Elementary school administrators' perceptions of parental involvement : from espoused theory to theory-in-use within school improvement efforts
This qualitative study explored the perceptions and practices of elementary school administrators regarding parental involvement in three urban elementary schools. Particular attention was given to understanding the connection between the beliefs that school leaders shared about parental involvement and its role in school improvement (i.e., their espoused theories) and to how they supported parental involvement in their school community (i.e., their theories in use). Using Argyris and Schön’s (1978) theories of action framework, face-to face interview data and school and district documents were collected and analyzed to explore how well administrators’ practices relative to parental involvement (theory-in-use) aligned with their beliefs and perceptions (espoused theory). As such, data analysis focused on understanding both what administrators believe and what they do to use parental involvement to support school improvement efforts.