The Impact of Social Support on Academic Achievement Involvement Abstract The global society is centered on sustainable development, which is partially supported by various educational reforms to support the knowledge economy. As the United States struggles to restructure its primary education sector, the aspect of parental involvement in education has gained popularity and additional research is needed to establish its correlation to academic outcomes. Parental participation in the learning processes and affairs of the children such as oversight duties, fundraising, advocacy for learning improvements, and voluntary activities significantly improve the performance of the students as well as the overall rating of the school. Introduction Parental involvement plays a crucial role in a childâ€™s education. This concept is gaining popularity and is currently one of the fundamental factors that policy makers and other interest groups consider when designing educational programs. Studies show that constant participation of the parents in the childrenâ€™s education may lead to significant improvements in the learning outcomes of the students and achievement of various academic goals (Gutman and Akerman, 2008). On the other hand, this aspect has also been the subject of debate among policy makers, some of whom have argued that parental participation only affects the quality of education adversely. Therefore, at the heart of the issue is the intriguing question of whether parental involvement supports children learning outcomes or hinders them. Education is now considered a significant pillar of development. As the United States struggles to reform its primary education sector, this subject has gained popularity and additional research is needed to establish the relationship between parental involvement and academic outcomes. Due to the fundamental role that education plays in the development of the countryâ€™s workforce, it is imperative for educational stakeholders to find the most appropriate models that can boost the childrenâ€™s learning capacity (Gutman and Akerman, 2008). On the other hand, the ability of the community to understand the necessary educational sustainability is dependent on how the learning activities are designed to cater for the needs of the knowledge economy (Radu, 2011). The impact of parental participation in the childâ€™s learning outcomes in schools is enhanced when proper systems and intervention programs are put in place. Such is a process that requires the exploitation of all opportunities to give learners the best. The issue of parental involvement fits into the equation of knowledge economy and sustainability since it is a potential avenue for improving academic achievement. With an effective intervention program, parental involvement in children education has more desirable outcomes than loosely coordinated participation regarding learning results. Literature Review The Benefits of Parental Involvement in Education Several studies have reported a positive correlation between parental participation and the performance of children. Since parents are the primary caregivers of their children, they are in a better position to have an in-depth understanding of the pertinent factors concerning their educational needs. As Cano, Cape, Cardosa, Miot, Quinio, and Jewish (2016) postulate, parents may offer the most appropriate views on the type of social support systems relevant to their children as opposed to other stakeholders. An examination of research evidence reveals that parental involvement is crucial to supporting children to realize their learning goals although views of its detrimental side are notable too. The contribution of parents in learning processes is evidenced in various ways. Therefore, they need to be given a chance to impact their childrenâ€™s learning outcomes. Even though tutors are equally important in equipping the students with the requisite knowledge, the crucial impact of the community and the childâ€™s learning environment at home should not be overlooked (Cano, Cape, Cardosa, Miot, Quinio, & Jewish, 2016). The type of setting to which a child is subjected usually determines his or her development process. In most cases, the tutor only depend on the first information that the child has gained from his home environment. Students who are taught by their parents before coming to school are likely to perform better than those whose parents are inactive in their learning process. As Gutman and Akerman (2008) postulate, parental participation in the learning processes and affairs of the children such as oversight duties, fundraising, advocacy for learning improvements, and voluntary activities significantly improve the performance of the students as well as the overall rating of the school. This explains why parents should always be included in every policy-making decision. Children who perform excellently in schools have been reported to have effective parental guidance, including the creation of daily routines that support the childâ€™s learning process and constant monitoring of the child. Besides, parents may give their views on what they want for their children as they are important when approached from the family socio-cultural perspective. In essence, while teaching requires tutors to establish a solid relationship with learners, they should not overlook the perspectives of the primary caregivers, including parents, relatives, religious systems, and community culture (Topor, Keane, Shelton, & Calkins, 2010). In particular, parents have a crucial influence on their childrenâ€™s education for various reasons. The most important is that they act as frames of childrenâ€™s learning needs and their socio-cultural expectations (Patall, Cooper, & Robinson, 2008). For instance, tutors depend mostly on the first information that parents give about their children to decide how to improve learnersâ€™ education needs. Another pivotal position of parental involvement in education could be well discerned from the discussion by Topor et al. (2010). The authors note that collaboration across various professions and parents is critical to supporting learners. Parental participation does not only provide social support but strengthens the teaching and learning processes too. The view is hinged on the principle of child-centered education, which acknowledges that every boy or girl is unique and requires learning processes to be tailored to their unique needs. The view legitimizes multidisciplinary approaches and caregiversâ€™ involvement in learning processes. Indeed, as Gutman and Akerman (2008) note, parental involvement in education affairs, such as in decision-making, oversight duties, voluntary activities, fundraising, home teaching, and advocacy for learning reforms, does not only have a significant impact on a childâ€™s performance but overall school and education systemâ€™s ratings. Therefore, parents can serve as knowledgeable decision-makers regarding policies that learning institutions adopt in the best interests of students. Various studies have examined the importance of parental involvement in children education, with an overwhelming number pointing on a positive correlation between the level of parental participation and performance outcomes. For instance, a study by Al Sumaiti (2012) finds that the level of performance of a child in education is dependent upon the level of parental participation in their learning activities at home. In addition, a study by Sheldon (2002) on the perceived impact of the public regarding parental involvement on classroom suggests that as many as 86% believe that parental participation improves child performance in academics. Similarly, a study by Chakraborty and Stone (2010) compares the performance of children whose parents were actively involved in their classes and those whose guardians were not. The researchers establish that learners who enjoyed parental involvement in education scored higher grades, graduation rates, attended schools regularly, arrived at schools punctually, were less likely to be suspended, exhibited minimal violent behavior, and rated highly with motivation for education. The authors observe that the involvement of parents in the education of children is a determinant factor of their excellence. Indeed, according to Kaukab (2016), many families of children who perform better are often characterized by high levels of parental involvement, which includes establishment of a daily routine that supports a childâ€™s study, monitoring school learning activities, setting high education expectations for children, and motivating them towards education, as well as encouraging academic discussions around the table. Booker (2008) notes that these are the main reasons parental involvement is critical to enhancing academic achievement. Evidently, parental involvement makes a significant difference in childrenâ€™s education. Concerns About Parental Involvement Despite the numerous studies that show the positive impact of parental participation in the childrenâ€™s learning activities, some scholars have opposed the tendency. According to Booker (2008), parental involvement is likely to serve as an avenue for blame games in case a parent is not satisfied with his/her childâ€™s performance. This can negatively affect the learning process of the children. The author believes that not all settings can support the participation of the parents in the schools. Without proper intervention programs and support systems, the process can only lead to poor performance. Therefore, Booker (2008) suggest that quality programs should be implemented to enhance this process. He has noted that it is possible for parental involvement to affect the learning outcomes negatively. However, this only happens if an elaborate framework for the process is lacking, and parents are not well informed about their roles in their childrenâ€™s learning. Otherwise, it is always possible to address these two clichÃ©s. For instance, with proper support and guidance, parents can become knowledgeable and active players in their childrenâ€™s education. In such a position, they act as role models for them and influence school policies. Epsteinâ€™s model is perhaps the most relevant approach to ensuring that parental involvement bears fruits. Based on this concept, the importance of guardiansâ€™ participation in education can be realized through communication, parenting, community collaboration, volunteering, and home teaching (CaÃ±o et al., 2016). It is intriguing to find out whether such a perspective is valid. Addressing Competing Theories Parental involvement definitely supports children in the process of realization of their learning goals. The contribution of parents in childrenâ€™s learning processes can be seen in many ways. The most notable of this benefit is that guardians understand the learning needs of their children best, and their involvement in classroom activities creates an allowance for them to provide information to teachers on how learners could be supported. Moreover, participation enables parents to understand the learning needs of children and assist in motivating them, guiding them with homework, and monitoring their academic performance. It serves as a platform for guardians to be actively involved in making decisions about school policies, including childrenâ€™s needs. Nevertheless, it has been noted that such involvement has some negative outcomes. For instance, involvement in school activities serves as an avenue for blame games. Perhaps, it is important to outline what are the antecedents of effective parental involvement to childrenâ€™s education processes. Present Study Based on these competing positions, it can be hypothesized that to a certain extent, the ability of parental involvement to influence education outcomes is largely determined by the existence of elaborate frameworks to guide the process. Moreover, many instances of negative impacts of parental participation on child education are largely caused due to the lack of appropriate frameworks. Ideally, an effective outline provides a platform to avoid problems that can arise from parental involvement, prevents blame games, and averts negative influences on learners. What is more, such a framework draws the limits of the roles of all players who are engaged in childrenâ€™s education. Therefore, the critical focus of the study is to find out how parental involvement, guided by an elaborate intervention framework, compares with freestyle participation (one without a framework). It is expected that the involvement that is guided by the framework would deliver more desirable results. The most appropriate approach to the study would be to investigate the relationship between the level of parental participation and academic performance. The first aspect would be measured regarding the frequency of parental visits to the school to engage teachers in discussions about their childrenâ€™s academic progress. The measure of academic performance would be based on the grades that are attained by a learner. The study aims to establish the correlation between the level of parental participation in schools and the performance of students. It also seeks to evaluate the mediating impact of intervention frameworks on this relationship. The primary hypothesis is that the influence of parental involvement on academic outcomes of child education is largely dependent on the existence of elaborate frameworks of guiding the process. Methods The proposed method will be an experimental design since it will focus on manipulating an independent variable to measure the outcome of the dependent variable. In this case, the academic performance of students will be the dependent variable while the parental participation will be the dependent variable. The parental involvement will be manipulated by changing its frequency in order to determine the effect it has on the childrenâ€™s education. A population sample of 30 students will be used to collect the data. The sample will be subdivided into two groups of 15 participants each, which will be subjected to different conditions (parental involvement and lack of parental participation). In order to encourage the participants to take part in the study, monetary incentives will be offered to them. On the other hand, a comparative study will also be conducted on two learning institutions with the same sample populations to establish the mediating role of elaborate frameworks on the relationship between parental participation and education outcomes. The primary method of data collection will be through direct observation, interviews, and the use of questionnaires. The frequency of parental visits will be established through observation within a period of one month. Oral interviews will also be conducted with the teachers and parents to obtain first-hand information concerning the impact of their participation on the childrenâ€™s performance. Results/ Discussion The results are likely to reveal a positive relationship between parental involvement and the level of academic performance of the learners. The comparative study is expected to show an increase in the performance of the students when elaborate frameworks are put in place. It is apparent that the influence of parental participation on the academic achievement of children is a fundamental area that needs to be investigated (Booker, 2008). The global society is centered on sustainable development, which is partially supported by various educational reforms to support the knowledge economy. From the discussion of the literature review, it is evident that the issue of whether parental involvement in education is beneficial to the academic performance of children is primarily dependent on the clarity of the guiding framework. The proposed study design is expected to validate this hypothesis. The results of the study are supposed to inform various policy makers on the best strategies to adopt in designing an elegant framework and laying down the foundation for training parents. On the other hand, the findings of the research will also be essential in offering valuable information that is needed to create a balance on the level and limit of parental participation that can lead to desired outcomes (Booker, 2008). If parents desire to contribute positively to the education of their children, it is advisable for them to design the most effective ways of achieving this purpose without interrupting the efforts of the teachers. Additionally, the cooperation with the teachers is likely to foster sharing of information, which is crucial to maintaining a studentâ€™s discipline and encouraging better academic performance. The literature review has emphasized the fundamental role that guardians can play to facilitate improved educational outcomes for their children. Final, Concluding Thoughts on the Topic Certainly, the impact of parental participation on childrenâ€™s academic achievement is an area that is worth investigating. The global society is focused on sustainable development, which is partly supported by reforms in education to align with the knowledge economy. As has been revealed in the discussions in the literature review, it seems that the issue of whether parental involvement in education is likely to be beneficial to childrenâ€™s academic performance is primarily determined by the clarity of the guiding framework. The proposed research is expected to validate this position. The findings are expected to go a long way in informing policymakers on how to develop an elegant framework as well as give perspectives of how parents can be trained in this role. Moreover, the research will play a crucial role in proving information that is required to strike a balance on the level and limit of parental involvement that is needed to ensure desirable results. If parents want to contribute positively to their childrenâ€™s education, it is advisable that they establish the most effective ways of doing so without sabotaging teachersâ€™ efforts. Moreover, cooperation with tutors facilitates information sharing, which is critical to maintaining a learnerâ€™s discipline and encouraging better academic performance. The literature review has underscored the invaluable role that guardians can play to facilitate improved educational outcomes for their young ones. References Al Sumaiti, Rabaa. (2012). Parental involvement in the education of their children in Dubai. Retrieved from http://khda.gov.ae/CMS/WebParts/TextEditor/Documents/Parental_Involvement_in_the_Education.pdf. Booker, K. (2008). The role of instructors and peers in establishing classroom community. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 35(1), 12â€“16. CaÃ±o, K., Cape, M.G., Cardosa, J., Miot, C., Pitogo, C. Quinio, C., & Jewish, M. (2016). Parental involvement on pupilsâ€™ performance: Epsteinâ€™s framework. Online Journal of New Horizons in Education, 6(4), 23-37. Chakraborty, B., & Stone, S. (2010). Classroom idea-sparkers: Building community with the â€œimportant book.â€ Childhood Education, 86(3), 168Gâ€“168J. Gutman, L.M., & Akerman, R. (2008). Determinants of aspirations [wider benefits of learning research report no. 27]. UCL Institute of Education. Retrieved from http://eprints.ioe.ac.uk/2052/. Kaukab, R. (2016). The impact of parent/family involvement on studentâ€™ learning outcomes. International Journal of Research, 4(10), 23-39. Patall, E. A., Cooper, H., & Robinson, J. C. (2008). Parent involvement in homework: A research synthesis. Review of Educational Research, 78(4), 34-37. Radu, B. (2011). Parental involvement in schools. A study of resources, mobilization, and inherent inequality. Journal of Comparative Research in Anthropology and Sociology, 2(2), 28-34 Sheldon, S. B. (2002). Parentsâ€™ social networks and beliefs as predictors of parent involvement. Elementary School Journal, 102(4), 301-316. Topor, D.R, Keane, S.P, Shelton, T.L., & Calkins, S.D. (2010). Parent involvement and student academic performance: A multiple mediational analysis. J Prev Interv Community, 38(3), 183-197.