According To A Study, Fathers Have A “Unique Effect” On How Well Their Kids Do In School

Fathers Have ‘unique Effect’ On Children’s Educational Outcomes, Study Finds | Future Education Magazine


According to study that says that 10 minutes a day could make a difference, children who have their fathers read, play, sing, and draw with them show a “small but significant” improvement in children’s educational performance at primary school.

A study led by the University of Leeds asserts that fathers have “a unique and important effect” on children’s educational outcomes, despite the fact that it has long been understood that parental involvement is essential for a child’s education and development.

It was shown that fathers who are more involved before their children start primary school provide them an educational edge in their first year, while fathers who are more involved at the age of five aid in raising achievement in key stage 1 tests at the age of seven. In maths, the effect is a little more noticeable.

The Economic and Social Research Council-funded study made a distinction between the effects of mothers and fathers. Fathers’ engagement affected children’s educational success, while moms had a greater influence on their emotional and social development.

According to the report, fathers should set aside as much time as they can each week to spend playing and learning with their kids. “Engaging in multiple types of structured activities several times a week – even if just for short periods of time – helps to enrich a child’s cognitive and language development,” the study claims. “Even 10 minutes a day could make a difference.”

Additionally, it suggests that where possible, schools and early childhood education providers regularly collect both parents’ contact information and create effective father engagement programmes. It implies that the schools inspection agency, Ofsted, ought to take father involvement in inspections into consideration.

The study’s principal investigator, Dr. Helen Norman, a research fellow at Leeds University Business School, stated: “Fathers actively engaging in childcare also significantly increases the likelihood of children getting better grades in primary school. Mothers still tend to assume the primary carer role and therefore tend to do the most childcare. It is crucial to encourage and assist fathers in sharing childcare with the mother from the beginning of the child’s life.

The study, which was released on Wednesday, is based on a sample of nearly 5,000 mother-father households in England that was selected at random from the Millennium Cohort Study, which collected information on children born between 2000 and 2002. This data was then linked to the children’s educational records from the early years foundation stage profile at age five and the national pupil database at age seven.

Regardless of a child’s gender, race, age during the school year, or household income, father engagement had a beneficial impact on their academic achievement. The study indicated that early poverty had a considerable negative impact on children’s educational performance.

“This is a strong piece of research, showing the importance of parent involvement in children’s development,” said Helen Dodd, professor of child psychology at Exeter Medical School. It is particularly intriguing that they discovered that father and mother involvement might be associated with different outcomes for kids, with father involvement particularly associated with broad educational outcomes and mothers involvement more closely associated with overall wellbeing, attention, mental health, and social skills.

This may be a reflection of the various ways that fathers and mothers may connect and play with their kids while still fulfilling their typical parental responsibilities in two-parent heterosexual homes. It serves to emphasise the crucial part dads play in society. But it’s crucial to remember that kids gain from their parents participating in these kinds of playful, creative activities with them, regardless of the family structure.

“This study shows that even small changes in what fathers do, and in how schools and early years settings engage with parents, can have a lasting impact on children’s learning,” said Andrew Gwynne, the chair of the all-party parliamentary group on fatherhood. The importance of not treating fathers as an afterthought cannot be overstated.

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