“Parental Involvement Is Overrated” — Um, No It Isn’t

I’ve previously posted about a new book on parent involvement research that pretty much suggests most previous research on the topic is wrong (see New Book & Research On Parent Involvement, & It’s Potentially Very Unhelpful).

The authors have a guest column in The New York Times with the decidedly unhelpful headline, Parental Involvement Is Overrated.

I have obtained the book, and it’s on my “to-read” stack. I’ll eventually get around to writing a more extensive piece on it. As I said in my previous post, I’m not convinced that everybody else is wrong and these professors are right.

2 thoughts on ““Parental Involvement Is Overrated” — Um, No It Isn’t

  1. I so agree. I too have not read the book but I do not like the tone of the stuff that I am reading about it. I do tell parents that they should only help with homework by making sure it is within the child’s capabilities and if it is not, that they should contact the teacher so she/he knows to set different work.

    I do agree that ‘stage-setting’ is the best way parents can help kids be successful in school and I have gone some way to researching what ‘stage- setting’ means. I call it ‘setting the scene’ and I have a three step approach that does this. I teach parents this in workshops and in an upcoming book. So I was a bit surprised when the article said that ” We have not really figured out how parents matter” and that ‘the message needs to be more evidence based.”

    I get the feeling that the results of this study – as reported in the local media – that it is not what parents ‘did’ but what they believed that made a difference to children’s success a little fatuous and of absolutely no use to parents or those that support parents.

    OK rant over – for now – I love reading your posts – keep them coming.

  2. Larry,

    Thanks for this post. I too saw the article and as someone who works with an organizations with parents on the ground today, I found this piece particularly unhelpful in the greater conversations we need to continue to have with all parents.

    WE have literally thousands of parents from across the country we have trained and prepared to be active partners improving educational outcomes.(..including improving test scores) and it is frustrating to see something like this get printed without a p balanced approach to the conversations. Thanks so much!

    Debbie Rude
    National Board Director
    Parents for Public Schools, Inc.

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