THE ROLE OF PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT IN THE EDUCATION OF SECONDARY SCHOOL CHILDREN IN BARBADOS: AN EXAMINATION OF FAMILY AND SCHOOL CONTEXTS ON HOMEWORK
The role of parental involvement in children’s education has become a central issue in educational policy and research. Parental involvement and family-school partnerships are considered among the most successful educational strategies to improve student achievement. Research findings support the existence of a positive relationship between parental involvement and the educational success of students, especially in the elementary school years. However, current knowledge regarding the nature and magnitude of the effects of parental involvement in secondary education is inconsistent and limited in scope. Thus, the purpose of this study examined students’ perceptions of their family and school contexts in relation to their classroom motivation in high and low performing secondary schools in Barbados. Additionally, the study compared parents’ perceptions of their parenting styles and parental involvement in both high performing and low performing schools. The study utilized a cross sectional comparative survey research design. Participants were comprised of 400 students who ranged in age from 13 to16 and 300 of their parents. It also included 30 participants (parents, teachers or students) for three separate focus groups.
The study yielded significant findings which indicated that parents of students who attended high performing schools, reported higher levels of parental involvement than parents of students who attended low performing schools. Moreover, whereas parents of students at high performing schools reported more authoritative parenting styles, parents of students at low performing schools reported more authoritarian parenting styles. Findings from this study can serve as a blueprint for family involvement initiatives in the Barbados school system, specifically in secondary schools. Moreover, by offering a cultural perspective not yet represented in the literature, this study is expected to augment existing theoretical principles and expand the body of knowledge in the field of educational and school psychology.