Involving fathers in their children’s learning and education: Research and practice. Rebecca Goldman Department for Education and Skills This research was carried out whilst on secondment to the National Family and Parenting Institute [email protected] The context.
Department for Education and Skills
This research was carried out whilst on secondment to the National Family and Parenting Institute
Ofsted (2000): “there is a disturbing absence of men involved in family learning”
Department for Education and Skills (DfES)
Fathers Advisory Group 2003-04
Every Child Matters(Green Paper, 2003):-
To map and examine, in relation to fathers’ involvement in their children’s learning and education (ages 4-16):-
Review of the research evidence and other literature
Mapping and 13 case studies of recent and current projects (England and Wales)
Joint DfES/NFPI seminar on fathers’ involvement in education and family services (December 2003)
Fathers’ involvement with children’s learning/ in schools associated with (for children):
Independent associations to those between mothers’ involvement and same outcomes
How involved are fathers in their children’s learning and education?
Is there a distinctive “father role”?Which fathers are more likely to be involved?Which fathers are less likely to be involved?
Resident fathers less likely than resident mothers to be involved in most aspects of children’s out-of-school learning
More involved than mothers in:
building and repairing activities
practical activities and hobbies
ICT, maths and science
recreation, sports, outdoor activities, family trips
Focus on play and fun together
Substantial proportions of fathers also read with their children, help with homework, and give praise and support to their children for their schoolwork.
Resident fathers less likely than resident mothers to be involved in children’s schools
But: significant proportions of resident fathers attend parents evenings and general school meetings, and drop off and pick their children up at school
Non-resident fathers are especially unlikely to be involved in their children’s schools.
Fathers’ educational expectations and interest in child’s educationgenerally same as mothers’ educational expectations and interest
About 5% of learners in family language, literacy and numeracy initiatives are fathers (2002-03 NIACE evaluation)
About 12% of learners in wider family learning initiatives are fathers(2002-03 NIACE evaluation)
Fathers likely to drop out from school-based programmes held during daytime hours where mothers in majority
Many initiatives specifically for fathers (NFPI mapping)
Initiatives with practical activities (e.g. design and technology) can attract both fathers and mothers
What are the barriers?
What are fathers’, mothers’, children’s and practitioners’ views and attitudes?
Less likely than mothers to say:- a child’s education is equally or more the parents’ responsibilitythan the school’s (UK 2001 Parental Involvement survey)
Menmore likely than women to say: “nothing would encourage them to learn” and they had not enjoyed learning at school (UK 1997 Adult Learning Survey)
But some fathers do see it as their responsibility to help with children’s learning (qualitative studies)
(UK and Australian small-scale studies in schools)
Lots of barriers! education:
But which are most important in which contexts?
And which can schools and family learning providers influence?
And which can central government and local policymakers influence?
Some fathers do get involved…
Fathers perceive benefits…
And so do practitioners…
Much good practice…
CONTENT AND LEARNING STYLE
Goldman, R. (2005) Fathers' Involvement in their Children's Education: A Review of Research and Practice. London: National Family and Parenting Institute.