Date of Award

4-1996

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Daniel Stufflebeam

Second Advisor

Dr. James Sanders

Third Advisor

Dr. Thomas Kellaghan

Abstract

This dissertation describes an evaluation of a Home-School-Community Liaison scheme in Irish elementary schools. The scheme represented an effort to combat educational failure in areas suffering from social and economic disadvantage associated with poor quality housing, high levels of unemployment, dependence on state aid, and crime. The central aim of the scheme was to increase parents' involvement in their children's education. The evaluation study examined how programs in the scheme were constructed and implemented over a three-year period and monitored specified outcomes of program activity. Methodology included questionnaires, interviews, site visits and observations, and standardized achievement testing.

The scheme generated considerable activity in schools and homes. Meeting places and courses for parents were provided in schools and homes were visited. Most activities were directed towards mothers, and, in particular, towards their selfdevelopment. There was less evidence of efforts to develop skills of interaction with children that might impact directly on children's educational development.

The community-based aspect of the scheme, which emphasized the role of many agencies, besides the family, and the importance of partnership with a wide variety of formal and informal social systems, received less attention.

The relationships between mothers' characteristics and pupils' achievements in math and reading at grades 1, 3, and 5 were examined. Relationships between some status variables and achievement were positive, though moderate (ranging from .22 to .36). A number of supportive home environment variables were also significantly related to achievement, though no clear patterns were identified. Occupational aspirations and expectations of mothers for their children were related to their children's school achievements at some grade levels. Mothers' educational aspirations and expectations, and their performance aspirations and expectations, were significantly related to children's achievements only at grade 5.

A supportive school environment scale was not significantly related to pupils' achievements at any grade level.

The dissertation concludes with a meta-evaluation that found that the evaluation addressed all of the Joint Committee Program Evaluation Standards.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access