Parental Engagement: What Do Urban Middle School Principals Really Want?

Denise Jamison, Fordham University


This study sought to examine and understand how principals make sense of their role and responsibilities regarding parent engagement; to learn of the challenges they faced while doing so and to learn what kind of engagement principals want most from the parents in their schools. The study was a qualitative comparative case study of nine NYC middle school principals and their schools. Interviews were used as the primary method of data collection. The findings were framed using both Bandura’s self-efficacy theory and Epstein’s theory of overlapping spheres of influence. Epstein’s Framework for Six Types of Involvement was also used as a lens to identify parent engagement in the sample schools. The study found that principals understand and accept their role and responsibility to maintain meaningful parent engagement in their schools. Principals want parents to partner with schools and for parents know and understand how the school functions so that they can better support their children with their education.

Subject Area

Educational leadership|School administration|Education|Elementary education

Recommended Citation

Jamison, Denise, "Parental Engagement: What Do Urban Middle School Principals Really Want?" (2017). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10283297.