In my Twitter feed this morning was an op-ed in the New York Times that challenges the benefits of parental involvement. Written by two sociology professors, who wrote The Broken Compass: Parental Involvement With Children’s Education, the article looks at the evidence from the past 40 years and concludes that only a few very specific parental behaviors help students.
Apparently, the research suggests that most parental involvement does not help students in school. The most effective thing a parent can do is expect, from an early age, that the child will go to college.
Please check out the article on Iserotope Extras. If you trust the professors’ research, then it’ll make you question a lot of things, like Back to School Night and whether you should call home about missing homework.
My idea after reading this article is that if it is true that parents’ expectations of their kids to go to college is important, then schools should employ them to put together college-going curriculum, specifically field trips.
At my last school, advisers spent many hours putting those field trips together. Maybe a parent group could do that?
And one last thing: Even though parental involvement may not lead to academic achievement, that doesn’t mean cut parents out altogether. They definitely make an impact on school culture and fundraising — always.