Relationship between parent-teacher communication and parental involvement in pre-primary school children’s reading in Mumias east sub-county, Kenya
Waiswa, Emmanuel Flavian
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Low reading achievement among pupils has been reported to be a wide spread problem globally, regionally and locally. Involvement of parents in their children’s reading at home has been found to reverse the predicament. Parental involvement in children’s reading is a collaborative effort which needs to be undertaken by both the parents and the child’s teacher since it has significant positive influences that include reading achievement, language comprehension and expressive language skills. Most of the studies done in the area of reading have focussed on the level of literacy performance, attainment of numeracy and literacy skills, level of competency as well as comprehension. Adequate efforts have not been made to establish the relationship that parent-teacher communication has on pre-primary school children’s reading. Communication as a form of parental involvement in Kenya has not adequately been investigated. Furthermore, the level to which parents get involved in children’s reading needed to be investigated. The purpose of this study was to establish the level of parental involvement through communication, communication strategies between parents and teachers and also to find out the relationship between these strategies and parental involvement. The theoretical framework used was derived from Joyce Epstein’s model of parental involvement. The study involved only children aged eight years and below in pre-primary schools in Mumias East Sub-county, Kenya. It employed use of survey and correlational designs. The target population consisted parents and teachers of pre-primary school children in Mumias East Sub-county, using a sample size of 180 parents of pre-primary school children and 30 teachers from both public and private schools. Questionnaires were used to collect data. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was utilized to prepare and organize data for analysis to test the significance levels between variables at 0.05. Chi-Square tests were used to establish whether there were any positive significant relationships between variables. Findings revealed that the correlation between the strategies used by teachers to communicate and level of parental involvement was insignificant (p=0.392) indicating that there was no relationship between the strategies that teachers used to communicate to parents and parental involvement. Some of the major strategies that teachers were using to communicate to parents included use of report cards, talking directly to parents, participating in school activities and use of diaries. The study recommends the need for an enhanced school activities in order to strengthen parents’ participation in their children’s reading. Further studies need to be taken to identify other aspects apart from communication that do affect children’s reading.