Research Problem: To add to the body of knowledge on attitudes toward a specific organization, The Parent Teacher Association (PTA), and its communication practices.
Method: The scope of this study was limited to the Texas PTA and attitudes toward PTA in general. A self-report questionnaire was designed to gather the following information:
1) demographic data
about the respondents;
2) respondents relationship to PTA;
3) their attitude toward the role of the PTA and what changes, if any, need to be made;
4) ways they secured information about PTA goals and programs; and
5) their attitude toward PTA communication and how they thought it could be improved. The questionnaire was administered to more than 300 individuals representing four levels of the PTA. 130 people responded.
Results: The results show that the leadership levels of the PTA view the communication more positively than those from the local level. Outstanding aspects of the role of the PTA which respondents suggested are to be involved in the school and be an open line of communication, to supply information to parents and help them to be better parents, to encourage action and participation in education, and to be a link between the school and community. Most of the respondents felt the current structure was suitable to carry out the tasks of the PTA, but several did make suggestions for changes. Those mentioned most often were to strengthen leadership, to provide better means of communication, and to give less emphasis to fund – raising projects. Ways to improve communication were also suggested.
Conclusion: This study recommends that the PTA
1) involve more indiviudals in leadership roles
through a limitation on the length and levels of service,
2) involve more men,
3) place an emphasis on the role(s) of PTA, especially in parent education, working with the school administration, and keeping the public informed, 4) increase communication,
5) study involvement and ways to do it more efficiently, and 6) maintain interest in leadership training.