Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


Polly Peterson


Parent Involvement, Parent Training, Special Education, Home Instruction, Parent Meetings, Family Structure-Dynamics, Parent-Teacher Interaction, Educational Support Programs.


This practicum aimed to increase parents’ involvement in the educational program for young hearing impaired children. It is crucial for the parents or caregivers to be active participants in the child’s educational process for the maximum benefit of development to occur. The project addressed three areas of involvement: class session involvement, follow up activities for the sessions, and parent meetings. Developing a program to increase parental involvement incorporates many techniques. Individualized assessment was used to identify specific news and strengths of the families. Discussion of involvement goals and objectives with the parents helped to unify the direction of the teacher and parents. Definition of roles helped eliminate confusion of responsibility. Each week, participation was reported and assessed for each family. Parents were encouraged to be actively involved through positive verbal and tangible rewards, communication activity booklets, phone calls and flexible problem solving for conflicting issues. Outcomes for this project were mixed. The first objective to improve class session involvement was met with all of the children receiving either active therapy involvement or non-therapy involvement on a weekly basis. Non-therapy involvement included phone calls and an activity communication booklet where the teacher and parents wrote activities to be completed and the results. The second objective to increase follow up activities exceeded expectations with 11 out of 14 children having activity follow up on a weekly basis by the end of the project. One of the three not meeting the objective was due to illness and hospitalization and the other two received follow up three or four weeks out of the month. The final objective was not met because parent meetings were contracted out to another agency. When teachers were actively involved at one of the meetics the objective was met with 6 out of 11 families in attendance. Recommendations from this project include flexibility and positive reward. Teachers need to be able to problem solve each family’s situation for strengths and needs. Instruction needs to be provided at the learning level and pace of the parent as well as that of the child. For better parent meeting involvement, the teachers must be involved. Meeting times need to be provided in a timely manner. Parent involvement is a topic that needs to allow for diversity and include a considerable amount of verbal and tangible support for the parents.

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