Date of Award



© 2019 Jonathan W. Williams I

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Heather Wilmot

Second Advisor

Peter Harrison

Third Advisor

Myron White


A phenomenological qualitative research study was conducted using currently serving military parents with children enrolled in elementary school. The intent of the research was to reveal factors that contributed to military parents’ participation in the education of their elementary-aged child, analyze factors that contributed to the lack of involvement of military parents in the education of their elementary-aged child, and deduce ways the elementary school, that serve military families, can encourage parental involvement in the education of their child. The study was aimed to understand better how the parent–school partnership of military families can be improved.

Narratives from the nine military parent participants were recorded, transcribed, and coded to extract qualitative data from personal experiences as they responded to open-ended questions. The findings showed some of the positive actions and techniques that should be sustained which encouraged military parent participation at the elementary school. The findings also expressed the antithesis and revealed several barriers that were present that contribute to the lack of military parent involvement. The coded and analyzed data from the nine personal experiences led to heuristic recommendations for improvement in the field of elementary school involvement by military parents. The recommendations from this study include the use of modern technology as methods to connect the military parents to the school without physically being at the school, the PTO considering the uniqueness of the military population and ensuring the organization encourages sustained participation by military parents, teacher and administration pedagogy techniques as it relates to the needs of the military child, intentional persist school involvement on behalf of the military parent, and the U.S. Armed Forces to promote access to resources that schools and parents can utilize to aid in the essential partnership. These recommendations effect the five stakeholder groups of elementary schools, PTO, teachers, military parents, and the U.S. Armed Forces. The recommendations involved the school strategically using modern technology to assist the military parents with timing conflicts, Parent Teacher Organization observance and inclusion reform, teacher professionalism emphasis, and intentional persist school involvement on behalf of the military parent.


Ed.D. Dissertation