14 SES 03 B, Family Education, Engagement and Participation to Transform Education
This paper presents the research evidences on the benefits of family education on vulnerable groups for students and adults under the research and development project entitled “Improving the educational system through family education of vulnerable groups (EduFam)”. Therefore this paper responds to one of the specific interest of the network 14 “Communities, families, and schooling in educational research” research areas on the interest in the relationships between communities, families and schools. In addition this research also sheds light on ways to solve the European concern on how to reach adults with low level or no qualifications.
European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice (2015) based on the results of the Adult Education Survey (AES) states that in “all European countries, people with a lower level of educational attainment are less likely to search for information about learning opportunities than people with a higher level of educational attainment” (p. 115). In addition, this same report states that “public authorities in most countries are aware of the need to intervene in reaching out to adults with low level or no qualifications to motivate them to take part in lifelong learning. Indeed, during the past five years, most countries have conducted major awareness-raising and outreach campaigns. However, the impact of these initiatives on the participation of the most vulnerable groups is rarely evaluated” (p. 12).
The main objective of the EduFam project is to contribute with scientific knowledge to the characteristics of the implementation of family education on vulnerable groups in different contexts, analyzing the benefits for school students and their families while improving the educational system, trying to contribute in that sense to overcome the clearly situation of exclusion that they are suffering.
It has been largely studied the beneficial impacts of adult education in different social spheres (Bingman, Ebert & Smith, 1999) assessing the long-term impact of adult literacy programs in work, family and community spheres. In addition, family involvement in children’s education has reported impact on behavioral and affective areas of children’s development (Pomerantz, Grolnick & Price, 2005) as well as on their academic and personal success (Sanders & Lewis, 2005).
International research highlights that the participation of families in the educational centers contributes to the educational success of the children (Epstein, 1991; Barron, Hohlfeld, & Ritzhaup, 2010) at the same time that achieve to reduce the students’ absenteeism and increases the graduation rates. It also improves the behavior and attitudes of students (Henderson & Berla, 1994; Hoover-Dempsey & Sandler, 1997; Hoover-Dempsey et al., 2005). Therefore, family education facilitates the overcoming of inequality situations of children from families with low educational and from low socioeconomic status. Because of family education, it proves that children in situation of vulnerability can achieve academic success (Flecha, 2012). INCLUD-ED project (2006-2011) highlighted that one of the three types of family participation that produces better educational results is educative participation, which takes place when “families and other community members participate in students’ learning activities, both during regular school hours and after school. Educative participation also includes attending family education programs which respond to their needs (Flecha, 2012).
The benefits of family participation or community members in the school has been widely studied indicating that it is beneficial independently from their economic level, the family background, the educational level or if individuals belong to a vulnerable group (Henderson & Mapp, 2002; Koutroba, Vanvakari & Steliou, 2006; Porter, 1997). The European Council has already recommended the study of family education in order to improve the quality of the education of the students and transform their context, which has been studied through the European project INCLUD-ED (2006-2011).
Barron, A.E., Hohlfeld, T.N., & Ritzhaupt, A.D. (2010). Connecting schools, community, and family with ICT: Four-year trends related to school level and SES of public schools in Florida. Computers & Education, 55, 391–405. Bingman, M.; Ebert, O. & Smith, M.(1999). Changes in learners’ lives one year after enrollment in literacy programs: An analysis from the Longitudinal Study of Adult Literacy participants in Tennessee. NCSALL Report 11. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Graduate School of Education. European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice, 2015. Adult Education and Training in Europe: Widening Access to Learning Opportunities. Eurydice Report. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. Epstein, J. L. (1991). Effects on student achievement of teachers practices of parent involvement. Advances in Reading/Language Research, 5, 261–276. Flecha, A. (2012). Family Education Improve Student's Academic Performance: Contributions from European Research. Multidisciplinary Journal of Educational Research, 3(2), 301 -321. doi: 10.4471/remie.2012.16 Gómez, A., Puigvert, L., & Flecha, R. (2011). Critical Communicative Methodology: Informing Real Social Transformation Through Research. Qualitative Inquiry, 17(3), 235-245. doi:10.1177/1077800410397802. Henderson, A.T., & Berla, N. (Eds.). (1994). A new generation of evidence. The family is critical to student achievement. Columbia: National Committee for Citizens in Education. Henderson, A. T., & Mapp, K. L. (2002). A new wave of evidence: The impact of school, family, and community connections on students’ achievement. Austin, TX: National Center of Family andCommunity Connections with Schools, Southwest Educational Development Laboratory. Hoover-Dempsey, K.V., & Sandler, H.M. (1997). Why do parents become involved in their children’s education? Review of Educational Research, 67(1), 3–42. Hoover-Dempsey, K.V., Walker, J.M.T., Sandler, H.M., Whetsel, D., Green, C.L., Wilkins, A.S. et al. (2005). Why do parents become involved? Research findings and implications. The Elementary School Journal, 106(2), 105–130. INCLUD-ED Project. (2006-2011). Strategies for inclusion and social cohesion in Europe from education. Integrated Project. 7 Framework Programme. European Commission. Koutroba, K.; Vanvakari, M. & Steliou, M. (2006). Factors correlated with teachers’ attitudes towards the inclusion of pupils with special educational needs in Cyprus. European Journal Special Needs Education, 21 (4), 381-394. Pomerantz, E. M., Grolnick, W. S., & Price, C. E. (2005). The role of parents in how children approach achievement: A dynamic process perspective. In A. J. Elliot & C. S. Dweck (Eds.),Handbook of competence and motivation (pp. 229-278). New York:Guilford Publications. Puigvert, L., Christou, M., & Holford, J. (2012). Critical Communicative Methodology: including vulnerable voices in research through dialogue. Cambridge Journal of Education,42(4), 513-526.doi: 10.1080/0305764X.2012.733341
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