Stakkahlíð / Háteigsvegur
This dissertation had three main aims: first to give an overview of parental involvement in Icelandic compulsory schools, second to bring attention to opinions of teenage students on the home-school relationship, and third, to examine how parental involvement and satisfaction with school are influenced by school services and social factors.
The main research question was: What part does parental involvement play in compulsory schools in Iceland?
The research on parental involvement is part of a bigger research project, Teaching and learning in Icelandic compulsory schools conducted in 20 schools in collaboration with their personnel, students and parents. Quantitative data from questionnaires were used. Four online questionnaires were directed to school personnel, one online questionnaire to parents of all students in the 20 schools, and an onsite questionnaire was directed to students in grades seven through ten in 14 schools.
Analysis of parental involvement was done by exploring differences and relationships in opinions, and factor analysis and regression analysis were used to bring forth what influenced participants’ opinions.
The findings have been published in four papers. An overview of parental involvement showed that the home-school relationship is systemic and regular, but it is questionable if it comprises real cooperation. Findings showed that relationships between parents and teachers are important; parents were generally satisfied, but some teachers, especially the younger ones, felt that communicating with parents is difficult. Most adults, parents and school personnel favoured the traditional kind of parental participation, which primarily involves social activities.
Meanwhile, the teenagers showed interest in relating parental participation to their academic activities. The research revealed a reality of inequity in praxis; most striking was that single mothers often feel powerless, and receive less support for their children than do other parents.