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‘You’re the best!’ Your belief in your kids’ academic ability can actually improve their grades

Blog Editor, IOE Digital30 June 2021

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Philip D. ParkerJake Anders, Rhiannon Parker,  and Taren Sanders.

We have all met the parent who thinks their kid is the next Picasso or Einstein regardless of the evidence. But it’s hard to know if these beliefs are helpful or harmful.

Overly optimistic parents could reduce their kids’ drive to work harder and give them a false idea of the opportunities available to them. Or this same optimism could fill the child with confidence, kindle their self-belief and give them the courage to try harder.

We set out to discover which of these possibilities is most likely. We found a mother’s optimism about how good their child is in maths and reading (more…)

Ending a pernicious split: how to get beyond childcare as a commodity to education as every child’s right

Blog Editor, IOE Digital6 August 2020

Peter Moss.

Early childhood services in England need to be transformed. The split between childcare and education, firmly embedded in our deeply flawed system, is one of the key problems. The solution is to stop focusing on childcare and reform our early childhood provision as an education service.

This is a central argument of a new book I have edited with Claire Cameron, with contributions from academics at or associated with UCL Institute of Education.

After the second world war England’s early childhood services suffered policy neglect for decades and the split between ‘daycare’ services (under health) and school-based services (under education) was ignored. Then the 1997 election brought landmark change. Early childhood became a New Labour government priority, followed by a start on integration. All services came under education and a common system of regulation (Ofsted and the Early Years Foundation Stage) was implemented.

But integration stalled before the difficult bits were tackled. Services remained fragmented, with (more…)

Supporting parents through online programmes: now and into the future

Blog Editor, IOE Digital29 June 2020

Jie Gao, Clare Brooks, Yuwei Xu, Eleanor Kitto.

After nearly three months of lockdown, most of us crave human interaction. Indeed our experience of living and working virtually has taught many of us the value of face-to-face communication with real people. And yet, our systematic review on programmes designed for parents of young children suggests not only that online programmes offer effective ways to support parents, but that they are already extensively used to good effect.

Our systematic review of the research into programmes for parents of young children (0-6 years old) identified that effective parenting programmes often feature:

  • Focused programme aims and purposes
  • Clear theoretical frameworks
  • A programme tailored around individual user needs
  • Versatile means of delivery
  • Useful programme contents
  • High-quality teaching and facilitating
  • Effective professional training for programme leaders and facilitators
  • Constructive programme evaluation

Strikingly, the increasing use of technology and Internet-based parenting programmes stands out. Empirical reviews suggest that it has distinctive (more…)

Covid-19 and education: How can parents foster whole family wellbeing as some children return to school – especially for youngsters with special needs?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital2 June 2020

Amelia Roberts

During periods of upheaval, it can be particularly challenging to meet the needs of the whole family. Families now are juggling the school partial reopening, meaning that some children may be going back, while brothers and sisters are not. Not only is this difficult for practical reasons (such as getting some children to school while caring for others at home), but perceptions of fairness may well escalate. It may be hard, for example, not to meet friends when your sister can, or go to school when your brother gets to stay at home.

Explaining the situation

Social stories can be a very useful way to explain changes in circumstance to children with special educational needs. Beaucroft Foundation School have a wide range of excellent examples. ‘Going to school part time’ uses common visual symbols to explain the changes and has an excellent example of a simple visual calendar to show when a
child is at home and when at school.

Supporting the transition back into school

Communication with the school is absolutely crucial at this time. You will need to know how social distancing and deep cleaning measures are being handled so that you can (more…)

‘Too many tests for no good reason’: what do parents really think about primary assessment?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital30 January 2020

Alice Bradbury.

The debate about testing in primary schools is usually dominated by teachers and unions – who decry the pressures associated with statutory test – and the government – who argue testing is necessary to hold schools to account.

The voices of one group – parents – are often overlooked. New research explores parents’ views in detail, however, with some interesting findings, which can be summed up by the phrase ‘Too many tests for no good reason’. 

This phrase provides the title for the research, which was commissioned by the More than a Score coalition of education and parent groups.  Their report is based on a survey of over 2,000 parents of children aged 3-13, conducted by YouGov. The results raise some serious questions for those who see the current testing regime in primary schools as fit for purpose. 

(more…)

Parental leave: what is it for and how do we make it work?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital15 April 2019

Peter Moss.

Leave policies for parents (maternity, paternity and parental leave) are high on today’s policy agenda, not only in higher income countries but around the world. A recent International Labour Organisation (ILO) survey found all bar two countries (Papua New Guinea and the USA) had some paid maternity leave, while 79 had paternity leave and 66 parental leave.

This month, the EU is expected to adopt a new Work-Life Balance Directive, which sets a number of new or higher standards for parental, paternity and carer’s leave, and the right to request flexible working arrangements – an initiative so far ignored by the British media.

Yet despite this attention, many issues remain about how best to make leave policies effective and inclusive in a fast-changing world and to ensure they support a more equal and sustainable relationship between care, employment and gender.

These are the subjects of a new book published on April 17 – Parental Leave and Beyond: new international developments, current issues and future directions. It’s the product of a (more…)

East Asia top performers: what PISA really teaches us

Blog Editor, IOE Digital9 October 2014

John Jerrim
It is no secret that East Asian children excel at school. For instance, 78 percent of ethnic Chinese children obtain at least 5 A*-C GCSE grades, compared to a national average of just 60 percent. Yet, despite some very interesting qualitative work by Becky Francis, we still know very little about why this is the case.
I explore this issue in my new paper using PISA 2012 data from Australia. Just like their counterparts in the UK, Australian-born children of East Asian heritage do very well in school – particularly when it comes to maths. In fact, I show that they score an average of 605 points on the PISA 2012 maths test. This puts them more than two years ahead of the average child living in either England or Australia. They even outperform the average child in perennial top PISA performers like Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan.
(more…)