Childhood Education Participation

Taking part in a group that we want to influence or change shows great dedication and determination.  Lately, bullying and childhood issues have been ever present in the news.  The issues encountered by today’s children is likely much bigger than any outside adult, even parent, can comprehend.  It is one thing to say “they” should do something about kids these days, but quite another to actively become part o the solution.

This problem is likely originating, at least in part, from an economic level.  We are too busy earning an income to have the time or to make the time, to be present in schools.  Parents should be actively involved in their children’s school situation from a very young age.  This may be done by volunteering or even working in schools or by participating on the parent teacher association.  With a clear parental presence fro a young age, it is possible to develop friendships between parents and recognition and understanding of the individual children.  With this system in place, students would be less likely to develop bad social habits or rude interactions with peers.  This solution would also apply to drugs, alcohol, and sex in schools because parents are much more likely to catch wind of things when they are present in schools than when they only interaction they have with the educational system is through letter.  Notification about picture day or the latest lice epidemic do not convey the same control that active participation does.

It should also be the responsibility of the school system to create more opportunities for parents to get involved.  More after school meetings, for example, may allow more parents the opportunity to participate in their children’s school environment when work responsibilities take away their daytime availability.  Schools should also create more groups for parents to join and open up more volunteer positions to parents and caretakers.  With more opportunities available at all hours and more parental involvement, a drastic change in schools may be seen in the coming years.

We need to be the change that we want to see in the world and in the lives of our children.  Our children deserve to have the security of involved parents, even if it means a financial sacrifice on the part of the family in order to make that happen.  The cost of not doing so is far too high.




  1. Delma Mae Wilt

    I think being a part of your child’s education is extremely important. It shows the child that he/she is a priority, which can raise self-esteem. I agree that schools should make more of an effort to get parents involved. Studies have shown that when multiple levels work together, students do better in school (NEA, n.d.).

    However, it is not always possible to be as active in your child’s education as you would wish. I have two teenage daughters. I am a single parent and work full-time. I am not allowed to take off for any reason other than my own illness. When the girls were in elementary school, my situation was different, which allowed me to attend every PTO meeting, assembly, after-school activity, game, concert, and award ceremony. My girls were A students. Now I cannot attend very many school events, and my girls are still A students. I believe they continue to do well because I have always taught them the importance of education. I also taught them at home. I never missed watching Sesame Street with them and I used to read to them every day. I still try to go to events, but my work schedule keeps me from going to most. I would love to be able to participate more, but not everyone can afford to take a cut in pay. My youngest daughter’s band meetings are on Tuesday nights. I work Tuesday nights. Her band competitions are on Saturdays. I work Saturdays. I make it to her concerts and to her sister’s volleyball games when my work schedule allows. Open house in my area is a joke. The teachers are swamped with parents cornering them. I stood for a long time to talk to one of seven teachers. By the time I talked to her, open house was ending.

    I do not know what the answer is for people like me. I am still trying to figure it out. But my daughters are smart and very involved in school activities. They are planning to go to college, so soon I’ll have a teacher and a doctor in the family. So I must be doing something right.


    Research spotlight on parental involvement in education. National Education Association. Retrieved from:

  2. Melody Renee Day

    There is a variety of activist participation research out there that helps to engender behavioral change through cooperative methods. This research’s results are likely good starting points for activist participation research towards reducing bullying behaviors.

    For instance, although Ruth Kahn’s research doesn’t have great external validity for educational experiences outside of the hearing impaired, Kahn’s research does demonstrate that greater active parent participation within the classroom results in affording increased; goal setting for children, helping with children’s communication needs, parent participation in meetings, sharing information with the staff, as well as task completion collaboration (Kahn, 2009, p. 269). But with that, as eluded to previously, Ruth Kahn’s research was based on children with hearing impairments, so currently the research results are not necessarily representative of what kind of results with regards to active parent participation in the classroom that might be expected in educational settings where children are not hearing impaired (Schneider, Gruman, & Coutts, 2005, p. 53). However Ruth Kahn’s research’s results demonstrate clear examples of the positive attributes of utilizing collaborative practices to make student’s parents a greater part of the behavioral change process.

    In addition, while Kahn’s research demonstrates the effectiveness of a collaborative approach, Macpherson’s, Haggan’s, and Reick’s research might be useful in determining the method utilized during collaboration to effect behavioral change (2000, p.49). Through Macpherson’s, Haggan’s, and Reick’s intervention program, parents worked with their children in correspondence with school teachings to enforce positive nutritional practices through homework assignments. The results of using collaborative homework assignments demonstrated marked behavioral improvement which could be used as a stepping stone of information to establish a similar parent-teacher-student method of cooperative active participation intervention in instances of bullying behaviors.

    Through activist social change research, both Kahn’s and Macpherson’s, Haggan’s, and Reick’s research can be utilized to create an anti-bullying intervention in which the creator is invested in the outcome of the research (hopes of stopping bullying), and is also a part of the intervention itself (compiling the homework assignments; helping to collaborate with the parents in educating them, the teachers, and the students about bullying statistics, methods of coping, and proper behavioral tactics) (Psych 424: Applied Social Psychology, n.d., p. 1).


    Kahn, Ruth (01/01/2009). “Enhancing parent participation in early intervention through tools that support mediated learning.”. Journal of cognitive education and psychology (1945-8959), 8 (3), p. 269.

    Macpherson, C., Haggans, C. J., & Reicks, M. (2000). Interactive Homework Lessons for Elementary Students and Parents: A Pilot Study of Nutrition Expedition. Journal of Nutrition Education, 32(1), 49. doi:10.1016/S0022-3182(00)70510-3

    Psych 424: Applied Social Psychology (n.d.). Lesson 13: Social Change/Participatory Research. Retrieved April 14, 2014, from

    Schneider, F. W., Gruman, J. A., & Coutts, L. M. (2005). Applied social psychology: Understanding and addressing social and practical problems. SAGE Publications. Kindle Edition.

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