Cambodia is one of ASEAN countries which had for a long time, suffered wars which destroyed infrastructure, the society and economy in Khmer Rouge time. In reconstructing the country, the education system has worked very hard and has played very important roles in order to meet the learning needs of children. UNESCO (1999) mentioned that now Cambodia is at a new turning point with its history. After free and universal elections under the supervisions of the United Nations, Cambodia has attained national reconciliation and stability in the areas of politics, society and the economy and has supported economic liberalization and competitive participation in international market arenas. Investment is flowing into Cambodia, which now results in the need for a labor force with technical skills at all levels. The Ministry of Education Youth and Sport (MoEYS), therefore, has to deal with this need successfully, as soon as possible.
Right now, Cambodia is peaceful country where is Cambodian people can stay and live happily in their country without thinking about war, but they think about their children's education at school in order to reach their goal in the future. So parents always have their own
perceptions as how best to develop their children's education in cooperation with teachers' perceptions at school. Crozier (2012) stated that parent-school relationships have evolved into what parents do with their children, such as help with homework, and/or what parents do for their children, such as choosing their school or providing learning resources. Lawson (2012) mentioned that teachers and parent have different perceptions of parent involvement. These different perceptions implicate diverse epistemologies, differential power, and some competing purposes. On the other hand, teachers and parents both claim that firm, mutually beneficial partnerships (or collaboration) between them are essential to children's learning, healthy development, and success in school.
Similarly, in the educational system, not only in primary education, but also in higher education, it is very useful that parents and teachers feel and understand their input in order to help their children and students in school. The children and students cannot succeed in their learning at school without them.
When parents are involved appropriately, children's academic achievements improve and other beneficial outcomes result, such as regular attendance, good behavior, test scores, and self-esteem. Parents and teachers have to perceive the meanings and functions of parent involvement at least similarly and compatibly, if not identically. Beneficial outcomes for children, teachers, and parents' alike hinge on the relationships parents and teachers develop around shared commitments to parent involvement (Lawson, 2012). In addition, Faust-Horn
(2003) described that assessing the perceptions held by parents and teachers regarding home-school relationship, and the impact on student success in school, can document some of the barriers to making and maintaining a successful relationship. Knowledge about these perceptions can also be used by teacher education programs that will focus on interpersonal relationships and the collaboration process. He added that there are some barriers such as socio-economic level, chaotic home situations, cultural differences, and level of parental education that are often perceived by educators as barriers to developing successful parent-school collaborations. In order for a successful home-school collaboration to develop, parents and educators must identify, break down, and remove barriers which may impede the process.
2. Statement of the problem
Based on the above description, parents, teachers play very important roles in order to build up the achievement of young students in primary school. They need to work together in order to develop the clever and good human resources for their studying until their higher education. Education in primary school is the main root to enter lower secondary, upper secondary and higher education. Gay, Mills & Airasian (2009) stated that teachers, parents and other community members must become involved in the movement to establish a strong
school-parent connection. Crozier (2012) mentioned that parent-school relationships have concerned with what parents do with their children such as help with homework, and/or what parents do for their children, such as choosing their school or providing learning resources. In addition, Benoit (2008) stated that the teacher-parent relationship is often more important to improving student achievement than any other measure. In an attempt to bridge the cultural gap between school and community, parent-teacher communication can improve academic performance for student in primary school. Schools and teachers are the ones most frequently blamed for not initiating contact as soon as the school year starts. Finally, while parents want their children to succeed in school, many believe that it is predominantly the school's responsibility to provide most of the instruction to their children. Similarly, Anaxagorou (2007) demonstrated that primary teachers and parents whether in a rural or an urban area consider school- parent cooperation as a positive and important factor in their respective spheres of interest. But, teachers had to maintain a more conservative stance in order to have relationships with the local community, because they believed that their professional autonomy is threatened by interferences of community stakeholders and agents. Similarly, the school-family relation is currently a topic of interest among parents, teachers, policymakers and all those involved in children's education (Deslandes, 2001). Dunlap & Alva (1999) mentioned that building and maintaining partnership with parents are the process of seeking to understand assumptions and to share meanings and expectations. The perceptions of minority parents will be alienated from primary school because of their lack knowledge about school protocol, differences of their income and education or ethnicity compared with school personnel. In turn, teachers at primary school will judge parents as uninterested in school environments. Dardenne (2010) mentioned that there are many some barriers of school-parent combination such as barriers of time, cultural difference, socio-economic status, and changing family structure impede the development of partnerships between schools and families.
This research study has shown the perceptions of parents and school staffs of school-parent involvement in primary school.
This research topic was conducted in one primary school in Kompong Speu province. This study attempted to research this topic and answer the following questions:
1. What are the beliefs of staff and parents about what the nature of school-parent relationship should be like?
2. What are their perceptions about the current functioning of their relationship?
1. The research may identify the perceptions of parents, teachers and school principal of school-parent connection in primary school.
2. The research may examine the positive perceptions of parents and teachers of school- parent involvement that can affect the students' achievement in primary school.
3. The research may also identify the negative perceptions of parents and teachers of school-parent relationship that can affect the students' achievement in primary school, too.
The results of this study are expected to offer some important contributions to primary school, primary teachers, parents, and administrators who are responsible for the development and implementation of primary programs and support services for young learners. In addition, the results of this study can also assist primary school personnel in developing programs and initiatives that assist young learners in becoming successful in primary school when parents, teachers have positive perceptions of school-parent connection.
Furthermore this study can assist primary school, primary teachers, parents, and administrators who are responsible for the development and implementation of basic programs and support services for children and young learners as it would be enable primary education personnel to go beyond simply labeling the barriers those young learners' experiences. An understanding of the context of the barriers to obtaining primary achievement and how those barriers are manifested within the life of the young learners provide more insight which could improve the methods by which primary school approach planning programs and offering support services from Royal government especially MoEYS, and NGOs in order to strengthen the quality of primary school.
It is very useful to review the research literature concerned with the research topic will describe in this study. To collect literature review for my research study, I have accessed some websites such as Search nu, Google, Google Scholar, Zunia, and the e-journal collection at James Cook University to identify the articles, research paper, books and journals focusing on the perceptions of parents and teachers of school-parent involvement in primary school. There were difficulties in accessing to some sources because many were password protected. In addition, many articles I have searched were very difficult to quote or cite because they did not provide detailed information. The key words used to locate the
literature review were: perceptions of parents and teachers of school-parent combination at school, school-parent involvement or connection and education in primary school. The references sections of relevant articles were also used for identifying other studies that would be related to this review.
The chapter has been constructed several themes. It will describe the relevant literature focused on the issues surrounding the research objective. The following sections will begin with: first perceptions of parents of school-parent combination at primary school, after perceptions of teachers of school-parent combination at primary school, and school-parent involvement.
Perceptions of parents of school-parent combination in primary school
It is important to understand what parents believe about parent involvement. What
involvement methods do parents value most? Which methods do they value the least? In order to answer these questions school staffs or teachers must understand the perceptions of parents.
In this case, Wright (2009) stated that teachers and parents must learn how parent perceptions of schools and involvement in education can shape parent involvement levels. He also mentioned that school staffs must be aware of the ideas parents have about parental involvement because some parents view involvement as taking the lead in monitoring responsibilities at home while others view involvement as being actively involved at the school itself and other parents might see an active role in the school as disrespectful and a sign of a lack of confidence in the school itself. Then the author emerged in the study that parents had a strong desire for a collaborative relationship between home, school, and community, and believed this type of relationship would foster a more family-like atmosphere between home and school in order to offer more support for the academic needs of their children. Starr, Foy, Cramer & Singh (2006) described that the age of the child was a significant factor contributing to satisfaction, etiology-specific knowledge and training is certainly desired by parents' perceptions. It is evident from written comments of the satisfied parents that having a knowledgeable and supportive staff, feeling a part of decision making concerning their child, and having teachers who are willing to learn about the disability and make appropriate adaptations are among the key ingredients contributing to their satisfaction.
It is not completely different between the education in pre-school and primary school.
In this case, Qadiri & Manhas (2009) stated that parents felt that education at an early age in an interactive and learning manner to their children is better equipped to handle primary school. Majority of parents thought that children get multiple benefits from early childhood education 25% of parents' involvement to develop concepts related to color, shape, texture, number, and alphabetical, counting, good health and hygiene habits. Pre-school and primary school help the children to learn and absorb things quickly. If pre-school and primary school were lacked almost all necessary facilities, the perception of parents thought that teachers are not properly trained and do not make any effort to strengthen the preschool and primary education component. Parents who sent their children to schools will be aware about schools and did not appreciate their role in those schools' education. Bosetti (2004) mentioned that:
Parents employ a mixture of rationalities in choosing primary schools for their children and quality of education. For the majority of parents their school choice decisions are informed by their social network, school visits, and talks with teachers. This raises the question of equality of access to accurate, quality information about choice options available, and to information that helps parents to understand the learning needs and preferences of their child. Parents of economically, and perhaps socially disadvantaged groups do not appear to be exercising choice, or accessing alternative school options. Therefore, there have to be other mechanisms in place to address issues of socioeconomic and educational disadvantage for these groups, and to ensure the academic success of all children. School choice does not appear to enhance the educational achievement or experiences of all children; rather is appears to be limited to children of middle to upper middle-class families.
Parents are willing to pay a house-price premium to access schools with higher than average test scores which based value-added has a prominent role in shaping parents' perceptions of school quality. Additionally, parents do value higher average levels of happiness at school, but their overall perception of school quality is dominated by academic performance (Gibbons & Silva, 2009). Similarly, Harris & Goodall (2008) stated that:
Parents' expectations set the context, and shape their own expectations and aspirations in order to build up young learners at school. Parents from middle-class families tend to have culturally supportive social networks, use the vocabulary of teachers, feel entitled to treat teachers as equals and have access to childcare and transportation, all of which facilitate parental engagement in schooling. This social capital allows them to construct their relationships with school with more comfort and trust. Therefore it would seem that the educational odds are still stacked against children and parents from low-income families and from certain ethnic groups.
Perceptions of teachers of school-parent combination in primary school
In order to be effective in school-parent combination in primary school, teachers must be able to work well with parents. But communicating with and involving parents it is typically the greatest challenge they face. Wright (2009) gave his point of views that:
Teachers from all levels indicated the need to improve parent involvement, and the idea of better communication appears to be paramount. The communication desired by teachers is reciprocal, not just teacher dominated while barriers to involvement exist, some even created by teachers or educational bureaucracy, educators appear eager to find new ways to integrate parents into all aspects of education in an attempt to improve student learning.
Teachers have to maintain a more conservative stance towards relationships with the local community, seem to prefer to keep a professional distance between themselves and parents, and depend on parents as a supplier of pupils is considered problematic by teachers at schools. Additionally, teachers and parents sometimes join hands, but only as long as the teachers benefit from this collaboration. Teachers and community stakeholders in urban sites appeared more conservative towards such a situation, and believed that such cooperation and such relations should be limited (Anaxagorou, 2007). Horvatin (2011) stated that school staff may also view low-income parents and students as inferior or in their financial position due to poor attitudes, behaviors, lack of motivation and work values and teachers or school staff should understand when parents are blamed for their children's downfalls, parents often become defensive, and often disrupts the ability for teachers to work with the parents. Teachers must be patient and know how to approach parents and communicate in a way to avoid conflict or any potential defensiveness that will only push parents further away from the school, is helpful not only for teachers, but also for increasing the likelihood for student success in primary school. Moroz (2011) mentioned that there were different perceptions of teachers of school-parent involvement.
Some teachers suggested that school administration can provide training for the teachers how to do parent volunteering in class in a way of workshops. It can be counted as a community and â€•that would be helpful. But other teachers considered mentorship on behalf of school administration would be a better way to facilitate parent involvement at school instead of formal training for teachers because teachers could learn from one another through a round-table discussions or mentorship. Teachers who involve parents into volunteering can share their experiences â€•on how to do it bestâ€- with those teachers who do not engage parent volunteers in class. Several teachers agreed if the school personnel would be trained to facilitate parent volunteering at school it probably would be helpful for all.
Hall, Conway, Rath, Murphy, & McKeon (2008) gave their opinion that teachers are very concerned to represent children's learning positively and honestly in school reports and in meetings with parents and teachers expressed their concern of the potential negative impact on children of critical reports. They are also wary of writing down their interpretations of children in too much detail, preferring to discuss issues in face to face settings.
School- parent combinations
The connection between schools and parents is very important in order to build up the
students' achievement at home and at school. Benoit (2008) stated that the teacher-parent relationship is often more important to improving student achievement than any other measure. In an attempt to bridge the cultural gap between school and community, parent-teacher communication can improve academic performance for students' especially young students in primary school. He also added that barriers between school, home, and community still exist and hinder attempts to increase parent-teacher communication. Finally, while parents want their children to succeed in school, many believe that it is predominantly the school's responsibility to provide most of the instruction to their children. Similarly, Porche, & Ross (1999) mentioned that an effective partnership between parents and teachers can facilitate the exchange of information about children's learning styles and abilities. In addition, the school-family relation is currently a topic of interest among parents, teachers, policymakers and all those involved in childhood education (Deslandes, 2001). Furthermore,
home-school relationships are also linked to various student achievement outcomes beyond grades, including adjustment across transitions and students' educational expectations for themselves (Kreider, Caspe, Kennedy & Weiss, 2007). Faust-Horn (2003) mentioned that there are some principles of home-school collaboration. First, a shared responsibility between the school and the home in order to provide students with a better education, next schools will welcome families and reach out to them, then schools will help families to process decision-making, after schools organize tutoring and other experiences to improve student learning, and families will monitor student's attendance, homework completion, and television watching, and take the time to listen to and communicate with their children. In addition, families will become acquainted with teachers and other school personnel and participate in the decision making process. There will be effective two-way communication between schools and families. There will be opportunities for families to learn how to help their children succeed in school and for school staff to work with families.