Parental Involvement in Literacy Development of Primary School Children in Tanzania

Kigobe, Janeth (2019) Parental Involvement in Literacy Development of Primary School Children in Tanzania. ["eprint_fieldopt_thesis_type_phd" not defined] thesis, KU LEUVEN.

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Abstract

Despite several initiatives to enhance primary education provision in Tanzania, and as a consequence high enrollment rates, there have been limited improvements in early literacy development of Tanzanian children. The current education system of Tanzania focuses mostly on schools and teachers as the key educators in children’s learning with little attention to the role of parents and the home environment. This PhD project aimed at exploring and supporting parental involvement in primary school children’s reading development, and at creating a framework to encourage teacher-parent partnership in Tanzania. The research in the dissertation (a) explored motivational factors that influence parents’ decisions to be involved in educational activities at home and schools, (b) assessed the relationship between parental reading support activities with children’s reading skills, and (c) evaluated the effectiveness of a one year intervention programme that intended to enhance children’s reading development. We used Hoover-Dempsey and Sandler’s model of parental involvement as our theoretical framework. The intervention was based on practices that were shown in the research literature to be effective for children’s learning, and included a teacher and parent training, teacher-parent communication, reading at home, and parent involvement in their child’s homework. Participants in the study were 600 second grade primary school pupils and their parents (68.2% mothers) from 24 schools in Dar es Salaam. Questionnaires and tests (reading, intelligence) were used to measure the study variables. We used a school based cluster randomized controlled trial with baseline, post-intervention and follow-up measurement to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention (n = 336 intervention group, n = 224 control group). Statistical analyses included regression analyses and multilevel modeling. Findings showed that parents are willing to be involved in their children’s education. Involvement at home was related to parents’ expectations for children’s school success, next to parents’ perceived time and energy, child invitations and parents’ self-efficacy. School involvement was predicted by perceived time and energy, and school and child invitations. There were weak associations between parental reading support activities (modeling, reinforcement, encouragement and instruction) with three aspects of children’s reading (decoding, fluency, and comprehension). The evaluation of the intervention revealed that children in the intervention condition made more progress in reading (decoding and comprehension) compared to children in the control condition. Throughout the study we found a relationship between parents’ education level and children’s reading skills. This indicates that parents with a low level of education need more attention and support. We can conclude that the intervention through feasible activities, is able to foster parental involvement. Schools need to support teachers and create a warm environment to all parents, regardless of their social economic status. The government should make parental involvement a policy issue by setting regulations and guidelines for effective parental involvement in the literacy development of children.

Item Type: Thesis (["eprint_fieldopt_thesis_type_phd" not defined])
Subjects: 300 Social Sciences > 370 Education
Divisions: Faculty of Education > Department of Educational foundations
Depositing User: Mr Mugisha Kafuma
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2020 09:11
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2020 09:11
URI: http://repository.out.ac.tz/id/eprint/2375

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