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AN INVESTIGATION ON PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT AND ON CHILD ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The level of parental involvement has important implications for children’s academic performance. Social cognitive theory suggests that youth absorb messages about appropriate behavior and socially accepted goals by observing and talking with important people in their lives (Bandura, 1977). Based on this assumption, parents have the potential to model positive attitudes and behaviors toward school, and research in developed countries such as the United States has shown that parental involvement contributes to youth academic success (Fan & Chen, 2001; Houtenville & Conway, 2008; Jeynes, 2003, 2007). In fact, children are more likely to apply themselves and perform better in school when their parents show an interest in their school work, are willing to assist them with homework, and are willing to hold their children accountable for completion of school assignments. Youth who are not working hard at school may begin to perceive school as valuable when parents actively demonstrate that they value school through involvement. Literature on the overall impact of parental involvement on youth academic performance in developing countries is minimal. Whether the relationship exists and which type of parental involvement has effects are important to determine in Nigeria, where parents often do not have the education to engage their children in schoolwork or the resources to hire tutors. Does involvement in parent-teacher association meetings, volunteering at school, talking to their children about the importance of school matter? This study will begin to answer these questions and contribute to the literature on the relationship between parental involvement and academic performance in Nigeria.
Parental involvement in students’ academic performance has attracted many educators and researchers in the field of education in the world. For example, Epstein, Bakker, Davis, Henderson, Lewis and Keith compose a short list of many scholars who have spent their time on parental involvement. For instance, Epstein (2002) had argued that, no school improvement has been created without parental involvement which strengthened parents, teachers, administrators and students’ partnerships which end into benefiting students, improving schools, assisting teachers and strengthening families. Historically, parental involvement emerged as compensation Programme since 1960’s and 1970’s in United State of America (USA) and Europe as among of other programs aiming at encouraging minority low income parents to prepare their 2 children for more successful schools and prevent education delays for children who at risk (Bakker, Denessen & Brus-Laeven 2007). It was just an appeal to support lower school children achievers through parents’ intervention. Consequently, it is an ideal for educationalist to ensure all challenges that are thought to hinder parental involvement are worked through particularly in secondary schools where currently students’ academic performance is declining from time to time. Moreover, the Salamanca Conference on Special Education held in Spain 1994 discussed that, parents should be encouraged to participate in educational activities at home and schools for the purpose of supervising and supporting their children learning. Similarly, the government should promote parental involvement through policy statements that allow formulation of parent–school association with the 3 intention of enhancing their children’s education. The argument draws strong support on how parents are vital in their children schooling in the way of demanding policy (blue print) which will act upon constraints that limit parents in monitoring children education in secondary schools. This would strengthen efforts towards achieving quality education for all (EFA) (UNESCO, 2003).
All measures of parental involvement used in studies in developing countries are based on scales that have been established in the context of developed countries, but parental involvement may be different in developed countries than in developing countries. These differences—including types and level of involvement—must be taken into account when measuring parental involvement in developing countries. Therefore, this paper focuses on the construct validity of parental involvement in a sample of Nigeria students and their parents. Research on parental involvement and academic outcomes in the US suggests that parental involvement is best understood as taking multiple forms. At a minimum, parental involvement appears to differ based on the context (i.e., at home vs. in school) (Giallo, Treyvaud, Matthews, & Kienhuis, 2010; Jeynes, 2003). Research also demonstrates that parental involvement at home and in school is linked positively to a variety of academic outcomes (Jeynes, 2003, 2007). However, research on parental involvement in school is more mixed than research on involvement at home, particularly among different racial and ethnic groups (Fan, 2001; Sui-Chu & Willms, 1996). In addition to influencing educational outcomes directly, parental involvement also might mediate the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and academic performance (Altschul, 2012; Lareau, 2011). While these relationships have been demonstrated in the US and other developed countries, the pathways may be different in developing countries. Therefore, we will use the validated measurement of a parental involvement scale to examine the relationships in Ghana. This study contributes to the literature by testing an adaptation of a parental involvement scale that considers the differences in parental involvement in developed countries versus developing countries. It also investigates the relationship between at-home and in-school parental involvement and academic performance.
Parental involvement is defined in various ways in the literature. Epstein’s (1990, 1995) typology of parental involvement includes six categories: basic parenting, facilitating learning at home, communicating with the school, volunteering at the school, participating in school decision making, and collaborating with the community. Other studies use a typology of parental involvement that is based on either intuitive appeal or factor analysis of existing data (Izzo, Weissberg, Kasprow, & Fendrich, 1999; Sui-Chu & Willms, 1996).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
All measures of parental involvement used in studies in developing countries are based on scales that have been established in the context of developed countries, but parental involvement may be different in developed countries than in developing countries. These differences—including types and level of involvement—must be taken into account when measuring parental involvement in developing countries. Therefore, this paper focuses on the construct validity of parental involvement in a sample of Nigeria students and their parents.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THIS STUDY
The purpose of this study is to find out the influence parents involvement has on students’ academic performance in Nigeria, the specified objectives are:
1. To find out if the parents’ level of education has any influence with students’ academic performance
2. To discover if parents’ income influences the students’ academic performance
3. To find out if communication between the teachers and the parents affect the students’ academic performance
4. To establish how home environment affects the students’ academic performance
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
Base on the specified objectives of this research the following questions will guide the researcher during the course of this research.
1. Does the parents income affects the child academic performance
2. Is there any relationship between parents level of education and students’ academic performance
3. Does communication between parents and teacher has any influence on student’s academic performance
4. Is there any significance relationship between the home environment of students and his/her academic performance?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is expected that the outcome of this study would expose teacher, parents and government in different levels including schools. The outcome of this research will expose educational planners, policy makers, and the community as a whole to make sure that, there is good parental involvement on their child academics
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This research is intended to cover all the secondary school students of the federal republic of Nigeria but due to some constraints the researcher limits his findings to schools in two local government area Kogi state Nigeria. The local government’s area are Ajaokuta and Ankpa LGA.
1.7 DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The main constraint that affected this research is limited time to complete the work, and insufficient fund to finance this project.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
INVESTIGATION: the act of conducting research on something or someone; it is a formal style of research.
PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT: Parental involvement refers to the amount of participation parent has when it comes to schooling and her child's life.
ACADEMIC: anything that relate to education
PERFORMANCE: the result of a students is in his/her academic aim or goal
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