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Research summary

Engaging parents in raising achievement – do parents know they matter? (2007)

24 Jul 2018

Introducing ‘learning to learn’ techniques leads to an increase in self-esteem and confidence amongst parents which is passed on to children. 

Working with Campaign for Learning and the University of Newcastle, and based at St Meriadoc Church of England Nursery and Infant School in Cornwall, Stephens and Pooley aimed to discover whether involving parents and introducing them to various Learning to Learn approaches would develop their children’s self-esteem and resilience as learners, and ultimately raise standards.

Campaign for Learning defines 'Learning to Learn' as a process of discovery about learning. It involves a set of principles and skills which, if understood and used, can help learners learn more effectively and become learners for life. At its heart is the belief that learning is learnable.

The research looked at the role of family learning in supporting Learning to Learn, by arranging a series of evenings to introduce parents to Learning to Learn approaches. They monitored the impact that the parent’s involvement had on the confidence and capability of their children. 

The workshops covered a variety of Learning to Learn approaches and the research found that involving parents:

  • Raised their own self-esteem and confidence as learners, which was communicated  to the children 
  • Enabled parents to feel more able to teach and help their own children at home 
  • Even after only a few months, improvements were noticed in some of the children’s performance