What’s more Important to Academic Success – Schools or Families?

Last week we reported on studies showing how brain development may lag for infants and toddlers living in impoverished circumstances. Along this same line, research by scholars from North Carolina State University, Brigham Young University and the University of California-Irvine found that the role of parents is more crucial to a child’s success than contributions made by schools.

Scholars use the term social capital to describe the various forms of support that can assist children in learning. School capital may include creating a positive environment for learning, such as a teacher’s ability to address the needs of students. Family capital may include the bonds between parents and their children, including levels of trust, lines of communication and active engagement in a child’s learning at an early age. This more recent research confirms the stress placed on family background by James Coleman. Here is a brief summary of the study by NC State News.

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