14 SES 06 A, The Role of Family and Community in Schools under Challenging Circumstances
Social and economic factors, such as characteristics of students' families or entire local communities, districts and territories, define the context, which needs to be considered at assessment of activity and efficiency of a single educational organization or the whole educational system (Coleman, 1966; Bourdieu, Passeron, 1990).
In Russia, there is a significant differentiation of schools according to socio-economic characteristics of students, as well as human and material resources (Konstantinovsky, etc., 2006). Students from families with low socio-economic status are concentrated in certain schools, and the government has not yet implemented policies to support these schools (OECD, 2010).
Researchers of school efficiency from different countries established that the schools operating in challenging social and economic conditions are able to demonstrate high educational achievements (Reynolds, Chapman, Kelly, Muijs, & Sammons, 2011; Siraj, Taggart, 2014; Pinskaya, Kosaretsky, Zvyagintsev & Derbishire, 2018). Such schools, referred to as resilient schools, are characterized by a favorable school climate. The research show the importance of a caring teacher who supports the students; their positive expectations; involvement in academic activities, and school life in general (Rockoff, 2004; Rivkin, Hanushek, & Kain, 2005). But the teamwork and the partnership between the family and the school are equally important (Masten, Herbers, Cutuli, & Lafavor, 2008).
The researchers (Epstein, 1995; Flecha & Soler, 2013; Greene & Anyon, 2010; Linse, 2011) have pointed out the significance of parental involvement in education for children’s motivation, trajectory, and academic success.
Studies conducted over the past decades show that parental participation in children's education is an essential component that determines their success in school and subsequent professional socialization, and has a positive effect on the children’s self-esteem and their overall subjective well-being (Finn, 1998; Ferguson, at al., 2008).
Most studies indicate a positive relationship between parental participation in the child’s school life at home (for example, helping with homework, communicating about the educational process at school and reading with children) and school-related results, including academic achievements and socio-emotional adaptation of the child (Jeynes, 2003; Sui-Chu, Willms, 1996).
The more active the parents, the better the academic performance of their children. Moreover, the parental involvement in education in the risk-group families with low socio-economic status carries high potential for overcoming educational inequality. Despite generally having lower than average academic results, children from low-income families have better attainment and more often plan to go to a university when their parents are involved in educational process (Goshin, Mertsalova, 2018).
The aim of this study was to find out what types of parental participation in education, as well as the strategies and practices implemented by parents with regard to the education of their children are the most successful in different groups of schools, and especially in resilient schools, i.e. those that are able to demonstrate high achievements in adverse conditions.
- How differ parents in their involvement in children’s education?
- How do the educational outcomes differ depending on the types of parental involvement in education?
- What strategies of parental involvement prevail in different groups of schools (effective, resilient, failing, unsuccessful)?
- How do strategies for parental involvement in resilient schools differ from other schools?
Data were obtained from the study in the framework of the Monitoring of education markets and organizations (MEMO - http://memo.hse.ru/en/) initiative by the Higher School of Economics and the Yuri Levada analytical center. A survey of 3,887 parents whose children attend general education institutions in 9 federal districts of Russia was undertaken in 2016. Statistical package Mplus 7.1 was used to conduct a latent class analysis (LCA) to group parents by their involvement in school life and education process of children. The index of academic achievement have been calculated for each type of parental involvement based on the responses of the parents as the sum of weight coefficients from 1 (lowest performance) to 5 (highest performance) multiplied by the proportion of parents who chose the appropriate response. Possible index values range from 1 to 5. The analysis of school’s socio-economic well-being level was based on a survey of principals and teachers from the 2014-2016 academic years (analytic sample contains 1236 observations for principals). We used a contextualisation model which was based on previous studies in other countries (OECD, 2008). Next, the defined groups (types) of parental involvement in education were juxtaposed with groups of schools defined in the article (Pinskaya, Kosaretsky, Zvyagintsev & Derbishire, 2018): low results and low ISA (unsuccessful schools), high results and low ISA (resilient schools), low results and high ISA (failing schools), high results and high ISA (effective schools).
The LСA divided parents into three groups. "Mentors" (40%) have the deepest participation and the maximum extent of control. “Liberals” (28%) provide freedom to children, along with facilitative support. “Invisibles” (32%) are the least involved; their participation is superficial and formal, and children often feel deprived of parental support in their studies. The children whose parents belong to the "Mentors" and "Liberals" categories have in general approximately the same index of academic achievement (3.28 and 3.26 respectively) while this index for children whose parents are least of all involved in education ("Invisibles") is lower (3.08). "Mentors" almost twice as likely to link the performance of the child with the efforts of parents for the organization and control of educational process. These parents attach more importance to the high quality of teaching at school. "Mentors" rarely see the cause of high performance of a child in good natural abilities and ambitions. "Liberals" much more often associate high performance with the individual efforts of a child and good natural abilities. "Invisibles" consider the natural abilities of a child and high ambitions to be more significant. The category of "Mentors" is dominant (approximately half) among parents in resilient schools, while “Invisibles” prevail in failing schools. The category of "Liberals" prevails in effective schools. Thus, it can be concluded that for schools in adverse social conditions, the parental strategy of "Mentors" is the most effective. This strategy implies maximum immersion in the education of children, helping them to study, preparation of tasks and search of material, as well as the implementation of strict control over their performance. For schools in a favorable socio-economic environment, the strategy of "Liberals" is more effective. This behavior is based on the support of a child in learning, interest and facilitation, without deep immersion in school affairs and control.
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