Resources and Influences: Parents in Leadership Positions in Low-/Mid-SES and High-SES Schools in Israel

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Abstract

Purpose: This study focused on parents’ involvement in their children’s schools through participation in collective leadership roles. Based on Bourdieu’s approach the current analysis examined the link between parents’ types of resources, types of involvement in schools, and their influences over different school domains while comparing parents from two socioeconomic status (SES) levels (low/mid and high). Research Design: Participants comprised 624 parents from 21 randomly selected elementary schools, of which 10 were of low-/mid-SES and 11 high-SES schools. Data were collected by a questionnaire and analyzed based on multivariate analysis of variance and multi-group structural equation modeling approach. Findings: It was found that for holding leadership roles in schools, parents activate diverse education-related resources. Once gaining a formal leadership role parents may feel a legitimate right to influence schools, mainly on issues related to school management domains such as fundraising. Although, some differences occurred between high-SES and low-/mid-SES schools, there was a similarity regarding parents’ leadership roles that may benefit schools by bridging between the schools and their environment. Conclusions: As schools become more heterarchical, parent leadership may be able to play an increasingly significant role in facilitating the school principal’s work and fostering school improvement. Accordingly, school principals need to support and encourage parent leadership, particularly in low-SES schools. For that purpose, educators must be more attentive, accepting and value the resources of parents of low-SES schools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)600-640
Number of pages41
JournalEducational Administration Quarterly
Volume56
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2020

Keywords

  • capital
  • influence
  • parental involvement
  • parental leadership
  • resources
  • school composition

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