Parental school involvement in elementary schools on St. Maarten
Haghen, M. van der
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The government of St. Maarten implemented the Active Parenting program (AP) to make parents more involved at school. Parental involvement plays an important role in student success. Not only the actual involvement but also three other factors are important: a. positive parenting, b. social capital (parents’ knowledge and skills to become involved) and c. social control (consensus about appropriate behavior between several settings in which a child grows up). In this study parents’ perceptions on parental involvement and these three factors has been explored by using questionnaires and semi-structured interviews, to create a clearer view of to what extent the AP program addresses to the need to increase parental involvement. The results indicate that parents did not feel much social support for parental school involvement and positive parenting. Present barriers limited parents to become involved and old habits prevented new parenting behavior. Parents felt that they had learned more skills in AP to become involved. It was not sure whether parents and teachers had the same idea about appropriate behavior of children (social control). A recommendation for better school related outcomes of children is to increase the social support in the direct environment of parents by making others aware of the importance and benefits of involvement and positive parenting. A general idea about what is important in education and parenting may be desirable to enhance social support and social consensus.