Cover: The Broken Compass: Parental Involvement with Children's Education, from Harvard University PressCover: The Broken Compass in HARDCOVER

The Broken Compass

Parental Involvement with Children's Education

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Product Details

HARDCOVER

$56.50 • £45.95 • €51.00

ISBN 9780674725102

Publication Date: 01/06/2014

Text

322 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

74 graphs, 10 tables

World

In the largest-ever study of how parental involvement affects academic achievement, Keith Robinson, a sociology professor at the University of Texas at Austin, and Angel L. Harris, a sociology professor at Duke, mostly found that it doesn’t. The researchers combed through nearly three decades’ worth of longitudinal surveys of American parents and tracked 63 different measures of parental participation in kids’ academic lives, from helping them with homework, to talking with them about college plans, to volunteering at their schools. In an attempt to show whether the kids of more-involved parents improved over time, the researchers indexed these measures to children’s academic performance, including test scores in reading and math. What they found surprised them. Most measurable forms of parental involvement seem to yield few academic dividends for kids, or even to backfire—regardless of a parent’s race, class, or level of education… They did find a handful of habits that make a difference, such as reading aloud to young kids (fewer than half of whom are read to daily) and talking with teenagers about college plans. But these interventions don’t take place at school or in the presence of teachers, where policy makers exert the most influence—they take place at home.—Dana Goldstein, The Atlantic

This book is provocative, empirically powerful, and challenges one of the most deeply believed (but generally unsupported) tenets about schooling and student outcomes—the critical importance of ‘parental involvement.’—William A. Darity, Jr., Duke University

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