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The old theory for Cambodia people to ward education especially for women was passed through many generations. This is because of either custom and tradition or the real situation of the Cambodia society. It is an example and also the fact of Cambodia. Due to the prolonged civil war, this country is nearly destroyed because of the ambitious of some politicians such as Lon Nol era and Pol Pot genocide regime that caused Cambodian people to kill each other especially intellectual people. Many people could not get education during these civil wars. Therefore, most of older Cambodian people are illiteracy.
The lack of human resources is the most difficult problem for the Cambodia royal government to develop the country today. Now in order to develop the Country, the Royal Government of Cambodia had set out that the Education Factor is the first key to be focused and it must start at the early childhood of children. This commitment can reach to the success unless there is a strong involvement of parents because they are the people who stay closed and more times with the children. So both government and some NGOs have a strong corporation to set out many programs in order to educate parents the skills, theories and ideas for taking care and teaching their children. This study will focus on "Parenting Education in early childhood" with some objectives such as to examine the types of involvements as well as the factors that-Motivate the parents getting involved in educating their children besides schooling in rural areas, Cambodia. And the researcher wants to know whether there are any changes both ideas and practices. More important thing, this research will study whether there is a relationship between parenting education on early childhood and the learning outcome of the children.
According to the discussion based on some documents revealed that there many types of involvement for parents and there are many programs which relate to Parenting Education in early childhood and it also pointed that parenting education in early childhood program made them a lot of new changes of skills, theories, and ideas in taking care and teaching their children from the earlier year.
Finally, this research report can provide the valuable insights for all education sectors both government and NGOs that are interested in educating parents for taking care and teaching their children, especially for improving children's development.
In order to develop the Country, the Royal Government of Cambodia had set out that the Education Factor is the first key to be focused and according to the 1993 Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia articulates the need and responsibilities for parents and the state in children's development and education. The first goal of Education for All (EFA) aims to expand and improve early childhood, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. The Early Childhood National Policy framework by the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) articulates that in order to achieve its EFA goals, it is necessary to expand provision of ECCE services through the support of families and communities. Thus, educating parents is linked to the achievement of the goal on increasing enrollment in grade 1, where the transition period from preschool to primary grades is a critical stage (New Humanity, n.d.).
Adding to this point, the government of Cambodia has realized that the present preschool is too little, too late for the large amount of children at the age of 3-5 years old. Therefore, the broad policy target will be to increase the net enrolment into ECCE of 5 year olds to 50 per cent by 2010 and 75 per cent by 2015 Nirmala Rao and Emma Pearson, 2007 (as cited in National Plane, 2003).
In addition, children in early childhood stage are in the age of three to five. At this stage, they try to learn almost everything from elder people around them in order to go along well with their peers, and they need more warmth and time from their parents or care givers. He, Oloutou (2010) continued saying that the "basic needs of a child vary according to the developmental stage of him/her", the needs can be classified into physical, emotional, social, intellectual and spiritual needs. ECE is a very important stage for children to develop themselves in those four main areas. Beside these, they start to learn how to have good daily hygiene, to take care of their own health - individual properties as well as others. In ECE, children are provided special education and needs. In order to help children to grow up in an appropriate way, parents must take an important role to play. That is why parents need to be supported because we must do things in the right way and at the right time (Oloutou, 2010).
More than that, MoEYS (2010) mentioned that the main key of RGoC for improving future high living standard of the people and reaching the goal of the education for all (EFA) is to keep on educating the children who are going to be the pillars of country development. And in order to achieve these aims, the Royal Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia (RGoC) with the local and international partners, and education stakeholders as well as the parents has to ensure the children health care and development. The children in the age of 3 to 5 is necessary to meet the 5 basic needs such as physically, morally, emotionally, intellectually and socially so that they can work well especially learning (p.1).
In addition, the children can learn whatever they have seen and heard. For example, they observe what the older people talk and interact with each other. They also learn from their surrounding environment both direct and indirect ways. That is why the Royal Government of Cambodia considers the Early Childhood Education as a very significant today priority program for children to attend the class and also provide the basic understanding before being ready to the primary schools and also the parents are the very essential people for helping this program move forward because most of the times the children under the age of six often stay with the parents more than teachers, like walking, learning the language, and other activities (NGO Education Partnership, 2008).
Similarly, the Royal Government of Cambodia spent nearly US$ 750,000 for ECD in 1997. To support this program, the NGOs also got involve keeping this program forward by funding around US$ 300,000. They emphasized much on how to improve the quality of the program through training 2,000 pre-school teachers, curriculum, and tools updated. For example, the UNICEF is taking part to help the 609 Community based pre-schools with the kids who are in the age of 3 to 5 years with draining expends, facilities, and others in 2005 (UNECO, 2006).
Furthermore, ARNEC News Flash (2009) stated that the Parenting Education In Early childhood are considered as one of the most important education systems in Cambodia nowadays. It provides the parents the ideas and reaches the goal of increasing enrolment in grade 1.
More importantly, the Royal Government of Cambodia has focused to the child, family, and people in the community to fulfill abilities and particularly, the early childhood which has been legally accepted by the National Government as the first step to educate the children (ARNEC Connections, 2011).
Adding to this point, the main task for the Royal Government of Cambodia had set out that the RGoC want to achieve 50 percent of Cambodia children aged between three to five attending preschool programs by 2015. These programs are also supported by the UNICEF's Community Action for Child Right with both materials and budget. Many child care classes were practiced under the help of UNICEF for encouraging young women and adolescent girls to access these classes and the number of children aged 3-5 attended in 1,282 community preschools up to 28,339 (14, 932 girls) in 320 communes, 17 districts, and 12 provinces, Cambodia (UNICEF, 2012).
1.2 Problem Statement
Researches on Parenting Education in Early childhood by Michigan Department of Education (2001) and Education Partnership (2008) reveal many contributing factors of Parenting Education such as: "parent expectation and student achievement, the impact, and when parents should get involve". Of cause older Cambodia people who are in the remote areas are illiteracy, so most often what they do following the out of dated ways like ways of educating their children and their beliefs etcâ€¦ Some citizens seem to have the ideas that they just send the children to school and try to earn the money and support them. Those are their works. Whatever students can make sense or not, it is for the teachers while some others seem to have accuses that I have no time to teach my children and have no enough money to support. And some parents do not provide the value to education. Those careless nesses let the education getting lower and lower. The level of the students understanding is getting worse and worse. It may be a crucial problem for the country development.
1.3 Research Objectives
The purpose of this study is to examine the types of involvements as well as the factors that-Motivate the parents getting involved in educating their children besides schooling in rural areas as. Consequently, it will also to check the parents' understanding on parenting education before and after the training in the remote rural areas of Cambodia, Kampong Chhnang province. In addition, it will be possibly looked in detail about the parents' education background and the students' knowledge. All of these will be identified based on the literature review for analyzing. More important thing, this research will study whether there is a relationship between parenting education on early childhood and the learning outcome of the children.
1.4 Research Questions
This study is conducted purposely to answer the following three research questions
What factors motivate parents to get involved in Parenting Education- parents participating in PE?
What are the obstacles for parent to get involved in PE?
After getting the training on PE, what are the changes?
1.5 Significance of Research
It is very important for providing the early basic education to children. The young children can learn something quickly whatever happened around them. That is why during the earliest years, parents are the drivers for driving the children. During this development stage, the children can become good or bad depending on the ways which the adult people taught them. If the old people educate them the good things, they will be good too. However, they will be very cruel, if they are taught the bad thing.
First this study will help to expand understanding of parents toward PE as well as government and other partnerships that are doing activities with this program. It is hoped that it will also provides insights to teachers and administrators to think about the significance of the transition period which refers to the time that children are being fully developing, and not yet schooling in grade one.
Secondly this research may also help Cambodian people to focus more on ECE which is the root of education to sharp the people to be good citizens in the near future. In this way, the parents will probably understand and provide high value for education.
Finally, the results of this study will also be a part of considerable idea for parents teacher training and short training program to build up their understanding especially teacher training and short training program to develop their professional skills in early childhood program. It may be help the next researchers who want to further researching related with this topic and for the next generation to be awareness of the PE to ECE.
1.6. Key Term Definition
To make the readers easier understands the context clearly, there are two key terms which are defined as follow: " Parenting education" is an organized, programmatic effort that is strengths-based and designed to support parents and other parenting partners while enhancing their competence & confidence to improve their child-rearing knowledge and skills. Parenting education has been shown to decrease child maltreatment, substance use and abuse in families and communities, and increase child resilience and school performance, which lead to academic success (North Carolina Parenting Education Network, n.d.).
Another one is "Early Childhood". Early Childhood Education is a term that refers to educational programs and strategies geared toward children from birth to the age of eight. This time period is widely considered the most vulnerable and crucial stage of a person's life. Early childhood education often focuses on guiding children to learn through play. The term often refers to preschool or infant/child care programs (Beth Lewis n.d.).
1.7 Chapter Outline
This paper will be chronologically composed of five main chapters. Chapter one is the introduction, consisting of background of the study, researcher problem, research objective, research question, significance of the study, and definition of key concepts. Chapter two is literature review, which discusses on the problems and solutions of the study. Chapter three is methodology, which consists of research design, participants, method, instruments, tools data collection, data analysis, ethnical consideration, strengths and limitation of research. Chapter four is discussion. Chapter five is conclusion and recommendation, summarizing the problems and findings of the study.
This section will show out of the literatures that present the information under various heading and sub-headings involving with the parenting education. The literatures will identify some reasons for motivating and getting parenting into parenting program as well as they will clarify the obstacles or challenges within the program. The literature also briefly describes the role of parents in education system and parental involvement program. The literature review on this paper also has been the results of reviews from theories and studies by scholars, organizations, and especially educational experts in parenting education in early childhood. However, some major educational agencies, such as UNESCO and UNICEF will shape and provide guidelines for this study. More importantly, there will be presented the changes of parents toward parenting education based on the previous studies.
2.2 Type of involving in Parenting Education and definitions
According to Barnardos' the National Children's Resources Center (Barnardo's NCRC) (2006) defined that "Parental Involvement as engaged participation by parents in a consistent, organized and meaningful way in the consultation, planning implementation and evaluation of programs and activities that assist their child's development" (p.3)
Chrispeels and Gonzalez (2005) stated that "knowledge is a powerful predictor for involvement" meaning that the involvement can work well unless we provide the education to the parents first. That is why the encouragement and value for pursing the parent to take part in raising high performance of students' learning are very essential. Adding to this point, the achievement and the adjustment of children not only focus on Schools and Governments but also Parents themselves. That was the reason which UK government set up the policy for education system called "Parenting Education", and it is considered as the very important factor which influent or impact to children's learning progress. More than this, the researchers also found out that there were many forms. This is shown in table 1 below and the level of impacts of parental involvement. For example, children can be provided many kinds of supports- physically, intellectually, morally, emotionally, and socially both direct and indirect from their parents. Depending in this finding, the researchers also clarified that the "social class, poverty, health, and also with parental perception of their role and their levels of confidence in fulfilling it are the difficulties for parental involvement. One thing in the report is that parent should be a good home parent. It means that parents are the essential elements to make changes for the children (Chrispeels & Gonzales, 2005).
Type of involving in Parenting Education and definitions
Type of involvement
providing housing, health, nutrition, safety; parenting skills in parent-child interactions; home conditions to support study; information to help schools know child
in school help in classrooms/events
teaching at home
help with homework, help with educational choices/options
membership of PTA/governors
contributions to school
Note. Epstein's conceptual framework for family-school-community involvement Desforges C &Abouchaar A, 2003, p.18 as cited in (Kreider, 2000).
2.2.1 Benefit of Parental Involvement
Naturally, all children want to get a comfortable feeling from their parents. However, there has been a shift in the workplace with more women taking up employment since 1980 and men also work. So some children have a little bit time with their parents. Children should be provided a lot of good experiences and education from birth to adolescence. In addition, they need the safe and caring environment in their families in order to accomplish their goal. As everyone has already known that parents are considered as a key educators of their children's learning development and parents are also main characters who have a special connection such as communication and relationship with children. Therefore, parental involvement is very significant to enable them to help their children and lead them to be success. That is why parental involvement programs are useful for parents to build on the children general understanding as well as the parenting skills. There is one evidence proved that the more parents spend times with children at home, the more children develop high level learning outcome (Barnardos' NCRC, 2006).
2.3 The encouragement and motivation for parents involving in Parenting Education
The encouragement and motivation for parents are the most significant task for PE and it is also the most complicated thing to accomplish. According to Akkok F. (1999), there are many countries which have been trying to update or making changes the education systems for the country; especially for the early childhood education. Meaning that providing the education to the children- age 3 to 5 is very important for developing their abilities for thinking. There are many factors both direct and indirect which have the influent to develop the children's learning such as social environment, school environment, community environment, and home environment. Parents are a very necessary factor which directly influences to children among all of the factors for leading the children to grow well. That is why the Parenting Education Program provides a lot of advantages to parents to gain the skills, knowledge, and experiences. There are many ways in which the parents are encouraged to get involve in students' learning both at home and at school such as "conducting parenting skills seminars, having regular meeting to discuss curriculum, teaching parents how to teach their kids with home study and home activities, encouraging parents to educate themselves, and providing opportunities for parents and students to learn together."
More over, Judith L. Even P.A who had researched in Early Childhood Development showed that children in the age of zero to three needs various inputs to let them grow well for example; the five basic needs- Intellectually, Morally, Physically, Emotionally, and socially are very essential for them. In addition, the children's brain start to form the image and the first two years they begging to form sounds, pictures, and something around them. To help them with these demands of learning, the support from the stakeholders is necessary. Because of this idea, the Parenting Education was useful to implement to the program. The Parenting Education not only occur now but also existed for many years. One main thing which the authors found is that the growth of children was not totally the same. It means that the children require different thing while they are growing from day to day. There are not only parents but also including the government, and the surrounding environment. The authors strongly agreed that "Parenting is the provision of ongoing care and supports that a child needs in order to survive and thrive. All children have the need and right to be parented". Children can acquire or catch up something faster and faster during the first three years. This might begin from a little bit independent. So the Parenting Education and Parenting support must go with this growth. (p.3)
Similarly, the Parent Education is a main key for educating parents to feed their children with effectiveness. To reach this goal, both governments of any countries and their own partnership try to set up or change the Education policy to update the quality of children's learning achievement. Unlike Most other types of formal parenting education interventions, a parenting newsletter offers only informational support. It offers no practical assistance or obvious emotional nurturance nor is there expectation for reciprocal support. Most important for research design, newsletters also provide a standard stimulus to all recipients, unlike face-to-face parenting programs in which various factors make every instance of program delivery a variable stimulus. This new form of the involvement of personal social network has influence to parent education that each member of the family- mother or fathers works together with the other participants of other family to reach the common goal for children raising. Both reading the newsletter and doing the discussion can provide a lot of advantages for Parenting Education and this can train the parents with the skills for feeding their children (Walker, David, & Riley, 2001).
One more important thing, UNICEF (2010) also has already done the draft report which focuses on the development of "Early Childhood Development". The aim of this draft report is to collect the "real life stories from around the world. UNICEF fully agreed that "Early childhood years are the most crucial to our physical, cognitive, social and emotional development" and the children who are neglect from daily caring when they are very young may face many serious problems for their lives such stay away from education in early childhood. Thus some of them are in school, their learning is not effective. Most of these problems are mainly caused by the starvation, and low living standard of family. In this report raised some countries which are now trying to promote the early childhood development like Swaziland, Ghana, Cambodia, Malawi, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mongolia, and Nepal. The people are living in the extreme poverty among these country like Swaziland- 70% and twenty five percent of the children living with motherless support. The governments of these countries are now working hard with national and international partnerships to help those orphan children; for example, the creation of 'Neighborhood Care Points (NCPs)". Seeing the successful process of this program, UNECEF provided some facilities for schools, and some local people are volunteers to help NCPs and the governments, partnerships, and parents to provide the health care, and learning achievement of the children. Furthermore, some points also illustrate that most of the children who are out of schools or low learning achievement cause by the lack of parents' understanding to take part in improvement of children's learning process.
Zepeda M, Varela F & Morale (2004) stated that there are "five Critical components" for building up the health of children to have a good health and preparing them to attend class effectively, and these components aim to improve parents and communities to bring up the children ahead. Moreover, these five elements were accepted for state early childhood strategic planning efforts: These five components are:
Access to medical homes
Services and supports to promote the positive socio emotional development
and mental health of young children and their families
Early care and education services
Parenting Education services
Family support service".
Meanwhile the Parenting Education is very significant for building up the parents' skills and knowledge to take part in children's learning, health, and other developments of children. Meaning that parents is one of the main keys for locking or unlocking the door of the family- whether the family can move forward or backward, it depends on the parents. Parents are not only helpful for improving children's learning but also let the country move forward. Because of the changing of society- Mobility society, most families are nuclear families. They don't live with their parents any more after getting married, and having children. In addition, both of them-father and mother go to work and most of the times care for work. Sometimes they forgot to take the time for responding the tasks being as parenting. That is why Parenting education program is one of new main poly for proving parents the skills, knowledge on how to take part into children's learning process as well as health care.
Similarly, the Philippines is one of the countries that firstly started up the program focusing on the early childhood development (1960's) - called "Healthy start is intensive, community-based, home-visiting program that enrolls pregnant women and families with newborns and provides support for healthy family and child development during the first three years of the child's life." This program strongly emphasizes on well parenting actions and improving parental understanding of child development with playing games to support healthy development and learning for newborns mothers. Furthermore, the Family Support workers (FSWs) go directly to talk with parents- home visiting. While they are visiting the parents with four months of age babies and again every two months till they are two years old, the FSWs use the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) for the children. As the result, the healthy program provides a lot of good benefits for parents in Philippine in term of "knowledge of child development, parenting practices, and child health". In addition, the number of parent enrollment in ECD is getting more across the Philippines (ARNEC Connections, 2000, p 4-8).
According to ARNEC Connections, 2000 release that Cambodia is the same as Philippines as well as other countries in the regions that now the national government is very interested in child care, education, family and community development, especially the early childhood development through educating parents. Seeing this attention, the NGOs like the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is one of the organizations that work strongly with the children's learning and health care, particularly through joining with the parents, communities and commune leaders for improving children's learning in the rural areas in Cambodia. Because of the high number of illiteracy and poor living standard of people in the rural areas, Cambodia, ADRA decided to create one project called "Literacy for Women's Health and Empowerment (LWHE)" for improving literacy skills for the people in the target regions such as understanding about health problem and community development through group discussion- village women and one facilitator. Consequently, after noting that project provided a good outcome as well as observing that parents have less cooperation with children such as communication with each other and activities, ADRA made one more project accompany with LWHE called A New Day for Kids (ANDK) in 2008. The main task of ANDK is educating parents- men and women in order to join or encourage their children to get knowledge from the first stage (pp15- 25).
Furthermore, AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF FAMILY STUDIES (2006) stated that most people who live in the rural area have no enough important skills- child rearing,, social support, and child development skills. So in order to help children from maltreatment, they created two programs called Parenting Education and Home Visiting programs to prevent children from abusiveness. Through educating parents and visiting homes, most parents are motivated to involve in PE because these programs strongly focus on "increasing parental knowledge of child development; assisting parents in developing parenting skills; and normalizing the challenges and difficulties inherent in parenting, especially creating safe and supportive environments for children." They don't only emphasize on parents but also children and communities. Figure 2 bellow shows the types of child maltreatment prevention programs that their objectives mostly reach to the parents, children, and communities.
Types of child maltreatment prevention program
Personal safety programs
Assertiveness training for "at risk" children.
Universal nurse home visiting programs
Parent Education Program
General media awareness campaigns
Targeted media campaigns in "at risk" communities.
The strong involvements of parents toward children development lead to many factors such as "family social class, maternal of education, maternal deprivation, material psycho- social level and single parent statusâ€¦" In addition, in England the governments created the policies which motivate the parents to get involve in educating their children before schooling and during schooling with "a good foundation of skills, value, attitude and self concept". The policies consisted with three elements "Providing parents with information, Giving parent a voice, Encouraging parental partnership with school" (Charles Desforges & Alberto Abouchaar,2003).
2.3 The impact of parenting education and children development.
There were several studies about this issue and they showed different results about those studies. Some results revealed that there was no relationship between parent involvement and children development, but others expressed the positive impact between parent involvement and children development. And the studies which expressed the positive effect focused on Parenting Education. When parents take part in educating children, their children's learning outcome is better for example: the repeated rate is less, low dropping out students, regularly attendant, hart comforted feeling, and full feeling of encouragement. In addition, the earlier parents walk into educating children, the better affect to children (Sam Redding, p. 22).
Furthermore, "young children are born with ability to learn, but they need the encouragement and freedom to be able to develop that ability". And there are only parents who are the main agents to provide these needs for them from early childhood. Furthermore, there are only parents who initially know the development of their children and what they need. Then give them those needs. Table3 bellow shows the children's development needs (Judith, 1998).
The children's development needs
What children do
What children need
Birth to 3 months (inclusive)
begin to smile
track people and objects with eyes
respond to faces and bright colors
reach, discover hands and feet
lift head and turn toward sound
cry, but often soothed when held
protection from physical danger adequate nutrition, exclusive breastfeeding if possible from birth to six months of age adequate health care (immunization, oral rehydration therapy, hygiene) an adult with whom to form an attachment responsive, loving interactions with
significant, consistent people an adult who can understand and respond to their signals things to look at and hear
4 to 6 months
prefer parents, consistent
caregivers and older siblings
repeat actions with interesting
respond when spoken to laugh, gurgle, imitate sounds
explore hands and feet
put objects in mouth
sit when propped, roll over, scoot,
grasp objects without using thumb
In addition to the above:
things to touch, smell, taste
opportunities to explore the world
appropriate language stimulation
daily opportunities to play with a variety of objects
7 to 12 months (inclusive)
remember simple events
identify themselves, body parts,
familiar voices understand own name, other common words
say first meaningful words
explore, bang, shake objects
find hidden objects, put objects in
sit unaided creep, pull themselves up to stand may seem shy or upset with
In addition to the above: consistency in the environment and in adult expectations of the child
encouragement of effective
1 to 2 years
imitate adult actions
speak and understand words and
enjoy stories and experimenting
walk steadily, climb stairs, run
assert independence, but prefer
recognize ownership of objects
show pride in accomplishments
like to help with tasks
begin pretend play
In addition to the above:
support in acquiring new motor, language, thinking skills
a chance to develop some
help in learning how to control their own behavior
opportunities to begin to learn to care for themselves
opportunities for play and
play with other children
health care must also include
2 to 3 2 years
enjoy learning new skills
learn language rapidly
always >on the go=
gain control of hands and fingers
are easily frustrated
act more independent, but are still
act out familiar scenes
In addition to the above,
positive role models
engage in dramatic play
sing favorite songs
work simple puzzles
learn co-operation, sharing, helping
Note: Adapted from, National Association for the Education of Young Children, 1985, 1995; and Donohue-Colletta, 1992
According to New Humanity revealed that there are 125 children (71 females) attend the kindergartens in Boribor district in NH during 2006-2007. It added that the high attendance of children from year to year is because of the involvement of parents who came to join the monthly meeting which is prepared by the staff of NH. Parents have been taught and have been studied how to take care of their children, how to live in a better life, and how to teacher their children at home. As one of the women who attended the PE in NH said that "pre-school activities are important and children learn best depend on their age and stage of development which I learned from the child development framework." Children development cannot attain on its own, children need support from parents, teachers and neighbors (New Humanity, 2012).
In addition, according to Harvard family Research Project (HFRP) (2006) believed that most children from birth to adolescence develop their knowledge both academic achievement and social development from their surrounding environment, particularly parents. The outcomes of children depend on how or what their parents take part in. Figure 1 below identifies the processes of family involvement- parenting education and young children outcomes So parenting education is only one way which guides parents to aware of the children's development needs like playing and learning through family involvement processes such as "attitudes, values, and practices of parents in feeding young children with warm feeling and responsive parents" (pp.2-4).
The processes of family involvement and young children outcomes
2.4 The challenges and benefits of parenting education program.
Most parents in remote areas have poor education in most of underdeveloped countries and developing countries For example, most parents in Boribor district of Cambodia did not complete basic education and don't know how to read and write. That is why most of them who attended the PE in early childhood are difficult and unhappy. They said this is because of the Khmer rouge and old mind set of their parents in the past. However, most of them said that they want to change the ways to treat their children but how to teach if they themselves don't know about those techniques, and skills. Therefore, PE program is one of the main keys to give parents intellectual and skills (New Humanity, 2007).
Adding to this point, Based on the Bonnie Stelmack (2002) draw three key conclusions about parental involvement- parenting education.
1. Parental involvement tends to decline across the grades unless schools make conscious efforts to develop and implement partnerships with parents. Reasons for this declining pattern include parents' lack of familiarity with curriculum at the higher grades; adolescents' preferences to have their parents stay involved in less visible ways; parents' decisions to return to the work force once their children gain more independence; and secondary teachers' lack of awareness of how to effectively involve parents at the higher levels.
2. Affluent parents tend to be involved in school more often and in positive ways, whereas economically distressed parents have limited contact with schools, and usually in situations dealing with students' achievement or behavior. Schools that work on building relationships with all parents, however, can equalize the involvement of all socioeconomic groups.
3. Single parents, employed parents, fathers, and parents who live far from the school, on average, are less involved in the school unless the school organizes opportunities that consider these parents' needs and circumstances. Although these patterns are generally observable among schools, they can be overcome if school develop programs that include families that otherwise would not become involved on their own. (p.1)
Parenting education program provide parents a lot of advantages. Through the program, parents have the opportunities to get or to share knowledge and skills related to child care and child's learning. Especially, home visiting program provide a direct help for parents- knowing what parents are lack of both skills or ideas and materials. Facilitators or supervisors teach parents to create a good home environment to sustain the learning process of the pre-school children. The other benefits of the program are parents have chance to join workshop, courses with experts, and parent group discussion and most of the topics which they discus involving with child development stage as well as parent-child activities. Depending on the one research finding states that "programs that teach mothers to improve the quality of cognitive stimulation and verbal interaction produce immediate effects on the child's intellectual development" (Sam Redding, n.d.).
2.4.1. Home-based Programs
According to UNICEF revealed that "supporting home-based programs, which train parents to create a stimulating environment at home that promotes early learning for their children" (p.4), early childhood education can provide children aged 3-5 a lot of benefits. Children can start to study the languages and social skills early on in life. They quickly acquire from their neighborhoods especially parents. So whatever parents' activities do, they have a strong impact on children's development. If parents do something badly or use a rough speech, children will absorb quickly as possible as they can. That is why providing parents the positive education is very necessary.
The aim of Home-based parenting programs is for making the role of parents as key educators and how they can be improved in this role through parental engagement in home early learning. They strongly emphasize on the Parenting Education and there were a few provinces which were taken to practice such as for the six provinces under the supporting from UNICEF including Kampong Speu , Kampong Thom, Oddar Meanchey, Prey Veng, Svay Rieng and Stung Treng. There are many advantages that are provided through Home-based programs, particularly for educational resources and parents' opportunities for gathering as a group weekly. These groups of parents will be helped by a "core" mother, who guides other mother the instruction, ideas or skills on how to upgrade children's development and well-being. Mother gathering as groups and their children are typically done for one hour a week for 24 weeks a year. In the 2003 National Plan (RGOC, 2003) home based programs were envisaged as an important part of the structure of ECCE but were not well-conceptualized, other than to be described as 'play groups'. While the MoEYS, with UNICEF support, has recently developed and distributed a calendar of prescribed activities for the HBP, there seems to be a lack of formal documents about home based pre schooling. So far, however, home based preschools reach only a small number of children; 13,447 of whom 6,770 are female in school year 2005-2006, although this is an increase of 7,893 (58.69%) over school year 2004-2005 (Department of Early Childhood Education, 2006) (Nirmala Rao & Emma Pearson, 2007).
Nirmala Rao & Emma Pearson (2007) continue that So for the moment at least, home based preschools are the fastest growing sector, albeit they represent a small proportion of the total pre-school provision. HBP programs are supported by several NGOs and tend to adopt slightly different models depending on the funding agency. However, they all tend to emphasize developing basic education competencies using local contexts, resources and parents' own skills and capacities. Part of the program involves working with parents to help them understand how they could help their children to learn and assisting them to design child development activities that are comprehensive, holistic and culture-specific. For example mothers are encouraged to maintain a loving, caring, safe and secure environment, to promote routine health habits, engage with their children during home-life activities, and engage their children in activities such as story-telling, visits to the market, special events and celebrations. In addition to activities around the home, activity sessions for mothers and their children are conducted by a preschool teacher and held at a home-based centre. Although 'parents' are the formal targets the key player is almost always the mother. Within the project "core" mothers were identified as women with more experience, selected by villagers, but from the same villages and socio-economic circumstances as the other mothers. They receive training from preschool and primary teachers and attend monthly meetings where they are given hand-outs and hands- on practice with children in homes, peer support and co-operative problem solving. They were also given "justifications" as to why some interventions were better or worse than others so they developed a theoretical understanding of the reasons behind preferred actions. The program as it is operating now has a core mother and Group mothers who assist the core mother in working with the groups. The Group mother is herself a mother with a young child and a beneficiary of the program. The advantage of this program is that it requires little money to run and the capital costs are zero. It is thus replicable in other poor, isolated and remote communities. It also establishes networks of information and support between mothers and between villages and government officials from the Provincial and District Education Offices. Simple games, lessons and learning activities can be developed using materials and resources easily available in the village. A large number of children who would otherwise have had no access to pre schooling of any sort have been reached by HBP. Participation is typically an empowering experience for mothers who have acquired new skills themselves and been able to pass them on to other mothers in their villages introducing them to the idea of children's rights and the need for Education for All at the same time. However, there have been constraints. Insufficient supplies are provided for the Mothers' Groups as storage is a problem; the classes are generally held under the core mothers' homes in less than ideal circumstances; core mothers' are inexperienced volunteers whose teaching skills are limited by lack of training; no stipends or incentives are provided and ways need to be found to encourage greater community participation in and ownership of the outcomes of childcare and learning activities. It is obvious from these examples that much can be achieved without a large infusion of outside funds but it is equally obvious that without some additional funding such projects are unstable. In addition the reliance on volunteers who already have many demands on their time as wives, mothers and farmers with no recompense is almost certainly a limiting factor. It also remains to be seen how effective these home based projects are in preparing children for school and for preventing high dropout rates.
2.5 Conceptual framework
This research study tends to look into one issue- parenting education in early childhood in rural areas and link with the other previous studies that relate with this issue both global and local contexts in order to reach the decision on how to identify the ways to encourage or motivate parents to get involve in PE as well as to identify the forms or types of involvement of parents. Thus, most researches studies revealed that no one is perfect for all things and all people. It depends on the real circumstance of them and many cases such as: politics, cultures, and economics. These also need the support from the external and internal support. The parents can be encouraged to be involved in PE by intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. Base on these, many organizations decided to make a program called Home Visiting program. The program provides parents the opportunities to get or share ideas, skills, and understanding the value of involving in Parenting Education.
Base on the conceptual framework which parents take times to involve in PE for children's learning achievement. This framework also focuses on the challenges or obstacles of parents as well as program for learning and teaching during the transition period. CHAPTER 3
3.1 Research Design
Naturally, the first step for doing something new or changing the old concept to a new one might have some obstacles and those beliefs and the perception of parents to ward parenting education in early childhood are so complicated and those beliefs cannot be used numeric to measure. The appropriate method which is the best to look at the whole picture or the beliefs of parents is qualitative research. That is why the qualitative research method, semi- structure interview, and non- participant observation are correctly applied in this study in order to clarify and have in-depth understanding of parents' perceptions with the difficulties to get involve in Parenting Education, the motivation as well as the ideas of changing or practicing from the old to a new one for educating their children.
In addition, the qualitative research is a kind of research which "produces findings not arrived at by statistical procedures". It is appropriate for a research involving with perspectives topic. Qualitative research is best match for retaining culturally specific information about the values, opinions, behaviors, and social contexts of particular populations and it is normally related to people's experiences, emotions, feelings, and also concludes social movements, cultural problems (Anselm Stauss & Juliet Corbin, 1998).
3.2 Tools/instruments for data gathering
As it has already mentioned above, this objectives of this study want to find out the factors for motivating, the changes as well as the difficulties of parents involving in Parenting Education. In addition, the qualitative method will be used to collect the data. In order to reach the in-depth understanding, the interviewing of parents is the best. That is why in this study, the researcher will use qualitative method- interview. To go along with this process, the open-ended questions will be used to help the researcher. Other tools which are also possible for using are take-noted papers, tab recorder, etc.
3.3 Site, Population, Sample Size and Sampling Method
The purposive sampling technique will be used in this study. Parents who will be selected for interviewing in this research study are a case study in one organization called New Humanity Organization in Kampong Chhnang province. New Humanity is a catholic international organization, Nongovernmental, nonpolitical, and nonprofit making. It has been created by P.I.M.E (Pontificio Istituto Missioni Estere- Pontifical institute for Foreign Missions) in 1992. Since then it has carried out several education and rural development project in five different places: Kampong Speu, Phnom Penh, Kandal, Kampong Chhnang and Modolkiri. In order to reach the finding of objectives and research questions in this research study of parents' perceptions and practice toward Parenting Education for educating their children, 20 parents who have already been getting involved in Parenting Education in New Humanity Organization will be Purposively selected because they all have been trained and Practiced of Parenting Education.
3.4 Data collection procedures
The data and information collection which the researcher will be able to get in order to respond those parents' perceptions or ideas toward Parenting education and use as the first primary data can be provided by interviewing parents who have already jointed and practiced in Parenting Education program in New Humanity Organization in Kampong Chhnang province. In order to ensure the process of interview going smoothly, the open-ended interview questions will be prepared to ask the participants. One more important thing, the letter for asking permission will be asked from the office of Master of education program in order to asking permission from manager of New Humanity Organization before interviewing the parents and it is also considered as the evident for showing to the stakeholders who get involve in education factor. One point which can be also regarded as the significant thing to get well cooperation with the participant to provide the clear and real information is the encouragement and telling them in advance that all the answers which he or she said, are not affected to him or her. While the researcher interviews each participant, the take-note papers will be used to write down all the responds of the participants.
In order to get the triangulation result and to ensure that the data collection is more reliable, the triangulation technique is used by the researcher. According to Jonh Biggan (2008) Stated that " triangulation occurs when you use different sources of data to get a range of perspectives ( particularly useful in qualitative research) and so achieve a more rounded picture of what you are looking at." (p.101)
3.5 A Plan to Analyze Data
As it has mentioned above, this research study focuses on interviewing and regard as a qualitative research so that content analysis will be used in data description. All the things including interviews, and other related document which the researcher will hear and see during the interviews accompany with file-notes will be examined carefully and clearly in order to get the response to the research questions about the motivation, obstacles, and another.
In the name of a good researcher, the ethicality is the first thing which all researchers should think and behave carefully before conducting a research. To assure that the information from the participants is really from their minds and there is no influence on them, there will be some important ways in my research study that can be responded the participants with these points. Firstly, there will be a letter for asking permission from Med Program at Royal university of Phnom Penh (RUPP) before doing the field visit at target place- New Humanity Organization in Kampong Chhnang province. This asking permission paper will be given to the manager in advance to get the permission to interview parents who get involve in parenting education in early childhood and ask for some relevant documents if it is possible. Secondly, all participants will be asked to sign before being interviewed. Shortly speaking, they are all volunteers. One more important thing, there will be a very clear explanation to participants that the data collection from the interviews is for this research study only. The participants feel free for proving the replies. It means that they no need to answer all the questions and the names of the participants will be kept in secret.
Strengths and limitation of the method
Through the researcher will interview the parents, who are getting involving in Parenting Education in early childhood in New Humanity Organization, it will provide the in-depth-understanding of the parents' experiences and opinions toward parenting education in early childhood. In addition, there will be alot of strengths for this study. The opportunity in getting the interview of parents will be higher because the researcher has a good communication with one of thetrainers in the target organization. He will help the researcher to access to the manager of the organization for providing the permission to interview parents who have gotten involve in the organization. One more thing, the letter for asking permission of the study from Med Program at RUPP will give more help. The researcher will be able to gain reliable data.
On the other hand, there will be a limitation for this study. First, this study is a case study only. It will not be conducted with many areas so that the information is not for nationwide as well as it will not have influence to change the education sectors of the nation- Cambodia.
Depending on this description above, this study will be only provided the next researchers who are also interested in this topic some ideas to further more finding.
Result and Discussion
Depending on the purpose of this research study is to examine the type of involvements and the ways for encouraging parents to be more interested in children's learning as well as having actively involvement in PE programs. Finally, the discussion will mainly focus on what are the changes of parents' participations or activities toward PE and involving in teaching their children at home based on literature reviews and interview.
4.1 Discussion on the result learnt from literature as the secondary data.
Naturally, education is an essential factor for everyone in each nation both developed and developing nations. The education is likely a compass for showing us where the north or the south is. Education does not only for children but also for everyone in all ages and sexes. Education can occur anytime and anywhere. Children go to school and then they can learn from their teachers and friends. At home, they can acquire from parents, brothers, sisters and self study from books, as well as internets. The communities can also provide children the education. Results revealed that students actively learn at home when there is a present of the parents to get involve with them for example, helping them do homework, giving them good advices particularly giving them a warm hearted feeling. When parents take times with children, they may know what children need and what can make them happy. Children feel comfortable when their parents are interested in their learning. As the result, many organizations, NGOs, and government in many countries are getting more interesting in educating parents. There are only parents who can provide children a heart comforted feeling, happiness, motivation or encouragement besides schooling and communities that they are in.
Based on the literature has mentioned above, there are many types of involvement for parents and there are many programs which relate to parents' involvement in educating children in many countries including Cambodia such as Home Visiting program and Parenting Education in early childhood program.
However, there are some research showed that there is no relationship between parents' involvements and children development. This is because of having many types of parents' involvements, but most researchers which emphasized on parenting Education in early childhood showed that are a relationship between parent's involvements in teaching their children and children development. I strongly accept this idea. When parents take part in children's learning, the children are full feeling of motivation.
According to the result of this study as literature, PE in early childhood program is very necessary to provide parents skills, ideas, knowledge, and intellectual to help their children learn at home because most parents who live in rural areas in developing countries including Cambodia are illiteracy and some have low education. This is an obstacle to encourage them to join in the PE and Low living standard is also considered as a problem. Therefore, New Humanity Organization (NHO) has set a program to motivate parents to join in the PE. The program provides their children free breakfast, study, clothes, bicycle, and some other study materials. As the result, there are some parents decided to take part in PE program.
More over, based on the result above as a literature, there are positive changes on parents who got involve in PE program such as activities of teaching children, intellectual, knowledge and ideas growth for guiding or helping their children's learning process.
Education is likely a sharpness knife for everyone. It can guide us to do the right things. Education can bring us the peace, harmony, unity, and a stable society. Therefore, there are many countries- underdeveloped, developing, and developed countries provide the highest value on education sector. Education can make people to became good citizens, and develop their country. In addition to this point, children are the main characters that all governments of each country are concerning for. However, children can develop well both physical and mental, unless there is a strong involvement from government, teachers, communities, especially parents. Parents are the most important role for developing their children. Parents are people who always stay with children. There are only parents who can provide children the five basic needs. However, they also need the support from the government and NGOs to help them especially people who are in the underdeveloped and developing countries including Cambodia. It used to be a country which had an old mindset for women not to get education as well as the civil wars. A lot of sectors were changed many times from one era to another.
The education sector was nearly zero and most educated citizens were killed crucially during the Pol Pot regime. Nearly all people stayed far away from the education. That is why many older Cambodian people cannot read and write today. Here is one of the problems for parents on how they can they teach their children if they themselves know nothing about them- ideas, skills, and strategies. One more important problem is the poverty particularly people who are in the rural areas. The most concerning problem for them may be not the children's learning. However, they think how I can earn the money for everyday expenses. Therefore, they spend more times with work rather than with children. That is why there are many NGOs and government try to set the program to promote and to motivate parents to get involve in PE now.
We can conclude that Parenting Education is very necessary for teaching, and guiding parents to help their children's learning. Children feel full of motivation and enjoyment while their parents spend more times with them and care them. However, the PE program is still limited and faces many obstacles as mentioning above in Cambodia. There are very few districts that are conducted a parenting education in early childhood.
It is absolutely correct that parents try to make income for the family but parents should ask yourself a question why do I need to earn money. Most answers may be for family and children expenses such as clothes, items, and study. You want your children to have a bright future with a good job and to get a good honor in the society and to became a good citizen. So parents need to balance the time between work and children well. Parents should spend more time with children in order to guide, teach, motivate, encourage, and help them for their study.
In addition, government, NGOs, teachers, communities should have a strong commitment motivate parents to get involve in children's learning by creating man programs which relate to parenting education. It will be better if there is more PE in all rural areas, Cambodia. The country is going to have a harmony, peaceful society, and stable development when there are enough human resources.
5.2 Area for further researchers.
Based on the strength and limitation of this study, some suggestions for further research areas:
Researchers should conduct more research with parents who have not gotten to involve in PE.
To get more reliable information, researcher should observe parents' activities to ward children at home.
Researchers should more research on comparing the intellectual growth between children whose parents take part in PE program and whose parents are not.