For over fifty years, sociologists and educators have been analyzing the relationship between a student’s performance in secondary education and the socioeconomic status of his or her parents. These studies are often aimed at proving the harmful effect of poverty or divorce on a child’s academic performance, and unfortunately publish skewed data only relevant to the point they are trying to prove.
Interestingly enough, more than the income level or marital status of a parent unit, the greatest determining factor of a child’s success is his parent’s education level.
The American educational system requires parents to manage their child’s school career to maximize their child’s school achievement. Unlike schools in other countries, schools in the United States are part of an umbrella group, the U. S.
Department of Education. Almost all children born in the united stated complete school through their eighth grade year, seventy-five percent complete high school, and forty-five enter post-secondary education (Baker and Stevenson 156).
Schools in America are not structured around fixed future possibilities for students, but rather by student management.Students often have the option of choosing their own courses instead of being placed in a career path by a standardized test.
Being given this opportunity, parents with a higher education are more likely to pressure their child into or select college-preparatory courses for their child, regardless of his academic performance (Baker and Stevenson 160). This leads us to the argument that children’s educational attainment is more directly derived from home income level. This is an interesting claim considering the direct correlation between a family’s income and that family’s education. During his time at MIT, Professor H.
S. Houthakker developed a table illustrating the relationship between a family’s income range and the resulting representative income; adjusted for inflation, the table tells us that a child with an annual family income of between $5,000 and $10,000 will make an average annual salary of $9,000 in his chosen career (Houthakker 24). This Pareto-efficient trend grows exponentially for every five thousand dollars a parent unit rakes in per year. For a family making $10,000-15,000 annually, the child will make $17,000; a child from a family making $40,000-$50,000 will earn $64,000, and so on.
So if one was to define success by gross annual income, yes, the wealthier family will produce more successful children on an average. But then what is to speak for the child from the impoverished blocks of south Brooklyn who went on to become the first black congresswoman of the United States. “I thank my motherShe was the one who inspired me to be all I am today. ” Says Shirly Chisholm in her autobiography, Unbought and Unbossed.
“Years later I would know what an important gift my mother had given me by seeing to it that I had my early education. (Chisholm 30). Chisholm’s parents were immigrants from Barbados; her father a warehouse grunt and her mother a night-school teacher. Because her father was constantly working, Chisholm spent her days playing and practicing numbers and letters with her mother.
Amazingly, Chisholm claims to have been able to read and write by age three, and she credits that to the countless hours of her mother’s tutelage (Chisholm 34). At this point, one may begin to wonder why the mother is more of an influence than the father.In the 1920s and 30s, men were still considered the breadwinners of a family unit and few women went to college or had jobs at all; yet the children of that generation still grew up and contributed to incredible advances in science and technology throughout the world. Carollee Howes of the American Psychological Association believes that it has more to do with the “maternal relationship” than specifically education.
“The nurturing of the child is more significant than education level, although education plays a major role. (Howes 53) The role Howes is referring to, is the ability for a child to transition into an institution after being attached to the mother for the first two years of his life. “Education is not just a college degree,” says Howes, “you have life experience to take into account. ” More educated mothers just have a better sense of human, and therefore child development.
The next natural argument is the debate over marital status and child care and this affect on the child. Are children placed in child care influenced as much by their parents as they are their sitters?And do children from split homes experience enough stress and anxiety to damage that psychological relationship. Family characteristics account for academic progress, school skills, and behavioral problems more than peer pressure or alien influence (Baker and Stevenson). These traits are nearly ingrained into a child’s DNA, and no amount of outside influence after the first two years can truly remove that imprint on a child.
And although viewed as psychologically damaging to children, divorce and separation of parents more often leads to temporary outbursts of ill behavior rather than deteriorating educational value (Harmon 25).Research conducted for the Carolina Abecedarian Project explored the effects of implementing education a family figure (group A) versus an institution (group B) in a child’s development. Subjects of different ages were put into groups, observed and evaluated during the study, and then given identical cognitive assessments at the end of the test period. What this study found was that not only is a family figure better at establishing positive intellectual development in a child, but that the period of the most mental growth and development was between the ages of infancy and three years (Campbell and Raimey 3).
Doctors Campbell and Raimey found that school-age treatment alone was ineffective at teaching children and produced nearly the same results as a control group (group C) who received no maternal contact and no schooling whatsoever. Thus, Campbell and Raimey concluded that maternal nurturing between infancy and age three was the most productive period of brain development (Campbell and Raimey 7). The unique bond between a mother and child during the early nurturing stages of pre-academic life determines that child’s social skills and how those skills will later relate to the academic and professional world.From the evidence presented, we can definitively say that mothers who have at least a college education know more about their child’s school performance, have more contact with the teachers, and are more likely to take action to manage their child’s academic achievement.
Academic achievement is not an individual measure; students cannot be credited on personal ability alone, because they received these skills from those who influenced them most, their parents and guardians.
Cite this A Mother’s Influence on her Child’s Education
A Mother’s Influence on her Child’s Education. (2018, Jun 05). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/a-mothers-influence-on-her-childs-education/