Parent Mentoring Initiative Evaluation Publications
Image of PublicationParent Mentoring Initiative Evaluation The Parent Mentoring Initiatives is the forming of relationships between parents and school that enables both parties to contribute more effectively to the education and achievement of students. The evaluation is to assess the effectiveness of Parent Mentoring programmes and to explore the effect they have on student achievement.
Author(s): Ruth Gorinski, Pacific Coast Applied Research Centre. Report prepared for the Ministry of Education.
Date Published: September 2005
The Parent Mentoring Initiative was funded by the Ministry of Education between 2002-2005, for two key purposes. First, the project aimed to strengthen relationships through a bi-directional partnership between parents/caregivers and teachers; parents and children, and families/communities and schools, in order to support the educational achievement of learners. Second, the initiative sought to stress mutual responsibility and accountability around these partnerships.
A literature review conducted by Hucker (2001), identified a definition of parent mentoring that formed the basis of the Parent Mentoring Initiatives (PMI). Hucker defined parent mentoring as "the forming of relationships between parents and school that enables both parties to contribute more effectively to the education and achievement of students" (01/Contract/617 Parent Mentoring/Parent mentoring PISCPL RFP final doc. p.5).
Ministry of Education (Ministry) estimates indicate that 600 families were involved in the initiative in any one year. Primary data for this evaluation were collected from a total of 123 respondents. This included 77 parents who attended focus group meetings; 19 principals and 19 co-ordinators who provided feedback by way of either postal questionnaires or face to face interviews, and eight teachers who returned postal questionnaires. This constituted a 60% questionnaire completion rate across the three regions. The data were supplemented with material from analysis of secondary data pertaining to the Flaxmere and Counties Manukau initiatives (Brown, 2005; Clinton, Hattie & Dixon, 2004; Cotching, 2005; Counties Manukau Questionnaires; Hahn, 2005; Perry, 2004; Phillips, McNaughton & McDonald, 2002).
Analyses of the data indicate five key findings. First, a range of parent mentoring models and strategies have developed and been implemented, in unique and locally contextualised and appropriate ways, across each of the three geographical regions. Second, the support parents have received through the initiative is varied. Third, the benefits to teachers and schools from the PMI have been considerable. All schools made progress in reframing the home-school partnership and the various mentoring initiatives engendered considerable parent involvement, collaboration and team work.
Fourth, the PMI has impacted on home-school dynamics through enhanced: parent–child relationships; home-school relationships; co-coordinator-parent relationships; and parent–parent/community relationships. Finally, the data suggest that evidence of the success of the initiative is to be found in three key areas. These include 1) growth in the numbers of parents participating in school activities and an associated increased positive attitude toward school; 2) enhanced learner capability and 3) increased parent involvement in 'other' educational opportunities.
In sum, analyses of the data indicate that the PMI has enhanced the bi-directionality of relationships between homes and schools. The parent education strand of the initiative has been realised more fully in some regions than others. The impact of the initiative on student achievement, whilst anecdotally reported by respondents, has yet to be substantiated through a full analysis of quantitative achievement data.
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