Parents’ beliefs about their role in young children’s academic learning


Kathryn Drummond


Deborah Stipek

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In individual telephone interviews, 234 low-income African-American, Caucasian, and Latino parents rated the importance of helping their second- and third-grade children in reading, math, and homework and of knowing what their children are learning. Parents reported whether they had taught their child in math and reading and read with their child in the past week. They also answered open-ended questions about the type of help they deemed appropriate. On questionnaires, teachers rated each student's reading and math skills and noted whether they had given a child's parent suggestions for helping with either subject. Findings showed that parents rated the importance of helping their child with academic work very high. Parents of second graders tended to rate the importance of helping higher than did parents of third graders. Similar to past research, ratings varied systematically as a function of parents' perceptions of children's academic performance and as a function of whether teachers had offered suggestions; however, parents perceived helping with reading as more important than helping with math. Findings implied that teachers who desire more parent involvement might need to use different strategies for the two subjects. In addition to specific approaches for helping with math, reading, and homework, parents noted other activities they believed would help their children succeed.

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APA Citation

Drummond, K., & Stipek, D. (2004). Parents’ beliefs about their role in young children’s academic learning.