Who's Really Doing the Teaching: Parental Involvement in K-12 Full-time Virtual Schooling?
Concurrent Session 8
The researcher uses both qualitative and quantitative approaches to examine the level at which parents are really involved in full-time K-12 virtual schooling.
This study examines the involvement or role of the parent in the full-time K-12 virtual schooling environment.
In this study, a qualitative and quantitative approach was taken to examine the characteristics of parental involvement in the K-12 virtual schooling environment. The population for this study was three full time public K-12 virtual schools in the state of Louisiana.
The qualitative data were collected from two of the free full-time public virtual schools, using participant interviews. There was an administrator (1), teachers (3), parents (3), and students (3), interviewed from each school. The qualitative data were analyzed, both with-in case and cross-case, using the constant comparative method (Creswell, 2007). The three themes that emerged from the data suggested the roles of the parent were Managerial, Administrative, and Collaborative, with the Extent of Parental Involvement depending upon student grade levels and student tenure within the virtual schooling environment.
Participants indicated the involvement of the parent in the K-12 virtual schooling environment is more than the involvement in the traditional brick and mortar schooling environment. The parent is involved in every aspect of the child's education from providing the learning environment, facilitating the learning, and monitoring the child's progress.
The quantitative data were collected by means of surveys completed by 127 parents and 119 students (246 participants total). Student Achievement, Grade Point Average (GPA), was the dependent variable for the research study. The independent variables included nine parental involvement factors of encouragement, modeling, reinforcement, instruction, involvement frequency, prevention factors, involvement in schoolwork, involvement in school, and involvement outside of school, identified as Factors 1-9, respectively.
A linear regression model was conducted using SPSS Software. The data indicated that the three parental involvement factors of "Factors Affecting Participation" (Factor 6), "Family Involvement in Schoolwork" (Factor 7), and "Family Involvement Outside of School" (Factor 9) were most significant in predicting student achievement. When the quantitative data was divided into two sets, depending on whether responses were supplied by students or their parents, the significance of Factors 6 and 7 disappeared. Factor 9, however, remained significant in both subpopulations.