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Academic Success: Parental Involvement Pays Off, Research Study Finds

The responsibility to educate children is a shared obligation between parents and schools, but education begins at home. In order for a child to reach academic achievement, parents must be involved and participate in the educational process. The more parental involvement, the more students are likely to become productive members of society as well as excel in academics. Parental involvement impacts student academics.

A field-based study by Barbara Schneider and Yongsook Lee (1990) compared the academic performance of East Asian American school students and European-Americans students. Excluded from both groups were students in special classes who had learning disabilities or physical handicaps. Both groups were compared as to their ability in the Latin alphabet.

Data collected indicated that East Asian academic performance on achievement tests and report card grades was higher than that of the European-American students in all areas, with the exception of language skills. Differences in language performance could be attributed to the fact that many of the East Asian students were at a disadvantage because their parents did not speak English.

Schneider and Lee found only cultural differences — all related to parental involvement — to explain the East Asian Americans being superior to the European-Americans. For example, 22 out of 37 of the East Asian parents reported that they had spent time teaching their children reading, writing, and simple arithmetic skills before entering kindergarten. Only 4 out of 25 European-American parents indicated that they had engaged in similar activities. East Asian parents closely monitored and controlled their children’s use of time on academic and social pursuits and they placed high value on education. “There is nothing without education,” one parent remarked. “Education is more important than money.”

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Schneider, B., & Lee, Y. (1990). A model for academic success: The school and home environment of East Asian students. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 21: 358-377..