This week I have decided to discuss the topic of whether students and pupils benefit from parental involvement in education or should parents take more of a back seat when it comes to their children’s academic environment. It seems to just make sense that when parents play an active role in their children’s education there will be beneficial outcomes.
Sacker et al (2002) examined the data from the National Child Development Study. Researchers followed 98% of all births in England, Scotland and Wales that occurred in the week that began on the 3rd of March in 1958. Furthermore 17,400 of the newborn babies were followed up when they were at the ages of 7, 11, 16, 23 and 33 years. They found that there was a significant relationship between parental involvement and positive effects on the child’s academic achievements.
Sui-Chu and Wilms (1996) also argued that parental involvement correlated with positive academic outcomes. They conducted a study called The US National Educational Longitudinal Study (NELS) that was based on a sample of 24,6000 14 year old pupils from a sample that was drawn from 1500 different schools across the USA. Moreover they also went on to suggest that there was a connection between the pupils’ socio-economic status and the amount of parental involvement that they experienced. They claimed that lower class families were much less likely to be involved with their children’s education whereas higher class families would take more of an interest.
Sui-Chu and Wilms concluded that parental involvement made a significant contribution to children’s academic achievements based on the association they found in their study between the amount of discussion that took place between children and parents and a higher level of achievement.
Nechyba et al (1999) summarised three possible assumptions in order to provide an explanation for the association between socio-economic class and the higher tendency for parents to be more involved with the children’s education. They argued that:
1. Working class culture places less value on education.
2. That working class parents feel they as though they are not equipped with educational abilities.
3. That there are institutional barriers (working class parents find difficulty in conforming to institutional values).
Whilst considering these positive effects that have been associated with parental involvement and education I was interested in investigating whether involvement is being promoted in order to educate and inform parents. In the UK, several measures have been established in order to boost the connections between schools and parents however there is a lack of intervention programmes that promote parental involvement behaviours.
I believe that further research is needed in order to highlight the importance of parental involvement behaviours such as discussions between the parent and child, working together on homework and essentially creating a positive attitude towards education in general.
Further research is needed into programs that teach parents the importance of discussions between parents and children, helping with homework and creating positive attitudes towards education. I hope to see more research in this field in the future.
Nechyba. T., McEwan. P., Older-Aguila. D. (1999). The impact of family & community resources on student outcomes: an assessment of the international literature with implications for New Zealand. Ministry Of Education.
Sacker. A., Schoon. I., Bartley, M. (2002). Social inequality in educational achievement and psychosocial adjustment throughout childhood: magnitude and mechanisms. Social Science & Medicine. 55. 5. 863-880.
Sui-Chu. E. H., & Wilms. J. D. (1996). Efforts Of Parental Involvement on Eighth-Grade Achievement. Sociology of Education. 69. 2. 126-141.