Article

Parental involvement in education: a tool for change

Rubén Fernández Alonso, Universidad de Oviedo; Marcelino Cuesta, Universidad de Oviedo; Pamela Woitschach, Universidad de Oviedo; Marcos Álvarez-Díaz, Ministry of Education and Science of the Principality of Asturias

The style of parental involvement in education has clear effects on children’s academic, cognitive, and socioemotional development. An open, communicative parenting style that encourages autonomy and responsibility in studying is associated with better school outcomes for pupils, whereas styles that are more interventionist and controlling have a negative impact on children’s academic performance. However, can these effects be extended to schools? In this article, it is confirmed that schools whose parents present a more open and communicative style achieve better school outcomes and also, that at these types of schools, differences in performance between pupils are smaller.
Key points
  • 1
       Family involvement in the education process is positive for students, although a detailed analysis enables observation that not all forms of parental involvement at home are necessarily beneficial. Some styles are more effective than others, and some can even be harmful.
  • 2
       It is possible to distinguish two styles of parental involvement in the household: one which is more authoritarian and controlling and another which is more communicative and encourages children’s autonomy. In both cases, mothers are more involved. These profiles present differential effects in pupils’ performance: children from more communicative families show better school performance, quite the contrary to those whose parents adopt a more controlling style.
  • 3
       These parental involvement profiles have repercussions on the school. Schools whose families present a more open and communicative style not only achieve better results but the differences between pupils also tend to decrease, thus generating a more equitable education.
  • 4
       These data open up a pathway with the potential for comprehensive improvement for the schools, since the educational organisations have some leeway for proposing and implementing policies aimed at encouraging profiles of parental involvement that increase the efficacy and equity of the education in these schools.
Variation of results in Spanish language at the schools according to the average score in the “parental communication” index
Variation of results in Spanish language at the schools according to the average score in the “parental communication” index

The difference in results between the types of school stands at around 20 points in favour of School type 2. This is because the set of parents at School type 2 present higher levels of communication and support. Additionally, it is observed that, at School type 2, the range of scores is lower than at School type 1 (at these schools, the differences in pupils’ results can be as much as triple. In short, the schools where families show a more communicative style of involvement overall not only obtain better outcomes, but are also more equitable from the perspective of the distribution of outcomes.

Classification

Tags

Subject areas

Related content

Article

The impact of gender-based violence on sons and daughters: the role of schools according to the pupils

Some 93% of children have heard of gender violence. Their preferential source of information is the school setting but, if faced with a situation of gender-based violence, they are unsure whether it would be the place to find help.

call

Call to support research projects on education and society

The Social Observatory of the ”la Caixa” Foundation has announced a call to support social science research projects that use quantitative survey data on education and society in Spain.

Report

Inequality of opportunity in educational performance in Spain and Europe

What lies behind educational inequalities? Factors beyond students’ control (such as gender, background, or parents’ financial or cultural status) explain 32% of the differences in their academic performance.

Activity

Series of seminars at CaixaForum Macaya: “Learning ecosystems: educational innovation and collaboration”

What is dual vocational education and training? How can truly inclusive education be achieved? What should we understand by learning platform? Together with the Education Sciences Institute (ICE-UPC), we are organising this series of seminars to address the new education ecosystems.

Article

Vocational Training in Catalonia: academic performance, dual VET, and gender

While women continue to opt for more socially-oriented courses, this report points out that the occupations most necessary in 2030 will be those linked to the digital economy.

You may also find interesting

Percentage of population with basic education and higher

Infodata

Percentage of population with basic education and higher


Education

Education level in Spain is more polarised than in the rest of the EU. This indicator offers data that demonstrate this..

Early leavers from education and training reflect social inequalities

Article

Early leavers from education and training reflect social inequalities


Education

What factors increase the likelihood of students dropping out? Poor grades are not the only indicator of early drop-out.

Overeducated and unhappy? Evaluation of the consequences of overeducation

Article

Overeducated and unhappy? Evaluation of the consequences of overeducation


Education

In Spain, 20% of workers are overeducated for the job functions that they perform. This study analyses how this situation reduces satisfaction in the employment sphere.