Vol. 5 No. 2 (2023): New Approaches to Family-School Partnership Current Issue

Published December 23, 2023

Parental involvement is an inclusive, multifaceted phenomenon that has far-reaching benefits for children. By actively engaging in their children's education, parents can create a supportive learning environment that promotes academic success, social-emotional development, and strong family relationships in their homes. The involvement of parents in children's development is not just a responsibility; it is also an opportunity to connect with children, instill values into them, and nurture their holistic development and growth.

To be successful in school, it is not enough for teachers to do the work alone, it must be done in partnership with families as well. Even though the pupils are at the center of it all, the partnership between the school and the family is essential to its success. Some of the time, however, this partnership does not seem to be as clear-cut as it should be, such as when the school and family have different values, when the social status of parents and teachers differs, or when a child has a disability.


Guest editors: Katinka Bacskai (University of Debrecen, Hungary) and Nóra Imre (University of Pannonia, Veszprém)


Thematic articles

  • College Begins in Kindergarten: A Path to Higher Education Through Family-School Partnerships in a K-5 School

    As income inequality rises in the United States, students from low-income backgrounds and other excluded identities are likelier to remain in the lower income percentile, especially if they do not have college degrees (Kochhar & Cilluffo, 2018). Therefore, a critical approach is to focus on what happens before middle and high school, realizing that early childhood is prime for students to learn about college and their future. This study explored the practices influencing college-going aspirations for marginalized students in a K-5 school that engages teachers and families. The exploration extends the literature on how schools prepare elementary-aged students to develop college-going aspirations. The case study design collected data from observations, an administrative interview, and a document review. Findings revealed social and environmental practices influencing students and families regarding college-going attitudes and aspirations. The results have implications for curriculum and school culture to redefine the postsecondary conversation.  

  • Parent-Teacher Communication from the Perspective of the Educator

    Several, mostly quantitative, studies have already examined the relationship between teachers and parents, as well as the positive effects of parental involvement. The aim of this study is to explore how parental involvement is realized in communication between the two actors. In the framework of a qualitative study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 31 teachers teaching in elementary schools, and the analysis was performed using the Atlas.ti software. Based on our findings, we concluded that regular communication, common language use, a positive attitude from both parties, and the appropriate use of information and communication technology tools are essential for effective communication. The practical significance of this is that teacher trainees should also emphasize practical education, with a special focus on their ability to establish appropriate communication with parents of different socioeconomic backgrounds.

  • Parental Assistance with Assignments – Types of Parental Involvement in Homework

    The present study analyses – using qualitative methods – parental involvement in children’s homework, the forms of parental involvement and the types of parents in the studied area, emphasizing the decisive role of parents in the educational life of their children, using the sample of several rural settlements in Szeklerland. By focusing on the rural context, this research contributes to the existing literature by offering a more nuanced understanding of parental involvement, potentially uncovering challenges and strategies that are unique to rural communities. The literature lacks a parent typology based on qualitative research. The most common types of parents are: “aversive”, “ ambitious “, “partner”, “accountable”, “networking”. The benefits of parental support for children’s learning at home have been widely emphasized by experts in recent research. Active parental involvement has a positive impact on student achievement and learning. It also gives parents a better insight into school life and enables them to develop a partnership with the teachers.

  • The Impact of Secondary School Students’ Perceived Parenting Values on School Choice

    The target group of our quantitative research is comprised of secondary school students from Szeklerland (Romania). A multistage sampling was used: in the first stage students from all denominational schools were included, then students from the assigned non-denominational schools, while in the second stage we included students from the 9th and 11th grades (N=1927). A questionnaire was used as a data collection instrument. We were interested to find out which educational sector boasted most prominently the dimensions of autonomy and conformity values and whether they correlate with the decision-making process regarding the choice of school type.

  • Students with Special Needs and Their Parents – Informal Participation of a Parent in the Education of an Adult Child

    The article presents the issue of participation of adult students’ parents in their academic life. There are many examples in the literature of how important is the support of students’ with disabilities parents at the universites. This determines academic success. Disability (its depth, type, cause, limitations resulting from it) is a determining factor for independence, and consequently for the parent’s participation in the student’s academic life. The parent’s attitude towards their own child’s disability is also related to the parent’s participation in the study. The main questions of presented research is: how do students, parents and university staff see the participation of parents in their adult chilredn higher education? This study was qualitative in nature and the individual in-depth interviews were conducted in the course of the study. Two female students with disabilities and their mothers, as well as a member of staff from the one of Polish university’s disability office, were invited to participate in the study. The results show that students, parents and university’s staff can present different opinions about parental suport. The fact is that parental participation cannot be permanent. Each time this type of support should be considered on an individual basis, with particular regard to the welfare of the the student. The results of the survey are relevant to the university’s process of planning support for students with disabilities so as to work with parents with the students’ consent.

  • The Importance of Student-Teacher Relationship in Romanian SEN Schools Among Hungarian Minorities

    The research aims to investigate the status of special schools in Romania, with a focus on student-teacher relationships, attachment-based education, and the Hungarian minority. After a brief historical overview of special schools, the study covers two main directions. We start by outlining how special schools view the value of attachment-based education and sheltered workshop conditions. Then we will use quantitative methods to analyze the research findings of a pilot study with a sample of a total of 60. Our focus will be on children with special educational needs. We will emphasize the impact of segregated education processes and examine current practices and rights. Based on the findings of the study, educators who work in SEN schools have better knowledge of their students’ attachment patterns. These educators are responsible for teaching students with SEN and building safe attachments plays a crucial role in the educational process. Special education setting places great importance on fostering secure attachment in students.


Research papers

  • The Challenges of Adopting a Learner-Centered Approach to On-Line English Teacher Education: A Teacher-Research Study on Jigsaw Reading and PeerTeaching in Cambodia

    In Cambodia, the shift to on-line learning due to Covid-19 reinforced an already overly teacher-centric approach to education, leading to the risk of greater learner disengagement. To address this problem, I3 embarked on a research project involving the redesign of the on-line delivery of a final year English teacher education course on ‘School and Society’, in which all lectures were replaced with jigsaw reading (JR) and peer teaching (PT) tasks. To track the impact of this innovation, I recorded class sessions, kept observation logs, and obtained data from students’ reflective journaling, interviews, and a focus group. This paper reports on the design principles behind the innovation and its impact on student motivation and engagement. The research has implications for on-line teacher education and the introduction of learner-centered pedagogies in global south contexts.

  • The Relations between Students’ Intercultural Communication Competencies and Employability

    In today’s globalised world, businesses operate on an international level. Most business and economics graduates will interact with colleagues, clients, and partners from diverse cultural backgrounds. Intercultural competencies are essential for their success and effective collaboration in the labour market. A special questionnaire was compiled to investigate students’ intercultural competencies. Based on the statements and responses of the questionnaire, the examination aimed to establish the principal components of the intercultural communication competencies of the students of a Hungarian university. In the next phase of the research, the principal components served to create student clusters which were analysed from a labour market point of view, focusing on advantages and disadvantages. The crucial question was: which cluster is in demand the most in the labour market? By utilizing a principal component analysis, the dataset was reduced to three key components. Subsequently, to classify the students into groups, a multivariate statistical procedure, i.e., cluster analysis, was used to reveal the structures by clearly considering the similarities of a relatively heterogeneous population and to create a relatively homogeneous subset. The study revealed five distinct student clusters, each with varying advantages and disadvantages for employers. In this context, the Interculturally Active and Open with Good Language Skills cluster proved to be the most competent, with the least ideal collection indisputably being the Interculturally Reluctant in Cooperating cluster. The research underscores the importance of intercultural communication competencies for employees and enriches our understanding of the dynamics between intercultural communication competencies and workforce readiness. Developing these competencies in foreign language classes will significantly facilitate our students’ employment.

  • Gender Differences Among Teacher Education Students in Light of a Pilot Study

    This paper aims to present the measurement tool designed to examine gender differences among teacher education students and the results obtained during the research. The theoretical section of the paper describes teachers’ and parents’ influence on children’s gender role attitudes, gender socialization and career orientation. To prepare the questionnaire, we analyzed the Hungarian and international literature and built on the results of our previous qualitative research. We grouped our questions into three dimensions: (1) gender socialization in the family, (2) parental involvement, (3) gender socialization at school and career orientation. According to our results, gender-neutral toys were more often chosen by male students’ parents, and mothers were more involved in their children’s school activities than fathers, setting higher expectations as well. Teachers and parents, especially mothers, played an important role in students’ career choice. In addition, students perceived that teachers handled them differently depending on their gender in terms of the evaluation of their academic progress and behavior as well as the frequency of compliments and punishment.

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