Relationship Between Parent Involvement and the Academic Achievement of Disadvantaged Children: What Matters? For Whom Does it Matter? How Does it Work?
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Students growing up in socially disadvantaged environments typically experience poorer educational outcomes than students living in more advantaged circumstances. Strengthening parents’ involvement in their children’s learning is widely regarded as an important way of helping to reduce the achievement gap between disadvantaged students and their more affluent peers, but unfortunately policy interest in parent involvement has outpaced evidence of its effectiveness as an intervention strategy. A fundamental problem is the conceptual inconsistency, ambiguity and confusion in the literature on parent involvement. This confusion is exacerbated by the inherent complexity of the processes through which various forms of parent involvement are likely to have their effects on different aspects of children’s learning. In addition, factors such as family socio-economic status and ethnic background are expected to act as moderators of these already complex relationships. Hence, it is impossible to synthesise existing results and draw firm conclusions as to which aspects of parent involvement might be effective targets for intervention in disadvantaged communities. In other words, we still need to know, “What matters? And for whom does it matter?”
Thesis (PhD Doctorate)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance
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