The Latest Research on Parent Involvement in Schools

The Latest Research on Parent Involvement in Schools

Whether it’s the latest research on parent involvement in schools or studies conducted years ago, the subject matter has to be one of the least controversial in American schools – parent involvement matters. Let’s take a look at the most recent research.

In the areas of socio-emotional skills, math and literacy in children ages 3 to 8, a 2013 report analyzing nearly 100 family involvement studies is considered to be the most rigorous, empirical work released in the last 10 years. According to MDRC, an educational and social policy organization, the overwhelming consensus from all of these studies is that when parents are more engaged and involved, kids often do better academically and socially.

Four areas of involvement were reviewed: home learning activities promoting a child’s math skills or literacy, family involvement at school, school outreach programs and supportive parenting activities in terms of the parent-child relationship.

More specifically, the report found that parental involvement definitely makes a positive difference throughout a child’s preschool, kindergarten and early elementary years. On a more minor scale, the data found that a child’s social-emotional development benefited from family involvement as well.

However, a literature synopsis from the University of Alberta states that the challenge that comes after findings like this is in figuring out the best ways to actually engage the parents so that the child benefits.

The Ohio State Board of Education believes that one of the best strategies is to create a welcoming school climate. Ways to do this include offering parental workshops and at-home materials written in a family’s native language, such as school policies and books that parents and children can read together.

Although there’s still a lot to learn about supporting a family’s efforts to promote a child’s learning, this latest research on parent involvement in schools is a terrific addition to what’s already in the field. Finding educational programs that support ELL students’ first language, such as The Latino Family Literacy Project, can make an enormous difference on their academic and language acquisition success.