Sarah Salem S. Alqahtani

Department: School of Education
Discipline: Education
Research Centre/Unit: Graduate School of Education

Project Summary


This study research is concerned with female students with learning difficulties in Saudi inclusive primary schools. The purpose is to explore the perspectives of teachers about parental involvement in the education of female students with learning difficulties. The study is based on the notion that in-depth knowledge of teachers’ expectations, experiences and beliefs about parental involvement in school can support programmes to encourage parental engagement for more effective learning (Epstein, 2005). The majority of research conducted on parental involvement has emphasised the importance of cultivating the culture of parental involvement and positive participation in the school community (Johnson, Pugach, & Hawkins, 2004). Family involvement in schools is associated with better attendance, higher motivation to study, and improved behaviour at home and at school, which together culminate in better school outcomes ( Malik, 2012; Milad & Dabbagh, 2011). However, underpinning such research has been an ongoing debate about the limited participation rates of parents in their children’s education ( Epstein & Sheldon, 2006). When teachers and parents collaborate on the same issues, their energy is aligned and improvements in children’s learning can more naturally occur (Milad & Dabbagh, 2011). The proposed study emerged from my professional experience working with students with learning difficulties in Saudi Arabian primary schools. 

The results of this study will benefit teachers and parents by enabling them to co-create policies to facilitate greater parental involvement in Saudi schools. Consequently, school administrators and teachers may decide to change how they work with parents, which may in turn benefit students should the results indicate the need for a transformation in their own attitudes to parental involvement and practices. Finally, the study may benefit students with learning difficulties whose learning experiences could be improved through greater involvement by parents.