But authors of a new study say their evidence tells a different story, prompting a backlash from parents upset that any study would suggest they have little or no impact on how their kids perform academically.
In the study, called “The Broken Compass: Parental Involvement with Children’s Education”, authors Keith Robinson and Angel L. Harris conclude that most forms of parental involvement, including attending PTA meetings and helping a child with their homework, do not improve student achievement. In fact, the authors, both sociology professors, insist that in some cases, parental involvement can actually hinder a child academically.
“While policy makers were convinced that parental involvement positively affected children’s schooling outcomes, academic studies were much more inconclusive,”
How was the “Broken Compass” study conducted? The authors reviewed educational surveys of American families carried out in cities throughout the US over the pasts 30 years. They compared the average achievement of children whose parents regularly engage in each form of parental involvement to that of their counterparts whose parents do not. They found that most forms of parental involvement yielded no benefit to children’s test scores or grades, regardless of racial or ethnic background or socioeconomic standing. Their counterintuitive conclusion: “there were more instances in which children had higher levels of achievement when their parents were less involved than there were among those whose parents were more involved,” said Robinson.
Parents are understandably outraged, saying the study is an attempt to upend decades of research that demonstrate the value of parental involvement. “It’
Pinskaya’s Website, www.learningcandy.com, offers resources as well as T-shirts and educational gifts focused on inspiring parents to practice Whole Child Education in their households and do more than help their children get good grades in school. “We explore qualities and skills to develop in kids to set them up for success: leadership, confidence, a love of learning, entrepreneurial mindset, financial literacy, social skills, achievement drive and girl power.”
“The study is misleading” said Pinskaya. “But I’m glad it’s gained so much attention in recent weeks because it reminds us that grades and test results matter but most definitely NOT the only way to achieve success in life.”