Date of Award

Spring 4-2010

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Cynthia Bice

Second Advisor

Dr. Owen van den Berg

Third Advisor

Dr. Beth Kania-Gosche


Although the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 requires schools to create initiatives to increase parental involvement, the development, implementation, and effectiveness of these initiatives are left to the individual schools and their leadership teams. This qualitative study focused on a program designed to increase parental involvement and education to affect the learning-at-home environment as it relates to student learning. By using an action research model, parents of students in a small, rural elementary school in the Midwestern United States attended two cycles of meetings designed to increase awareness of educational concerns. These meetings were conducted with the desire of making changes in the home environment. This series of educational sessions, titled “Parent Information Nights,” was piloted. After one school year, as principal, I reflected upon the program, received feedback by interviewing parents and students, and analyzed the results. Afterward, using action research, I began a second cycle of implementation, with a more narrowed and more parent-centered focus. The second cycle resulted in an increase in parent attendance. In addition, all information from the sessions was available online for parent access. The research methods changed as well, by asking for the prior knowledge of the parent, initial feedback, and changes parents intended to make in the learning-at-home format as a result of the Parent Information Nights. After a period of at least a month, more information was gathered to determine if parents made changes as anticipated. More parents and students reported that changes were made in the learning-at-home environment during the second cycle than the first. In addition, I gave parents the opportunity to have more input in the decision-making process with the second cycle, and parents responded positively to this change.


Copyright 2010