Increasing Parent Involvement Knowledge and Strategies at the Preservice Level: The Power in Using A Systematic Professional Development Approach

From Section:
Professional Development
Oct. 11, 2009

Source: The Teacher Educator, 44: 268–274, 2009
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

This study describes various strategies used by a university educator to integrate parent involvement curriculum into pre-existing teacher preparation courses.

Building on a Strong Research Foundation

The outcomes of successful parent involvement programs include better student attendance, increased graduation rates, less grade retention, higher parent and student satisfaction with school, less discipline reports, and higher achievement scores in reading and math (Hiatt-
Michael, 2001).
The 2001 No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) stresses the importance of parental involvement and holds our nation’s schools accountable for academic achievement for all students. Despite this mandate, teachers will readily admit that they have had very little training, if any, working with parents (e.g., Cassady, Henderson, Jameson, & Garvey, 2008).

Curricula Design

This is a case study of a curriculum-based design built from feedback of preservice teachers over a three-semester period and the development of modules based on an analysis of curricular syllabi from teacher preparation courses.

The evaluation design focuses on two specific key participants: preservice teachers and instructors during the checkpoint courses.


By the end of semester three, interns rated their knowledge of parent involvement in the good to excellent categories. Third semester interns perceived a higher degree of preparation in using parent involvement strategies. The positive shift of more interns rating themselves in the higher ranges appear to demonstrate the importance of providing structured parent involvement modules over time.

In a pre-semester survey, 40% of the interns indicated that they had a fair to poor knowledge of parent involvement and effective parent involvement strategies. At the end of the internship experience and coupled with the seminar, 80% of the interns rated their knowledge and awareness of parent involvement as good to excellent.

In conclusion, this curriculum infusion was effective in increasing preservice teacher knowledge. It was also effective in raising course instructors’ level of awareness about the importance and necessity of parent involvement in student learning.

Cassady, J. C., Henderson, A. T., Jameson, M. M., & Garvey, J. R. (2008).
Preparing teachers to support quality family engagement in schools. In C. A. Lassonde, R. J. Michael, & J. Rivera-Wilson (Eds.), Current issues in teacher education: History, perspectives, and implications (pp. 139–155). Springfield, IL:Charles C. Thomas.

Hiatt-Michael, D. (2001). Preparing teachers to work with parents. ERIC Digest.
(ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED460123)

Updated: Dec. 15, 2019
Parent participation | Parent school relationship | Preservice teachers | Professional development | Teacher characteristics | Universities