When parents meet with a high school principal
Adams, Jackie Brewer
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of this study was to examine the interactions between parents and principals in principal-parent conferences in a high school setting. Ethnographic research procedures, guided by the theoretical framework of symbolic interactionism, were used to report the interactions from the perspectives of the participants. This research was a case study featuring in-depth interviews with parents and principals. Interviews, focusing on participant perspectives of the conference, were audio taped and transcribed for interpretation and analysis. Additional research procedures included observations of the conferences, journal writing, and the inclusion of archival materials drawn from the site. A phenomenological analysis, applied to the data, yielded categories and themes that were grounded in the data and framed interactions as stories based on the perspectives of each principal and parent participant. Although limited in scope, findings from the study revealed principal-parent interactions provide a valuable source of knowledge surrounding principal-parent conferences. The study revealed differences in the meanings principals and parents attached to the same conference. At times, these differences blocked partnership building between parent and principal participants. Results from the study emphasized the importance of understanding meanings parents attach to interactions with principals. This kind of knowledge could contribute to building more effective relationships with parents. The study also points to the need for more research that could help principals implement strategies for building partnerships with parents for the benefit of all students.