Parental Involvement on Teenagers’ Achievement

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Oxford Open Learning discuss the latest research which suggests that teenagers’ exam results are more likely to be influenced by their parents than their school.

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A parent's involvement can truly improve a child's education

Arnold Chevalier from the University of London has analysed teenagers from Danish schools over an eight year period, starting in 2002. The study was a comparison between pupils who were made to change school at 16 years old and their siblings who stayed at the same school throughout their teens.

The influence of a variety of factors was tested to see the effect on exam results, including the pupil’s school, family life and individual characteristics.

The results proved that the parental impact on results was far greater than the impact of the actual school. The effect of families remained the same irrespective of their household incomes, according to the researchers.

A parent’s involvement can truly improve a child’s education. Research and common sense both indicate that increased parental involvement has a positive impact on student achievement.

Teachers will tell you that their most successful students come from a home where the parents provide structure, support, and guidance. The attitude of the parent is also crucial to student achievement. If a parent has a positive attitude toward the school, and towards learning in general, the child will tend to have the same positive outlook.

Researchers said that the influence of parents mattered most in Maths and Science exams. To study GCSE Maths there are a variety of resources available. Oxford Open Learning’s Maths GCSE course gently guides students through basic mathematical skills, progressing onto more advanced material as the student’s skills and abilities develop.

School isn't suitable for all children. Whether it is due to other commitments affecting their study schedule, disabilities, special needs or because they have been suspended or expelled from school; children are still entitled to educational success.

Distance learning courses are an alternative method to prepare for exams. Course materials are delivered to the pupil and come in a variety of formats, including mail, elearning websites, conference calls and DVDs.

Exams are a stressful period for any teenager. GCSE results can have a big impact on the rest of someones life. There are extra resources available, such as private tutoring, home study and distance learning courses. Encouragement and support from parents is especially important.

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Conrad Swailes
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