SELECTED SOCIAL FACTORS INFLUENCING PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT IN CLASS SEVEN PUPILS’ HOMEWORK IN PUBLIC DAY PRIMARY SCHOOLS OF KAPTUMO DIVISION, NANDI COUNTY, KENYA

ABSTRACT
Parental involvement has been found to positively impact student achievement. Researchers suggest that parent involvement with their children's homework is associated with improved academic performance. It has therefore been considered a possible solution to underachievement. In Kenya, most low socioeconomic status parents show little or no interest in their children’s homework. This practice denies children from such families the benefits that come with parental involvement in pupils’ homework. This study therefore sought to investigate selected social factors influencing parental involvement in class seven pupils’ homework. Specifically, the study sought to find out whether parental perception, parental education and parental occupation influence parental involvement in pupils’ homework in public day primary schools of Kaptumo Division. This study was informed by Epstein’s Theory of School, Family, and Community Partnerships. The study was conducted using concurrent nested design. The design was important when looking at the nature of existing conditions in Kaptumo Division by combining qualitative and quantitative methods. The study population was class seven pupils from public day primary schools in Kaptumo Division. Stratified random sampling technique was used to select the schools that participated in the study. Simple random sampling was used to select 127 pupils, 12 teachers and 12 parents in the selected schools. This research employed two research instruments in soliciting information from the respondents, namely use of questionnaires and interview schedules. Descriptive statistics techniques were used to analyze the quantitative data and these included frequencies, means and percentages. The data was presented in form of tables and graphical presentations such as pie charts and bar graphs. Qualitative data was analyzed using selective coding of common themes and use of narratives. The study found a positive relationship between parental perception and parental involvement (r=.458) at a significance level of 0.01. Secondly, parental level of education was also found to positively influence parental involvement in homework (r=.586) at a significance level of 0.01. Finally, the study established no significant relationship between occupation and parental involvement (r=.180). . The study recommends that there is need for educating stakeholders including teachers, school management, ministry of education and others to sensitize parents on the importance of participating in their children’s education especially during homework.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Background of the Study
It is well known that parental effort makes a difference in educational outcomes and general child well-being. Indeed, greater academic achievement is predicted when parents are actively involved in their children’s educational process (Houtenville & Conway, 2008). Empirical evidence of this relationship is mounting thanks to the fact that the further allocation of public funds for education seems unable to eradicate educational failure. Schools, teachers and peers constitute complementary agents with parental effort often being crowded out by school resources and school size (Walsh, 2010). Yet, households and students’ own efforts play a key role in accounting for academic achievement (De Fraja, Oliveira & Zanchi, 2010). In the specific case of household impact, a vast empirical literature has been accumulated on parental time use, especially in the United States, indicating that the age of the parents’ youngest child, gender, family structure and mother’s educational attainment levels are all relevant driving factors (Bonesronning, 2010). Additionally, parental involvement programs have been shown to be notably effective (Avvisati, Gurgand, Guyon & Maurin, 2010).

However, little is known about the linkages between schools’ social and academic performance in sub-Saharan Africa; and specifically in the context of Kenya. In Kenya, studies have examined effects on primary school academic performance of school inputs such as textbooks, incentives (Glewwe, Kremer & Moulin, 2007; Kremer, Miguel & Thornton, 2007), neighborhood violence (Mudege, Zulu & Izugbara, 2008) and socioeconomic status (Onsomu, Kosimbei & Ngware, 2006; Hungi & Thuku, 2010). Duflo and colleagues (2009) examined the impact of peer academic performance on the peers of first graders in a randomized evaluation of a tracking system and found that high achieving students maintained their higher performance while low-achieving students benefited indirectly from tracking through their teachers teaching at a level more appropriate to the students. Muola’s (2010) study of eighth grade students in Machakos district in Kenya found that students’ motivation for academic achievement was associated with home background predictors, essentially parental socioeconomic status (SES). Further evidence for the SES gap in achievement is observed in earlier studies. Onsomu et al., (2006) document that most low SES parents in Kenya show little or no interest in their children’s school work, let alone their schools. In settings like Kenya, where there is limited financial and human capital, it is important to further examine how social elements in schools may serve to promote or undermine human capital formation.

Home-based parental involvement has been widely advocated because it affirms the knowledge and instruction received at school (Comer, 1995), provides assistance and clarification with homework (Cooper, 1989), provides structure for free time and homework time (Fan & Chen, 2001), includes visiting museums and other educational venues (Reynolds & Gill, 1994), and enhances and encourages motivations (Hoover- Dempsey & Sandler, 1995). In addition, as part of home-based involvement, parents can supplement instruction through educationally based, cognitively stimulating activities (Chao, 2000). However, McDermott, Goldman, & Varenne (1984) summarized the contradictory literature on parent involvement with homework. According to one view, homework fosters learning through practice and reinforcement and parent involvement with homework enhances relationships between the educational system and families. A contrasting view is that homework is often composed of meaningless tasks not geared to the individual needs of students and that parents who help may confuse the child.

It is on this background that the study sought to investigate selected social factors influencing parental involvement in pupils’ homework in public day primary schools. The study findings are very important in filling the gap of knowledge that currently exists concerning factors influencing parental involvement in homework.

Statement of the Problem
Parental involvement has been found to positively impact student achievement. Researchers suggest that parent involvement with their children's homework is associated with improved academic performance. It has therefore been considered a possible solution to under achievement; it is a remedy to the achievement problems in education.

However, it is not clear whether the same findings can be applied in public day primary schools in Kaptumo Division, Nandi County as there is no study known to the researcher has been done on the same. This study therefore sought to find out whether parental perception, parental level of education and parental occupation influencing parental involvement in pupils’ homework.

Purpose of the Study
This study aimed at assessing selected social factors influencing parental involvement in pupils’ homework in public day primary schools of Kaptumo Division, Nandi County.

Objectives of the study
Specifically the study sought:

i. To find out whether parental perception influences involvement in pupils’ homework in public day primary schools of Kaptumo Division

ii. To investigate whether parental education influences involvement in pupils’ homework in public day primary schools of Kaptumo Division

iii. To determine whether parental occupation influences involvement in pupils’ homework in public day primary schools of Kaptumo Division

Research Questions
The study was guided by the following questions;

i. Does parental perception on involvement influence pupils’ homework in public day primary schools of Kaptumo Division?

ii. Does parental education influence involvement in pupils’ homework in public day primary schools of Kaptumo Division?

iii. Does parental occupation influence involvement in pupils’ homework in public day primary schools of Kaptumo Division?

Significance of the Study
The study is significant because of the various benefits that several groups of people may derive from it. The policy makers in the Ministry of Education may benefit since the findings forms a basis of addressing the critical issues that may be affecting primary education especially with respect to learner achievement. Moreover, the findings of this study is critical to donors in guiding decisions on and justification for further funding since the study has revealed social challenges schools are coping up with in the funded area. Further, the education sector management bodies may use the findings as a source of information in gathering data on areas for improved performance in primary schools. To scholars and future researchers, this forms an important source of secondary data for further research in related studies. It is hoped that, the findings of the study may help in enhancing collective responsibilities for learning from all stakeholders of education.

Assumptions of the Study
The study was based on the following assumptions.

i. Homework was normally given to pupils.

ii. The subject/respondents would be co-operative and truthful in answering the questions presented in the questionnaire.

iii. The study also assumed that there was a relationship between parental perception; parental education; parental occupation and parental involvement in pupils’ homework in public day primary schools of Kaptumo Division

Scope of the Study
The study was conducted in Kaptumo Division where it covered only public day primary schools. Social factors that may influence parental involvement in pupils’ homework are numerous and wide including; age, marital status, income, religion, social class among other factors. However, the current study investigated on the selected social factors specifically whether parental perception influence involvement, parental education influence involvement and occupation influence involvement. This is because there is scanty information linking these factors to parental involvement in pupils’ homework and thus, the study sought to provide more elaborate and clear information on their relationships.

Limitations of the Study
First literature review on the study topic was a limiting factor. No studies have been done in Nandi County on social factors influencing parental involvement in homework, thus the study relied on studies mainly done outside the country. Furthermore, the study used a sample size of 12 out of 40 public day primary schools with a sample of 127 pupils, 12 teachers and 12 parents. This influenced generalization since the findings cannot be used to represent other counties in Kenya, findings are only limited to Nandi county.

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Item Type: Kenyan Material  |  Attribute: 71 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
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