Articles

The imperative of parental participation in education

  • Growing up, our parents were the first teachers in our lives. Some of us learned to read and write under the tutelage of our parents, and we also learned by watching our parents engage in social activities. But the roles of our parents in our education begins to change when we reach school age. They are still involved in our education, but their roles have now been reduced to helping with homework, attending PTA meetings, serving as volunteers for the kid’s school, participating in fundraisers, and so on. This has given rise to the question of how vital are parents to their children's education?

    Much has been said about the role of parents in the educational success of their children. Over the years, there have been arguments and counter-arguments over the effectiveness and worth of parental participation in the academic life of their kids, with many saying that parent involvement is an essential ingredient for the success of any child at school. Some others maintain that the impact of parental involvement might be exaggerated and may even be counterproductive. But according to a 2003 survey conducted by Public Agenda, two out of three teachers who participated in the survey said they believed students would have better academic performance if their parents participated more in their education. Also, in a 2003 survey carried out by Johnson & Duffet, 72 percent of surveyed parents say that children whose parents didn’t participate in their education were likely to have a hard time at school.

    One of the most significant issues with parental participation is the problem of measurement. If we say that parental involvement is important to the child's education, how do we measure the effect on the child's performance at school? The inability of experts to devise an effective mechanism for measuring parental participation is one of the stumbling blocks curtailing progress on the issue. If the effects of parental participation can be measured, it becomes easier to identify strategies that work and those that are ineffective.

    Related article:  Helping your kids with reading

    According to Joyce Epstein of the Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships at the John Hopkins University, parental involvement can be categorised into parenting, communicating, volunteering, learning at home, decision-making, and community collaboration. But which of these categories contribute the most to the success of a child's education?

    According to the results of a national survey carried out by the National Center for Education Statistics in 2007, the leading form of parent participation in schools was attending school meetings or events, with school fundraising activities coming second. The survey also showed that parental participation was common among both white and African-American or Hispanic families, and is not affected by income.

    In 2002, the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory published a meta-analysis of 52 studies about the effects of parental participation on student learning. According to the SECL report, parental participation had a positive impact on the student’s academic performance.

    The researchers found that irrespective of the background or income, students whose parents participated in their learning have a higher chance of enrolling in post-secondary education, earn higher grades, earn credits and be promoted and they are usually punctual at school. The report continues that they also have improved social skills, adapt and perform better in school. The SEDL concludes that parental participation programs that work best involve families providing support for their children's academics at home.

    You may also want to read:  How to monitor and ensure your child's safety on the Internet

    The position of the SEDL has also been reiterated earlier in 1998 by Catasambis while reviewing the data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study. She also concluded that the most effective parental participation techniques involved parents supporting the learning process at home. She also found that families could improve the education of their children through consistent encouragement and setting of high educational expectations which spurs them to work harder.

    The bottom line is that teachers and parents should work together to develop the best methods through which parents can help their children. The fact remains that every parent wants their children to excel academically, even if this might not be apparent to the teacher and the school system.

    References

    Dervarics, C., and O'Brien E. (2011, August 30.) Back to school: How parent involvement affects student achievement. Retrieved January 10, 2018

    Hill, N., and Tyson D. (2009, November 25.) Parental Involvement in Middle School: A Meta-Analytic Assessment of the Strategies that Promote Achievement. Retrieved January 10, 2018, from the Web

    Luísa, F. (2016, November 27.) Back to school: Parenting and Parental Involvement in Secondary School: Focus Groups with Adolescents’ Parents. Retrieved January 10, 2018, from the Web

Recent Articles

  • Stereotypes: Two sides of the coin

    Posted Jun 30

    Stereotypes. They are everywhere. They cut across colour, race, gender, economic status, educational background. Everything. More often than not, they are the first things we know before we even discover who we are. Stereotypes are the identities that other people give...

  • Drug abuse in northern Nigeria: Challenges and way forward

    Posted Jun 30

    As a country that brags about its morality and takes pride in cultural and religious practices, Nigeria sure has a lot of vices to count on its fingers. Drug abuse is a leading problem and one of the most dangerous sources of destruction for the youths, especially the n...

  • Gender disparity begins at home

    Posted Jun 23

    UNICEF data shows that girls, mostly between the ages of 5-14 spend about 550 million hours of their lives on household chores, which is said to be 160 more hours than boys of the same age group. The sad thing about all this is that in almost all societies, this is cons...

  • Graphical User Interface: An overview of Java Swing interface as a GUI

    Posted Jun 22

    Graphical User Interface otherwise known as GUI (pronounced either as G.U.I or gooey) is an interface of electronic devices - computers, mobile devices, and other digital devices such as games - that uses graphical images, icons and other visual indicators to interact w...

View All

Random Articles

  • Should dress code be enforced on Nigerian campuses?

    Posted October 24, 2016

    Dress Code by definition is a set of rules specifying the correct manner of dress while on the premises of an institution or specifying what manner of dress is prohibited.  It is a written, and more often, unwritten rules with regard to clothing. Over the past few ...

  • Five strategies for adapting to college life

    Posted October 10, 2017

    College indeed marks a transitory phase in one’s life. Once you head off to the college, you’re made to face many life experiences and of course, free from the ever-watching eyes of your parents, and hence you’re expected to do things on your own witho...

  • Some factors influencing news objectivity in journalism

    Posted November 15, 2018

    Journalism is a profession that prides itself on dealing with hard facts, esteeming truth and uncovering conspiracies for the good of the public. We (journalists) are like detectives, but only cooler (even the movies seem to attest to that). To wield truth as a weapon ...

  • The importance of fluoride

    Posted August 26, 2018

    One of the most common, yet largely preventable chronic diseases in children is tooth decay, and while fluoride plays a significant role in fortifying tooth enamel, which in turn prevents decay, a majority of parents don’t subscribe to in-office fluoride treatment...

View All