A phenomenological qualitative study on kindergarten teacher perspectives of parental involvement in urban kindergarten classrooms
The purpose of this phenomenological qualitative study was to have a better understanding of kindergarten teacher perspectives with varied levels of teaching experience on parental involvement in urban elementary schools. Three teachers who participated in the study included: a novice teacher, a mid-career teacher, and a veteran teacher. Varying years of teaching experience gave insight into how teachers’ perspectives were beneficial in determining how they played a role in promoting positive and active parent engagement. Bronfenbrenner’s Bioecological Theory (1979) and Vygotsky’s Social Development Theory (1978) were used to guide the study and served as a lens for analyses. Teacher perspectives were helpful in finding ways to get parents involved in school and at home and ultimately to promote academic success. This study was beneficial in enabling teachers to have a better understanding of their perspectives on parental involvement and to find ways to get parents involved with their students. Data collection consisted of interest groups, individual interviews, audio journaling, and reflexive journals. Holistic and pattern coding were used to code and analyze the interest group and individual interview transcriptions. Findings showed there were cultural contexts, access, and barriers that influenced parental involvement. Cultural contexts were (a) sibling involvement, (b) home culture, and (c) engagement of mothers. Access were (a) high parental involvement, (b) professional development, (c) parental support, (d) teacher/parent relationships, and (e) communication. Barriers were (a) lack of knowledge and (b) low parental involvement. Teachers’ lived experiences may be helpful in suggesting professional development programs that could improve parental involvement and academic success in urban kindergarten classrooms.