School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)


Gail Collins


parental involvement, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Title I




The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to describe the impact that low parent involvement has on students from the perspectives of teachers in a Title I school. Although low parental involvement has not been clearly defined in research, for the purpose of this study, parental involvement was defined as the participation of parents in regular, two-way meaningful communication involving student academic learning and other school activities. The theory which guided this study is Maslow’s theory of human motivation, which offered a hierarchy of needs. Using this theory helped identify and describe how teachers’ experience with low parental involvement in Title I schools impacts the needs of students. Using the hierarchy of needs theory helped locate where parents are in this hierarchy as well, according to their priorities. Data were collected through in-depth interviews with 13 participants, focus groups interviews, field notes, and observations. The data analysis was completed using Moustakas’ systematic steps to provide both textural and structural descriptions capturing the essence of teachers’ experiences with low parental involvement in Title I schools. The results of this transcendental phenomenological study showed that the participants experienced significantly low parental involvement in these Title I schools which are rich in resources, with learning gaps still present despite additional funding. Participants shared that schools must be concerned with students' needs which are not being met on the most basic physiological level. This study suggested other Title I schools and traditional elementary schools repeat this study for further research. Implications for various stakeholders were presented from the district-level leaders to community members. Educators shared that schools are important institutions, and so is family—the family matters.

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