|The prime purpose of this research was aimed at a fundamental investigation of parental involvement on the micro-educational level in white primary schools in South Africa. In this research an attempt was made to learn about parental involvement from the past – especially the first cultures of Western civilization (Greeks, Romans, early Christians, Middle Ages and Reformation era). Furthermore, parental involvement was investigated on micro-educational level in America and South Africa by means of four essentials. The parent’s claim to have a say in the child’s education, is based on the fact that he carries the primary responsibility for his child’s education. This responsibility is natural and not a man-made institution. The Christian parent undertook to bear the responsibility of his child’s education, when this child was christened – therefore he regards this responsibility in a far more serious light. Studying the past from a fundamental educational viewpoint, the writer attempted to establish the connection between parental involvement on micro-educational level in the Ancient World, and the present (1991). The four essentials of education were taken into account, namely: unconditional acceptance, availability of the parents, creating a home where the child is free from care and feels secure, and the parents as the bearers of culture. A study of the literature revealed that parental involvement in different countries and eras has differed considerably in practice, but in principle has shown many similarities. A distinctive feature of both the Greek and the Roman societies was, that they experienced both extremes. The people of Athens and the old Roman civilication had close-knit family lives and respected their children. On the other hand, the children of the Spartans and Greek-Romans did not have a specific place in their educational programme.
During the eras of early Christianity and the Reformation, parents became directly involved in practical and religious activities. Close family ties and the uniqueness of the child became very important. This was a far cry from practices in the Middle Ages.
The socio-economical, political and cultural conditions in the history of America and South Africa created the opportunity that active parental involvement could unfold. In America parent-teacher associations (PTA) have made important contributions, while in South Africa parental involvement has gradually diminished to the level where they have little or no active participation in the education of their children.
The results of the empirical research indicate that certain aspects of parental involvement on micro-educational level are satisfactory. That includes positive financial contributions, aid rendered at school functions and allowing time for their children. There are, however, certain areas that still need attention, such as cultural contributions made by parents, and discernible evidence of their Christian view of life.
In order to make parental involvement truly effective on a micro-educational level, the existing opportunities should be fully utilized, because comprehensive involvement of dedicated parents is of the utmost importance. It is essential that there should be continuous adaptations to innovative and changed circumstances.