How Parental Involvement Influences Achievement in Boarding Schools Part I

Parents are at the forefront in ensuring that their children receive an education, however sending them to a particular school without ensuring it has a proper environment in which they can learn can undermine their good intentions.

As a representative from the Department of Education in the Limpopo Province, Seima Cairos said, parents cannot surrender responsibility for their children's education, affirming the argument of Hoover-Dimpsy and Sandler that parental involvement influences children's development and educational outcomes through such mechanisms as modeling, reinforcement, and instruction. Parents who like reading, for instance, are likely to influence their children also to like reading.

Everyday experiences with homework, as mediated by parents, provide opportunity and instructions associated with doing homework, and they can also reinforce the child's good learning behavior by offering incentives after academic attempts and success. Hoover-Dimpsy and Sandler conclude that major educational outcomes of parents' involvement are in their children's development of skills and knowledge, as well as their personal sense of efficacy to succeed in school.

Durant (2011) writes that parental involvement in children's schooling is an important component of their early school success, echoing findings of Lee and Bowen (2006) from a study of the level and impact of five types of parent involvement in elementary school children's academic achievement by race/ethnicity, poverty, and parent educational attainment. The sample of their investigation comprised 415 third through fifth graders who completed the Elementary School Success Profile.

Parents with different demographic characteristics exhibited different types of involvement, and those from dominant groups had the strongest association with achievement. However, contrary to theoretical expectations, members of dominant and non-dominant groups benefited similarly from certain types of involvement and differently from others. As Zhang, Hsu, Kwok, Benz and Bowman-Perot argue, it is difficult to estimate the effect of some specific parental engagements.

Most researchers maintain that parents have an important influence on children's personality and social development. Topping concurred that parents are role models to their children who transmit, through examples, values, norms, and attitude. The basis for co-operative nursery schools is the acceptance of parents as teaching assistants.

In Africa, Mouly wrote that if a pupil does not do or complete assignments and the teacher's attempts to change this behavior are unsuccessful, he/she should bring the problem to the attention of the principal or the parents. The South African Council for Educators recognizes parents as partners in education and stipulates that educators must do what is practically possible to keep parents adequately and timorously informed about the wellbeing and progress of their learners.

Durant's analysis of Latino families showed that parental involvement was a significant predictor of children's literacy skills above controls and that stronger communication with parents may be instrumental in increasing both home and school involvement among families, creating a possible avenue through which the parents might develop a collective voice within the school sector. Hsu, Zhang, Kwok, Li, and Ju used a sample drawn from Taiwan to evaluate the role of parental involvement and found that mothers were more involved than fathers in education and that their involvement had more predictive power of adolescent academic achievement. In another study, Zhang, Hsu, Kwok, Benz, Bowman-Perot observed that engagement at home was found to have a positive impact on student achievement, but participation in school activities did not significantly affect it.

Nye, Turner and Schwartz support the use of parental involvement to improve children's academic performance, and argue that its effect outside school has practical implications for parents, educators, administrators, and policymakers. In addition, when used as a supplementary intervention it increases children's academic achievement, with programs also a way of encouraging involvement.

In their involvement in their children academic success, parents send their children to boarding schools so that they can spend more time in the academic environment, with some assuming the institutions can enhance their children's' academic achievement. Sihlezana (1990) found statistically significant differences between boarding and nonboarding school in terms of academic achievement. There is significant difference in reading and note taking between day and boarding students' study habits.

Abdullahi also observed that the home environment compared very unfavorably with a school environment in which the boarders have their schedule planned by the school authorities and, where available, the schedules are supervised by the school counselor or personnel on duty. Thus, boarders have the advantage of being supervised and encouraged to form good study habits, these being some of the conditions that may have helped them to excel in the variable of reading and note taking over the day students. This article as well as this post on our site have more information on this subject.

Closely related to boarding and non-boarding schools is out-of-class learning, which Pike (1999) reports has a positive effect, confirmed by Terenzini, Pascarella, and Blimling, who maintained that student-out-of-class experience appears to be far more influential in student academic and intellectual development, and Golde and Pribbenbow,, who concluded by asking: "Who benefits when faculty and student interact outside the classroom, in the residential hall?" and answering "Students certainly do."