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The study of school - family cooperation activities in elementary school level on the base of parents’ perceptions

Özdemir, Nesli
Home and school are two important living and learning environment for children. In this regard, parents and teachers share mutual responsibilities in children’s life. The relationship between home and school is a significant point in improving quality and sustainability of children’s education and development. Thus involvement of parents in their children’s learning has significant value for education. Parents are important stakeholders in parent involvement process. Their ideas, and attitudes toward parent involvement determined their participation and parent involvement process. This study was designed to describe the current situation in public elementary schools in terms of parent involvement activities by bases on parents’ perceptions. First of all the types of parent involvement activities that are conducted by schools and their frequencies were defined. Then parents’ perceptions about family-school collaboration activities were analyzed. Participants were required to fill out the questionnaire, “School- Parent Cooperation Activities”. The questionnaire consists of 25 questions. Nine questions are related with demographic information about participants. Fifteen questions are measured parents’ perceptions about parent involvement activities. The sample of study included in parents with children who attend to public elementary schools in Ankara in 2008- 2009 academic year. The study consisted of first, second, third, fourth, and fifth grades. Five hundred and one parents from different public elementary schools in Ankara were constituted the sample of the study. The results of the study showed that most frequently used activities, conducted outside of school, is homework assignments that parents and child work together. Inside of the school, face to face meetings with teachers and prepared school boards are most frequently applied parent involvement activities. Parents emphasized that they participate parent involvement activities when they find time to do this. Parent- teacher meetings and teachers’ invitations were powerful factor for parents to come to school and involve in activities. Parents did not participate in activities when they do not have to do it. Also not getting permission from work was another barrier for parents. Parents want to be organized more often conferences and parent education activities, and more often parent- teacher meetings. Education of parent about the needed topics related with children development and education was most frequently marked by parents as the most important function of parent involvement activities. Also raising funds for school was seen as the purpose of practicing parent involvement activities. Parents thought that teachers allow enough time for them and welcomes them with smiling face. According to participants, effect of school- parent cooperation activities was to potentiate their child’s education and contribute to their child’s development. Parents ordered five factors for effective parent involvement activities from the most important to least important ones; teachers’ attitudes, availability of time of parent involvement activities for parents, administration’s relationship with parents, personal experiences and opinion of parents related with parent involvement, and content and availability of school’s parent involvement program. Parents believed that school- parent cooperation activities conducting in their child’s school were partial enough. Also good communication between teacher- parents and child is mostly chosen by parents.