Engaging parents in their children’s education

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Helpdesk Query:

A rapid literature review of the evidence on interventions supporting parents to participate more in their children’s learning in Tanzania and other similar resource-constrained contexts. What does the evidence say on the results and lessons learned from these interventions, including on the effects of the way the parents participate? Where possible, gender dimensions will be flagged.

Summary:

In general systematic and rigorous reviews find limited (and little robust) evidence on the effectiveness of interventions to engage parents in their children’s learning in resource-constrained countries – when looking at parental participation in their children’s literacy development and parental engagement with schools. Effects tend to be mixed, with scarce evidence making it hard to come to firm conclusions on findings, including on the effects of the way parents engage in supporting their children’s learning. Reviews report more, and more consistent, evidence showing significant benefits from interventions supporting parental engagement with their children’s early childhood development (ECD). There are recommendations in the literature on the way parents are engaged in ECD interventions. In general the literature tends not to provide gender analysis, presumably because many interventions do not incorporate a gender focus (although some do). This rapid review has found limited evidence on the impact of interventions supporting parent engagement specifically for girls or for children with disabilities in resource constrained countries.

This rapid review has looked for evidence from resource constrained contexts and focused on the most recent studies. It has relied primarily on reviews, and particularly on systematic and rigorous reviews where available. The report has also included examples of evidence from individual interventions from Tanzania (primarily) or other resource-constrained contexts to illustrate the type of evidence and findings available. This report includes evidence on adult literacy and skills interventions explicitly designed to support parents to participate in their children’s learning. It does not cover other adult literacy and skills interventions that may have impacted on parents’ engagement with their children’s learning.

It has also not included evidence on interventions that may provide an incentive for parents to send their children to school but without engaging them in their learning (such as cash transfers, merit-based scholarships, reducing user fees, school-feeding and school-based health programmes etc.). It has searched for evidence on interventions supporting parent engagement in the education of girls and children with disabilities.

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