Süleyman Nihat ŞAD
İnönü University, Department of Educational Sciences.
Problem statement: Parental involvement is used as an umbrella term to imply parents’ efforts to take an active role in their children’s education. In this sense it takes many forms ranging from parent–child communication to participating/volunteering in school activities. Although parental involvement is one condition for students’ success, the relation between parental involvement and academic achievement must be studied through a task- and grade (age)-specific approach.
Purpose of the study: It was aimed to investigate the parental involvement tasks as predictors of primary students’ (1st to 5th) Turkish, math, and science & technology achievement in the form of end-of-the-year scores.
Method: The study was designed as an associational model employing the correlation method. The participants were 1590 parents. They were parents of first to fifth grade students from six primary schools in Malatya province. Turkish Parental Involvement Scale (TPIS), which includes 39 items under 8-factors (parental involvement tasks), was used to gather data from parents as the predictive (independent) variable. Also, these parents’ children’s end-of-the-year achievement scores from Turkish, math, and science & technology courses were used in regression analyses as the predicted (dependent) variable.
Findings and results: This research found significant low-to-moderate correlations (ranging between r=.103 and r=.338), either in a positive or negative direction, between parental involvement and students’ Turkish, math, and science & technology achievement scores through different grades. Relatively the strongest predictors of Turkish achievement scores were parental support for child’s personality development and support for child’s socio-cultural development, volunteering, communication with child, and helping with homework. Relatively the strongest predictors of math achievement scores were the same with Turkish except for helping with homework. Relatively the strongest predictors of science & technology achievement scores were parental support for child’s personality development, volunteering, and communication with child. Tasks such as communication with teacher/school, personal development, helping with homework (except for fifth grade Turkish scores), and enabling home-setting were not found as significant predictors of academic achievement. Parents’ support for their children’s socio-cultural development and volunteering together explained 18.6% of the variance in students’ Turkish achievement scores and 24.2% of the variance in math achievement scores in first grade. The predictive powers of other associations were generally low (R2 < .096).
Conclusions and Recommendations: It was concluded that parents’ support for their children’s personality and socio-cultural development, volunteering, and communication with child were found to be significant predictors of pupils’ academic achievement. Thus, it was considered important that children should be addressed directly in terms of parental involvement. Parents were recommended to support their children’s socio-cultural development and volunteer during the first years of school, and next were recommended to support their personality and especially during the fifth year have effective communication with their children.
Keywords: Parental involvement, primary students, academic achievement, Turkish, math, science & technology.