Education Specialist (EdS)
Semester of Degree Completion
The purpose of the field study was to ascertain the perceptions of parents of elementary students in grades K-5 in Paris Union School District #95, Paris, Illinois, regarding curriculum areas, instructional techniques, and support services. Addressing these areas was believed to be one important component in the process of determining the extent of the need for new or remodeled facilities at the elementary level in the district.
The researcher believed facilities of the future may be significantly different from their predecessors depending upon the nature and extent of curriculum changes. Before new facilities were proposed for Paris Union School District #95, it was important to ascertain needs pertaining to the most desirable learning environments advantageous for maximizing learning into the 21st century. It was believed that perceptions of elementary parents would be beneficial input to the district as the process of studying facilities was undertaken.
The field study utilized a review of literature and research about future curriculum trends, instructional techniques, and support services. A questionnaire was developed after summarizing the key points of the literature and research. The questionnaire was sent to 525 parents of students in grades K-5 at all of the four elementary attendance centers located in Paris Union School District #95. Parents indicated on the questionnaire how important they felt the listed items would be in their children's education as they prepared for a life in the 21st century. Three hundred forty seven or 66% of the parents responded to the questionnaire.
Parents generally perceived the core curriculum areas of language arts, mathematics, social sciences, science, physical education and health, and fine arts as being very important in their children's educational future. Additionally, technology was considered very important by the parents for their children's educational future. Parents marked the very important or moderately important categories 45% to 98% of the time for the items under curriculum areas. The core subject areas of language arts, mathematics, science, and social science, as well as the technological area of basic computer usage, were rated higher than the core areas of physical education and health and fine arts. The technological areas of internet usage and instructional television were not rated as highly in the very important response category as were the other technological areas. Very few responses were recorded in the somewhat important category for the items under curriculum areas. There were hardly any responses in the not important response category except for the fine arts items.
Parents did not rate the items under instructional techniques as often in the very important response category as they did for the items under curriculum areas. They marked the very important and moderately important categories 73% to 98% of the time for the items under instructional techniques. There were few responses in the somewhat important category and hardly any responses in the not important category.
Parents rated support services much as they did instructional techniques. The percentages ranged from 41 to 85 in the very important response category. When the very important and moderately important categories were combined, parents rated the items 72% to 96% as being important in their children's educational future. There were several responses in the somewhat important response category and a few responses in the not important category.
It was concluded that elementary parents in Paris Union School District #95 have a traditional view of education. They perceived the basics, as well as knowing how to operate a computer, as being very important in their children's educational future. It was also concluded that parents did favor research-based instructional techniques. A third conclusion was that while over half of the parents favor social services, they may not be aware of mandated social services or do not highly favor having them offered in the schools. A final conclusion was that Paris Union School District #95 may not have the facilities to adequately provide the items parents indicated were important.
Recommendations included better communication or inservicing of parents, examining existing space in current facilities for new or expanded programs as suggested by the parents, another survey of parents and possibly other community members regarding their desire for new or remodeled facilities, and finally, studying the many other aspects of facilities.
Bailey, Lorraine A., "Perceptions of Parents of Elementary Students in Paris Union School District #95, Paris, Illinois, Regarding Curriculum Trends, Instructional Techniques, and Support Services" (1997). Masters Theses. 1811.