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Research piece

Let’s Read Them a Story – The parent factor in education (2012)

20 Jul 2018

Parental involvement in education is pivotal for the success of children throughout their school years and beyond. 

There are a wealth of programmes that promote effective forms of parental involvement and successful partnerships of parents and schools around the world. Additionally, many types of parental involvement that are associated with better student performance in PISA require relatively little time and no specialised knowledge.

It's never too early - and never too late – for parents/carers to get involved in their child's education. Being involved in their child’s education is the best investment parents can make in the future of the next generation. What is needed from parents is a genuine interest and active engagement, with the understanding that education is a shared responsibility.

Results found that children whose parents are involved in their education are generally more receptive to language; they are also more adept at planning, setting goals, initiating and following through their studies and individual projects. 

In general, children of involved parents are more motivated and have more control over their academic performance because they adopt their parents' positive attitudes towards school and learning. Disadvantaged students more often lack adult role models. 

In terms of how to engage children in everyday maths, all it requires is for parents to discuss with their children some of the things they did during the day and to ask their child what they did. This helps the child to reflect on what they want to say and put their thoughts in a logical order. 

Teachers can encourage parents to play a more active role in their child's education by emphasising that schools are only one of the many places they learn. According to the Reggio Emilio approach, ”parents are considered to be the 'first teachers'. The 'second teachers' are classroom teachers; the 'third teacher' is the environment.”

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