Attitudes to and Views of Parents and Teachers in Relation to Parental Involvement in the Saudi Arabian Preschool Contexts (with specific reference to mothers and female guardians)

  • Tahani Alsaeid

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


It is widely recognised that parental involvement in children’s education is associated with significant positive outcomes for children, parents, teachers, and schools. International evidence consistently demonstrates that teachers’ and parents’ attitudes are critical factors mediating the involvement of parents in their children’s learning. However, this evidence could not provide a clear understanding of parental involvement practice. This is complicated by fluid conceptualization of parental involvement practices and challenged by unclear identification of factors influencing it in the academic literature. Within the Saudi Arabian context, new educational initiatives have been introduced by the Saudi Arabian government to increase parental involvement in education by 80% by 2030, this includes public preschool education. However, currently little is known about teachers’ and parents’ attitudes and conceptualization that might enhance or diminish parental involvement practices in preschool education in Saudi Arabia, which has caused further complication. Parental involvement practice is therefore a complex, multifaceted, and dynamic concept that cannot be sufficiently understood by using one singular research method. A mixed method research is used in an attempt to provide both breadth and depth to the study, focusing on the teachers’ and parents’ perspective on parental involvement practice in preschool in Riyadh city over the 2018-19 academic year. Methods include questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, field notes, and Ministry of Education documents, employing a Bourdieusian framework and the Hoover-Dempsey and Sandler’s model of Parental Involvement Process to map the links between attitudes and parental involvement practices, and how it is conceptualized within the field in which teachers and parents are situated. Quantitative data analysis shows that both teachers and parents have positive attitudes about parental involvement in preschool education. Yet surprisingly the level of involvement in preschool reported by teachers and parents is low, whilst parents’ involvement level at home is high. The qualitative data analysis reveals an intricate mesh of conceptualizations including its benefits and barriers that are shaped by values, dispositions, and access to resources. When these dispositions transfer to practice and interact with field of preschools, they bring challenges and barriers to teacher-parent relationships due to miscommunication and power. This research demonstrates the need for professional development and a supportive environment in which to develop a trusting positive relationship, however this is not the case in the current preschools in this research.
Date of Award7 Feb 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Roehampton
SponsorsSaudi Arabian Cultural Bureau (SACB)
SupervisorMark McCormack (Director of Studies) & Ana Guimaraes (Co-Supervisor)


  • Parental involvement
  • Sociology
  • preschool education in Saudi Arabia, Bourdieu’s’ theory, Hoover-Dempsey and Sandler’s model, mixed methods, attitudes,
  • parent-teacher relationship
  • Bourdieu’s’ theory
  • Hoover-Dempsey and Sandler’s model
  • mixed methods
  • attitudes

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