The perceptions of parents whose children have attended schools nationally and internationally regarding the quality of Newfoundland's education system and the provincial education reform documents : a mismatch of perceptions

Harris, Elaine (1999) The perceptions of parents whose children have attended schools nationally and internationally regarding the quality of Newfoundland's education system and the provincial education reform documents : a mismatch of perceptions. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

This research obtained the perspectives of parents whose children have attended schools nationally and internationally as well as locally regarding the overall quality of the education system in Newfoundland, as they have experienced it. The data revealed that parents whose children have attended schools nationally and internationally as well as locally judge the provincial education system positively overall. The research participants like local education because it has a well-rounded and broad curriculum. This parental subgroup also judges local schools favorably because they feel the provincial education system their children have experienced possesses some of the attributes of quality education that are not measurable on standardized test scores. For example, this parental subgroup evaluates local education highly in their children's schools due to the following: high degree of parental involvement; good home and school communications; effective teachers; visible and involved school administrators; and positive school atmosphere. Furthermore, this research discovered that some of the phenomena the research participants believe to be evident in local education are also the same components of schooling they feel reflect quality education generally. -- The research participants' perceptions of the quality of local education are different from the perceptions of some aspects of local education presented in many education reform documents recently published in this province. This difference exists in part because this parental subgroup and the reform documents use different criteria to assess the quality of an education system. The local education reform documents use standardized test scores as the main barometer of educational achievement whereas this parental subgroup avails of additional attributes of education when evaluating the effectiveness of an education system. -- The parental subgroup in this research judges the following areas of the local school curriculum highly: music; physical education; language arts; and special education. Even though the research participants were generally pleased with the quality of local education in the schools their children have attended, they identified specific areas of weaknesses. The weaknesses are student discipline and the following curriculum areas: mathematics; science; fine arts; and multiculturalism. -- When providing their personal perspectives on the quality of local education and the attributes of quality education in general, this parental subgroup revealed that educational values are very individualistic. This may have negative implications for the level of parental satisfaction with the quality of local education in the future. For example, this parental subgroup favors a broad curriculum and the teaching of the arts and humanities in schools. Parents in this province, who value these components of a school curriculum may not be happy with provincial education in future because the reform documents appear to be promoting a curriculum that emphasizes the primary core, subjects such as math and language arts, at the expense of the arts and humanities, subject areas strongly favored by parents in this research. If we are to maintain, or increase, the present level of parental satisfaction with local education then parental voice must be heard and considered when formal judgements on the state of local education and decisions regarding future educational goals and curriculum are made.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/794
Item ID: 794
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 232-270
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1999
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Education--Parent participation--Newfoundland and Labrador; Educational change--Newfoundland and Labrador; Parent-teacher relationships--Newfoundland and Labrador

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