Parent Involvement in Education


April 2019


This classic 1989 brief on parent involvement in education from researchers Kathleen Cotton and Karen Reed Wikelund remains widely cited and circulated more than 20 years after original publication by Education Northwest (known then as the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory).

It looks at parent involvement in the education of their children through several research-based lenses that include:

  • A definition of parent involvement
  • The effects of parent involvement on student achievement
  • Parent involvement at the middle school and secondary levels
  • The role of parent involvement with disadvantaged students
  • The effects of parent involvement on school governance
  • Engaging meaningful parent involvement in the schools

This brief originally appeared as part of the School Improvement Research Series. We acknowledge that the research and terminology have evolved since original publication of this brief and provide it as a foundational piece to the exploration of the literature on parent involvement in education.

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