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The attitudes of preschool teachers toward parent involvement

Kaya, Rukiye
Recent studies show that parent involvement in schools increases students’ academic achievements, and it has many benefits for parents, teachers, children, schools and the community as a whole. Teachers are one of the most important components of parent involvement and their attitudes toward parent involvement are significant. Unfortunately, all around the world, and especially in Turkey, there are not enough studies measuring various aspects of preschool teachers’ attitudes toward parent involvement. This study was designed to see whether differences exist in preschool teachers’ attitudes, who work in public and private schools toward parent involvement, to determine the affects of school type, educational level, graduated program, experience, income, number of students, age group, taking course on parent involvement and preparation to parent involvement by means of course/s, in-service education, sending newsletter, and frequency of sending them on teachers’ attitudes of parent involvement and to examine whether there were differences in attitudes of teachers with different self efficacy levels. Preschool teachers were asked to complete “The Attitudes of Teachers toward Parent Involvement Scale” that includes six subscales all of which were supposed to measure the attitudes of teachers toward parent involvement. The subscales included to the study were: teacher beliefs about parental involvement, teacher self-efficacy for teaching, teacher beliefs about parents’ efficacy for helping children succeed in school, teacher beliefs about the importance of parent involvement practices, teacher reports of parent involvement and teacher report of invitations to parental involvement. The sample of study consisted of preschool teachers working with children between the ages of 3 and 6 and working in public and private schools of Ankara. 169 preschool teachers from public schools and 121 preschool teachers from private schools in Ankara comprised the total sample. The results revealed that there were not significant differences between the attitudes of public and private school teachers with respect to first five subscales. Educational level of teachers was found effective in the attitudes of teachers only for the fourth subscale. The effect of experience, age group of children, and courses taken on parent involvement on attitudes were only reported for the last subscale. Finally, sending newsletters was found to have an effect on attitudes toward parent involvement for the last two subscales and for frequency of sending newsletters, it was reported that there were differences between the attitudes of teachers with respect to second and last subscales. Graduated program, income, number of children, preparation by means of courses and in-service training did not have an effect on teachers’ attitudes toward parent involvement. The last finding was related to the difference in the parent involvement attitudes of teachers with lower, middle and higher self efficacy. The results yielded that teachers with higher self efficacy held more positive attitudes on the first two subscales than the ones with middle and higher self efficacy. For the last three subscales, no differences were found. Limitations of the present study, implications for practice and finally recommendations for further studies were offered.