Family Volunteers as Alternative Future Resources: School Leaders’ Beliefs and Practices
Keywords:Family volunteering, school – family partnerships, family engagement, school leaders, parents involvement, Collaboration, transformational and shared leadership, and family volunteering.
Schools and community engagement are seen as effective factors for making schools a thoughtful place. This case- study employed mixed methodology to explore the phenomena of parent involvement and to know the exact characteristics of the leadership style in the school. This case study examined and described school leaders’ perspectives, attitudes and practices towards parents’ involvement in an Abu Dhabi primary school using a variety of data sources including, interviews, open-ended teachers’ questionnaires, school self-assessment surveys and mothers’ council self-assessment surveys. The findings revealed that the school leaders effectively employ multiple collaborative, shared and transformational leadership practices to improve parent/family volunteering. Teachers and parents have good communications. The mothers’ council and the administration enhanced many different parental activities. There are some barriers in parents ‘participation like language and the lack of the awareness of important role of parents in the school. The implications of this study revolve around the important roles the school leaders have in helping parents feel supported and encouraging family volunteering. The school leaders have to increase the encouragement of parents’ involvement in general and family volunteering in particular. This study is a calling for a shift from random acts of parents’ involvement to coherent, comprehensive, continuous, systematic and equitable family volunteering approach.
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