PARENTS AND SCHOOLS: PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT AND INTERFERENCE EFFECTS ON SCHOOL CLIMATE AND PUPILS' MATHEMATICS ACHIEVEMENT
Parental involvement in school manifests itself in parents' participation in school activities, assisting the school and cooperating in setting school's policy (Fisher, 2010). It contributes to students' academic success and emotional functioning (Adamski, Fraser, & Peiro, 2013) through two main mechanisms. First, through parents' social capital so that parents' involvement equips them with knowledge of how to assist their children in school-related activities (Lareau, 1996). Second through social control, so that parents and schools work together to build a consensus about students' expected behavior and pass uniform messages to children (McNeal, 1999).
Parental involvement positively affects school climate and contributes to increasing students' attendance rate. It contributes to students' satisfaction with school, increases their pride, improves their behavior, and increases motivation and self-esteem (Henderson & Mapp, 2002). It also affects teachers' satisfaction with their work (e.g., Chungkai & Chiahung, 2012) and to reduction of stress and burnout (Houghton, 2001).
The relationship school-parents may create an undesirable situation of parental interference in the educational practice, which may be expressed through disrespect and aggression towards the system, causing conflicts between the two parties (Greenbaum & Fried, 2011). A major source of conflict between teachers and parents is the interference of the latter in the professional considerations of the former resulting in teachers' feelings that the interfering parents threaten their professional authority (Addi-Raccah & Grinshtain, 2017).
Parental interference in school activities characterizes parents from a high SES. These parents own many means (e.g., education, income, social support) to interfere in school and impose their demands (Weininger & Lareau, 2003). Parental interference in school may lead to severe behavioral problems at school and adversely affects children's psychological adjustment (Grolnick et al., 2000).
In this study, we examined a hypothesized model of the effects of teachers' perceptions of parental involvement and interference on school climate and mathematics achievement of fifth grade pupils. The study based on secondary analysis of two large national (Israeli) data sets. The first included scores on the 2007 mathematics test for fifth-grade, which was administered to15,401 pupils from 281 schools. The second included data on school climate obtained from 4,080 teachers from the same schools. Data analyzed using structural equation modeling (SEM) which indicated that the originally hypothesized model did not fit the data well. A modified model, however, fit the data well and explained about 50% of the variance in school climate, which consists of pupils' violence and teachers' satisfaction. It also accounted for 29% of the variance in mathematics achievement.
In conclusion, proper and fruitful school-parents relationship as reflected in parental involvement in school is an important condition for creating a positive school climate while parental interference in schools could be harmful. Education systems tend to pay close attention to achievement, but school climate also has great importance in the lives of teachers and students and is affected by parents' behavior. Activities aimed to increasing parents' involvement and reducing their interference in school may be beneficial.