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Exploring Parent Involvement in Early Learning State Standards Documents
AuthorHansen, Caitlynn E.
AdvisorWalsh, Bridget A.
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When children have parents who are involved in their preschool experience, this is likely to be related to positive child outcomes (e.g., Fantuzzo, McWayne, Perry, & Childs, 2004). Developed after the Good Start, Grow Smart initiative and No Child Left Behind (Grisham-Brown, Pretti-Frontczak, Hawkins, & Winchell, 2009), early learning state standards may reflect the importance of parent involvement in the early years. In order to discover how early learning state standards address parent involvement, Walsh, Lee, Casillas, and Hansen (in review) explored six national models of parent involvement (i.e., Family Support America's principles, National PTA's standards, NAEYC's guidelines for reciprocal relationships, NAEYC's principles for effective family engagement, Harvard Family Research Project model for family involvement, and Head Start's Parent, Family, and Community Engagement framework). Specifically, researchers identified seven categories that were common across these national sources and, in turn, these categories became the framework to code 51 early learning standards documents (Walsh et al., in review). These seven coding categories were based on commonalities across six models regarding parent involvement, and an eighth category entitled "Family, Parent, or Home Not Otherwise Specified" (Walsh et al., in review) was also included. The present content analysis explored the content of information found in the eighth or other category in order to better understand what early learning standards documents are portraying regarding parent involvement at the early learning level. Findings indicate that content within the early learning standards documents was presented throughout the document as information and principles, standards, strategies, examples, and miscellaneous. Each theme contained three to six thematic elements and the theme of information and principles had the most content within it. The present findings have implications for stakeholders revising early learning standards documents.