Resource: Teacher Perceptions of Parental Involvement for Students with Educational Disabilities in Elementary Schools

By: Elizabeth Kenner

January 1, 2018


Parental involvement has long been researched and discussed as a positive influence on the educational and social outcomes for students across grade levels. Within our school communities, students who are identified with educational disabilities face increased challenges to decrease the learning gap compared to students without educational disabilities. This research sought to learn how teachers perceived the influence of parental involvement with regard to the academic success and IEP goal progress for students with educational disabilities. To measure teacher perceptions, a survey was designed and disseminated to teachers certified in regular and special education at the elementary level within Region 8 of St. Louis, Missouri. The survey questions were designed to determine how teachers perceived parental involvement to impact the process when students were initially referred for a special education evaluation, how teachers perceived parental involvement once IEP goals had been established and progress was monitored, as well as and how parental involvement may impact assessment outcomes in the classroom. The survey revealed teachers that were certified in the area of special education consistently perceived parental involvement to have a greater impact on the initial special education referral process and progress specific to the IEPs for students with educational disabilities compared to teachers certified in regular education. Implications for educational practice and fostering additional parent involvement is discussed and future research in this area is delineated.