Developing social capital for parents in low income urban schools

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The purpose of this study was to determine if social capital for parents in a low-income urban school would develop through structured or unstructured parent-teacher meetings. The parent-teacher meetings were

The purpose of this study was to determine if social capital for parents in a low-income urban school would develop through structured or unstructured parent-teacher meetings. The parent-teacher meetings were developed to provide opportunities for parents and teachers to meet to build relationships and develop trust through teaching and learning how to support reading fluency and reading comprehension strategies. In order to build relationships between parents and teachers both parties need to trust one another. Trust is the foundation of relationships but before parties can trust one another, opportunities to form relationships need to be provided. In the case of parents and teachers, the study suggests that the parent-teacher meetings might be a starting point to provide opportunities to form trusting relationships. As parents and teachers work collaboratively to support the academic needs of the children, parents will increase their social capital and learn how to navigate the school system. The findings of the parent-teacher meetings showed that the perceptions of parents and teachers varied. The findings of the study did not display any noticeable differences in responses between the structured and unstructured group of participants. Parents appreciated meeting with teachers to learn how to support student learning at home and believed teachers were influential in the educational experience of their children. Teachers believed: parents want to support student learning at home, but lack academic skills; parents are the influential in the educational experience of the students; and parents are hesitant to ask school staff for help.