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ERIC Number: EJ868018
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov-18
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
Scholars: Parent-School Ties Should Shift in Teen Years
Viadero, Debra
Education Week, v29 n12 p1, 14 Nov 2009
Many educators and parents would agree that it is important for parents to spend time in their children's classrooms, to closely monitor homework, or to read to children at home. Try telling that, though, to a 13-year-old, argues Harvard University researcher Nancy E. Hill. In a series of studies and a new book, Hill makes the case that both research and policy initiatives aimed at promoting parent involvement fail to take into account the distinct needs of adolescents, a group of students that seems biologically driven to break free of parental vigilance. Hill said having parents involved in a field trip is not wholly consistent with what an adolescent wants. Moreover, studies are beginning to show that such activities may not be nearly as important for promoting educational success as other things parents might be doing at home at this stage in their children's development. When disentangled, the studies geared to middle schools showed that, while parent involvement was still important to students' learning, the kind of activity mattered. Helping with homework, for instance, did not have much of an impact at all in secondary school. Visiting the school, volunteering, and attending school events seemed to be just moderately related to student achievement. Twice as effective as the things parents did at school were the efforts they made at home, apart from helping with homework, to support schooling. However, a research by Belkis Suazo deCastro and Sophia Catsambis suggests that parents' at-home efforts to impress upon their children the importance of schooling do not have the same effect on everyone. Minority students' future outlook and college plans were not as strongly related to such parental actions as were those of their white counterparts. Hill said schools have a role to play in preparing kids to go to college. In addition to asking parents to volunteer and check their children's homework, middle schools ought to be sketching out for parents--particularly those who have never been to college--the educational pathways that lead from middle school to high school to college. Better family-school partnerships might yield the biggest payoff.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A