School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Wesley Scott


Barriers to Involvement, Parental Involvement, Student Attitudes, Teacher Perceptions


Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Elementary Education


With this transcendental phenomenological study, I sought to gain a richer understanding of parental involvement by gathering data about the perceptions of elementary parents, students, teachers, and community leaders in a rural elementary school setting in a southeastern state. I investigated how each of the 18 stakeholders (four parents, four teachers, four community leaders, and six students) conceptualize the term parental involvement, captured how they perceived barriers to effective parental involvement, and provided information from the stakeholders about issues that need to be addressed in order to have effective parental involvement programs in the school. The setting was rural with an elementary school population of approximately 650 students, 58% of whom are on free or reduced lunch. To describe the phenomenon of parental involvement and common perceptions among the stakeholders, I collected data using survey analysis, interviews, and focus groups. I analyzed the data using coding then synthesized the data to produce a composite of textural and structural information in narrative form. Three theories guided this study. Weiner’s Attribution Theory addressed motivation, a factor that strongly influenced parents to participate in school-related activities. Secondly, Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory on self-efficacy in individuals that determined their level of engagement in the educational community, and finally, Dr. Joyce Epstein’s Theory of Overlapping Influences that addressed the spheres of influence surrounding students and the fluidity of these influences dependent upon external stimuli. All stakeholders agreed that parents are involved when they provide basic needs for their children. Perceptions diversified when relationship-building among stakeholders was the topic of the interviews.