The research is looking at the benefits of parents undertaking adult education through Southern Grampians Adult Education (SGAE) for their own development, increasing parenting skills through parent education and improving the relationship between parents and the schools that their children attend.
The literature investigated to date has revealed that parents’ educational attainment, parental literacy, parenting style, parental income, involvement with the school, achievement beliefs and stimulation in the home environment are all factors that have an impact on children’s success to greater or lesser degrees.
At the top of the list of influencing factors are parental aspirations. It was found by more than one study that what parents believe their children are capable of is the single-most important factor influencing a child’s academic achievement.
Then follow factors of parenting style (being supportive, encouraging and warm rather than authoritative and supervisory) and parent engagement (such as spending time reading books and communicating with one’s child).
Parents’ education and socio-economic status were found to have an indirect effect on children’s academic achievement. It is these elements that affect parental aspirations as well as the level of stimulation provided in the home environment: higher parental academic achievement and higher income resulted in more literacy-related material and literacy-related behaviours in the home.
It seems that parents who do not possess these aptitudes as a result of their own upbringing, life experiences or long-term educational commitments can be taught such skills.
Partners in the PPPP project include Southern Grampians Adult Education, The Helen and Geoff Handbury Fellowship program, George Street Primary School and RMIT Hamilton. The principal researcher is Susan Taylor, with the research expected to conclude in June.
For interviews: Susan Taylor, (03) 5572 0531.
For general media enquiries: RMIT Hamilton Communications Officer, Dinah Hallam, (03) 5572 0505.