asia and Hispanic communities do participate a lot on the progress of their children in schools than whites. This link is missing in Epstein’s model.
Catsambis, S. (2001). Expanding knowledge of parental involvement in children’s secondary education: connections with high schools seniors’ academic success, Social Psychology of Education, 5, 149-177.
Crozier, G. (2001). Excluded Parents: the de-racialization of parental involvement, Race Ethnicity and Education, 4 (4), 329-341.
Epstein, J. L., Sanders, M. G., Sheldon, S. B., Simon, B. S., Salinas, K. S., Thomas, B. G., ….Williams, K. J. (2009). School, Family, and Community Partnerships: Your Handbook for Action, Third Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc.
Epstein, L. (2011). School, family, and community partnerships: preparing educators and improving schools. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Izzo, C.V., Weissberg, R.P., Kasprow, W.J., and Fendrich, M. (1999). A longitudinal assessment of teacher perceptions of parent involvement in children’s education and school performance, American Journal of Community Psychology, 27 (6), 817-839.
Rockwell, R., Andre, L., & Hawley, M. (2010). Families and educators as partners. Belmont, Calif: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.