14 SES 17 A, Preventing Early School Leaving: The importance of families and communities
Оne of the important reasons of differences in educational attainment is family background (Brunello & Checchi, 2007). Compared with their peers, children living in poverty, especially young children are more likely to have cognitive, behavioral, and socio-emotional difficulties. Throughout their lifetimes they are more likely to complete fewer years of school and more rarely expect to get higher education (Strohschein, 2005; Wagmiller, at al., 2006).
At the same time, the results of numerous studies confirm the existence of a positive relationship between the involvement of parents in education and student achievements. Based on a review of 66 studies, Henderson & Berla (1994) come to conclusion, that family plays the main role to the children’s achievement from the early childhood to high school. Despite of the fact that majority of research reveal a significant gap between the most and least advantaged children, these studies continue to support family involvement as the key to success in school. Studies show that favorable for learning home environment, encouragement and support, high expectations and involvement of parents in school life have a positive impact on educational outcomes, regardless of income, ethnic, or educational background of families (Eagle, 1989; Dauber & Epstein, 1993; Christenson, Hurley, 1997). Other studies suggest that parental involvement in education can help compensate the lack of other family resources (Derrick-Lewis, 2001). Families from all situations, regardless of the formal education or income level of the parents, and regardless of the grade level or ability of the student, gain an overwhelming amount of benefits from school and family partnerships (Epstein, 1987; Caldas & Bankston, 1999; Kelleghan, Sloane, Alvarez, & Bloom, 1993).
Parents can reinforce students’ learning at home. And they can help schools better organize specific academic supports and extra study time after school, on weekends, or in the summer for students who need additional help. Schools should work creatively and collaboratively with parents, engaging them in the education of their children. Reducing barriers to the involvement of parents will promote that families and schools can work together toward shared goals (Darling-Hammond, 1996).
For our analysis we used the Epstein's (1987) Framework of Six Types of Involvement (Parenting, Communicating, Learning at home, Volunteering, Decision making, and Collaborating with community).
The purpose of this study was to consider differences in students’ academic results and choice of future educational trajectory in groups of children whose parents are involved in the six types of parent involvement by comparison of low-income families with the average of the sample. Specifically, the research questions were following:
- what are the features of educational results of children and also their orientation towards higher education in groups of children whose parents are involved in the six types?
- what are the features of educational results of children and also their orientation towards higher education in groups of children from low-income family and the average of the sample?
- how do the educational outcomes differ depending on the six types of parent involvement and income level of family and also demographic characteristic such as type of settlements, parents' educational level, and family structure?
- А survey of parents of school children, 3887 participants, 2016. The survey was conducted within Monitoring of education markets and organizations, NRU Higher School of Economics. The Project was initiated by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation under the Federal target program of education development for 2016-2020. Data collection was carried out in such a way that the data are representative for Russia as a whole taking into consideration the considerable difference between the regions of the Russian Federation. - Survey items were linked to Epstein's typologies of parent involvement (Epstein, 1987). The questions about children's academic results and family demographic characteristic such as monthly income level, type of settlements, parents' educational level, and family structure were also considered. - Low-income families were considered those which the monthly income was below poverty threshold - less than 8 thousand rubles on the person in a month. - The indexes of academic achievement have been calculated for each of 6 types of involvement based on the responses of the parents as the sum of weight coefficients (from 1 – minimum to 5 – maximum marks) multiplied by the proportion of parents who choose the appropriate response. The range of possible index values is from 1 to 5. - Cluster analysis (by K-means method) of parent’s activity types in order to find groups of parents that are similar in involvement. The analysis of the survey results has been carried out separately for the medium data on the sample and for low-income families.
The percentage of parents involved in Parenting, Communication, and Learning at home is about the same amount in both low-income families and the average sample. However, the proportion of parents from the poorest families acting as volunteers, slightly lower compared to the average for the sample. Among parents involved in Decision making and Collaborating with community least of all representatives of low-income families. The children whose parents are not involved in education have the least index of academic achievement - 3.08 the average for the sample and 2.81 for children from the least wealthy families. The average index for children whose parents are involved in Parenting, Communication and Learning at home is slightly higher - 3.22-3.25; for low-income families – 3.01-3.11. The children whose parents are involved in Volunteering and Decision-making have approximately the same indexes – 3.34; for low-income families – 3.16-3.20. The highest index of academic achievement is shown by children whose parents are involved in Collaborating with community - 3.44; for low-income families this index is more - 3.71. Thus, despite the fact that children from the poorest families have lower than average educational outcomes, parent involvement promotes their increase. With increasing the level of involvement parents are, the more leveled the difference in educational results. Children from the poorest families are significantly less plan to study at the University after school. At the same time the percentage of children planning to get higher education considerably increases when parents are involved in their education. The higher level of the involvement of parents, the greater the percentage of children oriented towards getting higher education. And the higher level of the involvement of parents in education, the less there gap between the low income families and average values for the sample.
Auerbach, S. (2007). From moral supporters to struggling advocates: Reconceptualizing parent roles in education through the experience of working-class families of color. Urban Education, 42, 250-283. Barton, A. C., Drake, C., Perez, J. G., Louis, K. S., & George, M. (2004). Ecologies of parental engagement in urban education. Educational Researcher, 33(4), 3-12. Brunello, G. & Checchi, D. (2007). Does school tracking affect equality of opportunity? New international evidence, Economic Policy, 22(52), 781–861. Caldas, G.R. & Bankston, C. (1999). Effects of socioeconomic status on individual academic achievement. The Journal of Educational Research, 90, 267-277. Christenson, S.L., Hurley, C.M. (1997) Parent’s and school psychologist’s perspectives an parent involvement activities, School Psychology Review, 26, 1, 111-130. Darling-Hammond, L. (1996). What matters most: Teaching for America’s future. New York, NY: National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future. Dauber, S.L. & Epstein, J.L. (1993). Parents’ attitudes and practices of involvement in inner-city elementary and middle schools. Families and schools in a pluralistic society, Albany, NY: SUNY Press. Derrick-Lewis, 2001. Diamond, J.B., & Gomez, K. (2004). African American parents’ educational orientations: The importance of social class and parents’ perceptions of schools. Education and Urban Society, 36(4), 383-427. Eagle, E. (1989). Socioeconomic status, family structure, and parental involvement: The correlates of achievement (Report No. ISBN-934460- 41-8). Washington, DC: National Committee for Citizens in Education. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 375 968). Epstein, J.L. Teacher practices of parent involvement: What research says to teachers and administrators. Education in Urban Society. 1987. 19. P. 119-136. Henderson, A., & Berla, N. A new generation of evidence: The family is critical to student achievement. Columbia, MD: National Committee for Citizens in Education. 1994. Kellaghan, T., Sloane, K., Alvarez, B., & Bloom, B. S. (1993). A new generation of evidence: The Link to Home-School Partnerships (Report No. ISBN-0-934660-41-8). Washington, DC: National Committee for Citizens in Education. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 375968). Strohschein, L. (2005). Household income histories and child mental health trajectories. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 46(4), 359–357. Wagmiller, Jr., R.L., Lennon, M.C., Kuang, L., Alberti, P.M., Aber, J.L. (2006). The dynamics of economic disadvantage and children’s life changes. American Sociological Review, 71(5), 847–866.
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