I spent the evening doing online research on parental involvement in K-12 education. There is significant research to demonstrate a link between parental involvement and student achievement (which I will document in a future post). I wanted to write about an insightful paper by Dr. Debbie Pushor from the University of Saskatchewan. In Parent Engagement: Creating a Shared World she describes the difference between parental involvement (co-opted participation) and engagement (shared commitment). The importance of parents engaging with parents (creating shared commitment) is also discussed. The research is suggesting that involvement alone does not create achievement benefits but engagement does. The benefits according to Dr. Pushor for parents are clear:
Parents have the opportunities to share their knowledge
Parents & families are enriched by their engagement
Parents benefit personally
Parents have a voice & place on school landscapes
Dr. Pushor’s broader research work is examining the questions, What is parent knowledge? and How is parent knowledge held and used?
I am interested in this work because it helps in my investigation of parent voice in a technology-enabled environment. Does the presence of technology (in the home and/or school) change the involvement/engagement relationship? Thanks to Dr. Pushor for providing a context for my investigation.