Education is arguably the oldest known profession in the history of mankind. It predates any other from of interactive processes that humans have participated in with each other. From the beginning of time man has been either the recipient or the deliverer of knowledge. It was not until sometimes later, after man's arrival on earth did formal education actually begin. Man was taught while living in the Garden of Eden what was right and what was wrong. He was given an infinite prescription to knowledge by his Creator, his Father. This was the first example of parental involvement.
As time has passed the educational profession has evolved and changed from a rigid male dominated activity to a mosaic of many different integral players, which we call stakeholders. Not only have the players/stakeholders changed but also the strategies and techniques that educators use to disseminate the information from teachers to students have changed. Many students lack the necessary motivation and tenacity to meet the educational challenges directly and perform to their highest level intellectually. Instead, today students require/need something extra to help them excel academically and behaviorally.
This action research project (Bogdan & Biklen, 1998; Creswell, 2003) investigates the impact that opening a parent/family center in an urban high school will have on increasing the level of parental involvement in their children's educational activities of Davenport High School. This action research project also sought to determine if the presence of a parent/family center would change the perception that students and parents have toward education.
Research (Abrams, 2002; Comer, 1998, 1992-93; Epstein, 1986, 1994, 1995; Fehrmann et al., 1987; Finn, 1998; Jesse, 1998; & Lofthouse, 1999) supports the assertion that today's students need their parents, guardians, caregivers actively involved in their lives academically. The National Parent Teacher Association supports parents as partners, and as their students "first teachers."
From this study I have come to the conclusion that parental involvement is vital to the success of students academically and behaviorally. When utilized correctly, parents can assist urban schools in their efforts to become competitive in preparing students to enter the workforce.