#All Lives Matter: An Educational Perspective, Parental Influence

#All Lives Matter: An Educational Perspective, Parental Influence

There’s an old adage which says, “Do as I say, and Not as I do.” This order first appeared in John Selden's Table-Talk (c. 1654).  No one really knows who introduced the saying or how old it really is. However, what is known, is that the command offers very little results.  It simply doesn’t work that way. Any seasoned parent, or grandparent can attest to this. Life is far more complex than a command.  In fact, social scientists agree that parents are the greatest teachers and first role models for their children Parents as Teachers.  As teachers, parents’ tone, behaviors, practices, and standards are psychologically recorded with great precision, by their children.  In reality, children pattern themselves after their greatest role models in nearly every area of their lives, including Education. 

Parental Attitudes and Beliefs toward Education have a significant impact on their students’ choices, academic performance, aspirations; and whether remaining in the educational pipelines is important. Factors such as academically focused curriculum, completion and persistence have an impact on academic performance at both the parental level and their student’s level. 

The following chart provides a window on the correlation between parental academic focused curriculum and their students’ academic curriculum.

The parents’ academic attainment and measure of persistence are also inextricably bound at the collegiate level; which further influences the student’s college choice.   

Nearly half of all first-generation students who enrolled in postsecondary education chose a public two-year college, compared to about one-quarter of the children of college graduates. And of the students who enrolled in public four-year universities, 45 percent had parents with college degrees, while 26 percent did not. Meanwhile, only 7 percent of first-generation college students chose a private college, compared to 23 percent of students with parents who earned a bachelor’s degree Parental Influence

Students of college/university graduated parents are more likely to attend and complete college, 1st generation college students are severely challenged with remaining in the pipelines.  Generally speaking, 1st generation college students do not have the benefit of organic educational guidance in the home. Meaning, because parents are the greatest influencers, lacking educational persistence and college degree (completion), the insignificance of educational persistence and performance is often times organically established in a child’s psyche. This leaves the paths to performance, persistence and completion shrouded in dense fog.   Seemingly this cyclical-generational behavior regarding educational attainment is only disrupted by academic enrichment programs (i.e. TRIO Federally-funded programs, etc.) designed to recode the educational DNA of students as early as middle school-aged students. 

This posting is the fourth installment of the #ALL Lives Matter: An Educational Perspective series.  

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