Helping children with their homework, along with meeting with teachers and volunteering at school, have long been an integral part of parental involvement in their education. A new study, however, says that parents shouldn’t help kids with homework at all. In an article for The Atlantic, Dana Goldstein relates this and other insights from the study of the impact parents have on their children’s education.
Parental involvement in education does not pay off for kids
The ground-breaking study, which was conducted by Keith Robinson, a sociology professor at the University of Texas at Austin, and Angel L. Harris, a sociology professor at Duke, reveals that most measurable forms of parental involvement in education do not pay off that much for kids. The researchers said they could even backfire. The researchers reached this conclusion after combing through nearly thirty years’ worth of longitudinal surveys of American parents, as well as tracking 63 different measures of parental participation in kids’ academic lives.
The study basically says that reviewing your child’s home work won’t really help the kid score higher on standardized tests. In fact, Robinson and Harris conclude that parental help with homework may actually bring test scores down. Apart from this, other forms of parental involvement in education that the study is essentially saying are useless include meeting with teachers, observing a kid’s class, implementing strict rules on how and when should homework be done.
On the other hand, while debunking a lot of conventional assumptions about parental involvement in education, the study also proved that there are certain habits that make a difference such as reading aloud to young children and discussing college plans with teenagers.
Personally, the results of this study came as somewhat as a surprise for me. I help my kids with their homework and I’m actively involved in their education, and they’re doing just fine. While this study may be the biggest of its kind, I could only hope that more studies in the area of parental involvement be done in the future for the sake of our kids.
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