Hmmm. Hold up.
There’s no reason to panic that your involvement is for naught. Quite the contrary. Decades of research, and we are talking dozens of research efforts, have shown that parent involvement has a positive impact on a child’s education. We’ve written extensively on this topic in such articles as these:
While no one wants to dismiss Robinson’s and Harris’s work out of hand, you can call us skeptics. At PTO Today, we know firsthand the incredible impact that parent involvement can have on schools, teachers, and the overall quality of education. How does this translate to individual students? That depends on a lot of factors, and how engaged the student’s parents are is one.
Psychology Today published a powerful rebuttal to Robinson and Harris. It’s written by Marilyn Price-Mitchell, Ph.D., a developmental psychologist and researcher. In her article, Inflated Research Claims Can Harm Children, Price-Mitchell says that any time new research is presented that draws “simple conclusions that can potentially harm children,’’ we need to react with a healthy dose of skepticism.
She points out that Robinson’s and Harris’s use of the term “parent involvement’’ doesn’t convey the “interconnected ways’’ that families support a child’s education. (She prefers “family engagement.”) Further, dozens of researchers agree that you simply can’t isolate the components of that “interconnected” support and determine whether a single component, on its own, is a success or failure.
We’re guessing the parent-involvement-is-overrated claim is going to get some more headlines. Be prepared. But keep in mind all the other research that shows the positive impact of parent involvement.
More important, look at your own family and see what your involvement has done for your kids.