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Title: Where are the parents? : an exploration and examination of parental involvement of mothers of girls with learning disabilities in primary mainstream schools in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Author: Binammar, S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8498 2899
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2019
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Parental involvement (PI) in education refers to how parents participate in home or school settings to support their children's learning. In recent years, the concept of PI in education has been widely explored and examined in many Western countries such as the USA and the UK. Research indicates the importance of PI in relation to children's behaviour and academic achievement. PI is thus considered to be a necessary component of effective education. The significance of PI in education is also evident in international policies and legislation. In Saudi Arabia, however, there is, to date, minimal research in this field and no direct legislation or national policy statements emphasise or discuss PI, yet it is an educational concern for parents and teachers. PI is considered to be particularly important for children with special educational needs and, in Saudi Arabia, little is known about PI from the perspectives of parents of children with special educational needs. The main aim of this study was to explore the phenomenon of parental involvement from the perspectives of mothers of girls with learning disabilities (LD) in primary mainstream schools for girls in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Specifically, this study aimed to examine factors that influence mothers' involvement in in their daughters' education and to explore the extent to which they were involved. Furthermore, this study aimed to explore mothers' perspectives and experiences of their daughters' education and how they wished to be involved. This study used a mixed-methods explanatory sequential design as methodology incorporating two phases. In the first phase, a 50-item questionnaire, yielding quantitative data, revealed mothers' attitudes towards PI, factors that may influence PI, and the extent to which mothers were involved in their daughters' education. Findings from this phase revealed statistically significant relationships between PI and family income, living area, mothers' educational level, various beliefs about PI and self-reported PI invitations received. Findings also revealed that mothers of girls with LD are not typically involved in decision making about their daughter's education. In the second phase, semi-structured interviews, yielding qualitative data, were carried out with 10 mothers of girls with LD, purposively selected, to explore in-depth their perspectives and experiences of PI and to determine how they wish to be involved. 5 Thematic analysis was used and findings indicated that most mothers had limited PI in their daughters' education. Mothers reported limitations in communication from schools and indicated that they felt marginalized, voiceless, and lost. Findings also highlighted mothers' needs, rights, and wishes regarding involvement, communication, and expression of their voice. There are implications for the Saudi Ministry of Education, schools, and teachers in terms of the development of policies and practices around parental involvement. This study contributes to the existing methodological and theoretical knowledge regarding PI. It also helps address some gaps in the existing literature regarding PI in the field of LD.
Supervisor: Lawson, H. ; Moore, D. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Parental Involvement ; Learning disabilities ; Special education