The Changes in Parent Involvement Expectations Over 40 Years

The importance of education cannot be overstated. The annual American Education Week (AEW) that takes place every November is a reminder of the vital role getting an education plays in this country. The week was founded in 1921 by the National Education Association after it was discovered that 25% of World War I draftees lacked an ability to read. Among the many celebrations of American Education Week is “Parents Day”, devoted to putting a focus on the role parental involvement plays in effective educational outcomes. This component was established nearly a century ago and highlights how parental involvement was as crucial then as it is today. In fact, one might argue that with the multitude of changes in our society and the exponentially competitive job market we live in, education has grown even more significant. The role of parental engagement has increased along with it. The need for a child to succeed academically comes with more consequential trappings than perhaps any other decade before this one.

Hispanic family with laptop at home
However, parent involvement has come under fire in recent years as studies bring about conclusions that parental engagement doesn’t necessarily improve academic outcomes for children and even proves to hinder successful achievement in some cases. This research points to a variety of different theories and findings that conclude parents should merely stress how important education is to their children’s future and then simply step aside and let the child excel on his or her own. But this flies in the face of decades of data that show just the opposite, as parents who are directly and closely involved with their child’s education provide a foundation for academic success. There are far more conclusive findings that show an improvement in test scores, attendance, and graduation rates among children who come from households where parents played an active role in education.

Despite the media putting a spotlight on some of these opposing views, the influence of parents on a child’s learning is dramatically positive. Even if the parents themselves are unsure of how to help out with homework, their presence can be felt in making sure the child actually finishes it before class. Even this small step can demonstrate large dividends later on. If a child is struggling with their studies, parents can help them learn or find ways to get additional resources involved to ensure their child’s success. The changes in this involvement can be seen in the ways that parents choose to engage with their children. More of them are getting actively involved in helping with homework and incorporating education into family leisure activities, such as going to a museum or theatre to expose children to culture and history. Technology has also become more prevalent in the methods of education, such as mobile devices, software, and online resources that are readily available. Parents often times give their children access to these items and even use them alongside the child to help them learn.

Lectura books provides award-winning multicultural books. These books are a great tool for students and parents of diverse backgrounds. Multicultural stories allow both students and parents to be able to relate to the story and be more inclined to read and retain the information. This encourages more reading and speaking of English at home. Visit Lectura Books Youtube Page to see some of their most popular book titles.

The Latino Family Literacy Project are experts in working with Spanish speaking parents and can train your staff to work specifically with parents of diverse backgrounds at your school. The company offers both online webinar training and in person workshops.

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