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Parents must get more involved for effective education

Parents must get more involved for effective education

August 14, 2012

Children whose parents read to them in their early years were likely to achieve much more than children whose parents had less involvement, a University of Canterbury (UC) professor said today.

Garry Hornby, from UC’s College of Education, said the gap between children of parents who help with their children’s education and those that didn’t was contributing to the large tail of under-achievers in New Zealand schools.

He has recently produced a book on the subject of parental involvement and has been invited to talk about it at the International Congress of Early Children Education at Adana in Turkey on September 12-15.

``We know that 15-year-old students whose parents often read books with them during their first year of primary school show markedly higher levels of academic achievement than students whose parents read with them infrequently or not at all,’’ Hornby said today.

Highlighting the importance of parental involvement in children’s schooling is therefore crucial to their schooling success, he said.

It was a real concern that many parents were not helping with their children’s education at home, or becoming involved in their education at school, which was why schools and teachers needed to be more aware of the importance of the ongoing need for parent involvement throughout the schooling years.

He said attention to parental involvement was at its height in early childhood and declined as children progressed through primary and intermediate schools and was at its lowest at high schools.

``Most parents want the best education for their children. It is just that for various reasons they either do not realize the importance of their involvement or do not feel comfortable or welcomed by schools to work in partnership with teachers for the benefit of their children.’’

For the last four years Hornby has conducted research studies on parental involvement at schools, from early childhood through to high school, in the Canterbury region. The findings of this research have been published in his latest book, Parental Involvement in Childhood Education, published by Springer in the USA.


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