A new framework for understanding parental involvement: Setting the stage for academic success
© 2016 Russell Sage Foundation. All rights reserved. The Coleman Report posited that the inequality of educational opportunity appears to stem from the home itself and the cultural influences immediately surrounding the home. However, this line of inquiry assumes that school and home processes operate in isolation, which is often not the case. An example of how families and schools can reinforce one another is through parental involvement. Whereas some studies suggest that children have better achievement outcomes when their parents are involved in their education, other studies challenge the link between parental involvement and academic outcomes. One major reason for this lack of consensus among scholars is that parents' involvement has been measured differently across studies. Thus, scholars' disagreements about how parents should be involved and about which aspects of parental involvement are associated with improvements in children's academic outcomes have contributed to inconsistent findings. We argue that the mixed results observed in previous studies indicate that parental involvement does not operate through the typical channels posited by researchers, educators, and policymakers and that traditional measures of parental involvement fail to capture the fundamental ways in which parents help their children academically. We propose a framework of parental involvement that might provide some clarity on how parental involvement operates.
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