This research study’s open-ended responses provided valuable information concerning the benefits and weaknesses of University Model® schools and allow those schools to then problem-solve and improve upon current school-family partnership practices.
One key finding from the results was that teachers and parents both agreed that the key benefits of University Model® schools are as follows:
- provides more time for families to influence their children
- helps students learn time management skills and become independent learners
- involves parents in their child’s education all the way through high school
- provides students with a quality, college-prep education
- offers a flexible university-type schedule
- supports a teacher-parent partnership
FROM THE TEACHER’S PERSPECTIVE
Teachers said they saw the positive influence that parents have on their children due to more family time. Teachers also indicated that the school structure provides opportunities for students to develop time management skills and become independent learners. Additionally, teachers appreciated the flexibility of the teaching schedule, as well as the increase in parental involvement at UMS.
However, it was found that teachers expressed difficulty in partnering with unengaged/working parents, and found the lack of face-to-face class time in which to work with students a challenge. Finding ways to support and work with parents, in addition to the students, is a sizable task.
FROM THE PARENT’S PERSPECTIVE
Parents appreciated University Model® schools family partnership program and the university method of class scheduling since it “involves parents in a child’s education all the way through high school,” and “provides students with more time with the family.” In addition, parents appreciated that UMS were preparing their children with a “quality college-prep education,” as well as “time management skills,” and the ability to “become an independent learner.”
However, from the parents’ perspective, a downside to University Model® schools is that electives for their children can be limited due to the schedule structure or school size. In addition, with less in-class instructional time, the at home work that is given to their child that can be overwhelming to a parent who may try to assist or monitor their child. For many parents, assuming the role as a co-educator for their child takes adjustment.
*EXPLORING STRUCTURAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL BARRIERS: TEACHERS’ AND PARENTS’ PERCEPTIONS OF PARENT INVOLVEMENT PRACTICES IN UNIVERSITY MODEL® SCHOOLS AT THE MIDDLE SCHOOL AND HIGH SCHOOL LEVELS
by Brance C. Barker, 2013