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ERIC Number: EJ1058521
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Apr
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0141-1926
The Family-School Interaction: School Composition and Parental Educational Expectations in the United States
Lawrence, Elizabeth
British Educational Research Journal, v41 n2 p183-209 Apr 2015
Research has shown that intersections among families, schools and communities affect children's development, but there is still much unknown about how these contexts are linked and how they jointly influence children's education. This study explores one aspect of the overlapping influence of schools and families on children's education: the relationship between parental education expectations and school composition. Extending findings from literature on how parent expectations differ across social groups and studies showing school compositional effects on student outcomes suggests that schools may affect parents' attitudes and beliefs. Using US nationally representative data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten (ECLS-K), multilevel models show an independent, positive relationship between parental educational expectations of eighth grade children and the percentage of nonwhite students in the child's school, a surprising result given the lower average achievement levels of US schools with higher percentages of nonwhite students. This finding persists beyond controls for a variety of family, child and school factors, including baseline expectations from fifth grade. The results also show that parents of low socioeconomic status (SES) have higher expectations in schools with greater percentages of minority students, but higher SES parents are largely unaffected by school composition. Although the study cannot rule out the possible influence of unobservables, it cautiously interprets a causal effect of US schools on parent expectations. The study therefore concludes that school influence may extend beyond the child to family processes and that school composition is an important but overlooked factor related to educational expectations.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 8; Junior High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey