Wednesday, December 05, 2007
I got inspired by this video for this post from a blogger named I Read Banned Books thanks!
Here are the eight factors that are strongly corelated with test scores in school:
The child has highly educated parents.
The child's parents have high socioeconomic status.
The child's mother was thirty or older at the time of her first child's birth.
The child had low birthweight.
The child's parents speak English in the home.
The child is adopted.
The parent's are involved in the PTA.
The child has many books in the home.
Now two by two
Matters:The child has highly educated parents.
Doesn't: The child's family is intact.
Matters: The child's parents have high socioeconomic status.
Doesn't: The child's parents recently moved into a better neighbourhood.
Matters: The child's mother was thirty or older at the time of the birth of her first child.
Doesn't: The child's mother didn't work between birth and kindergarten.
Matters: The child had low birthweight.
Doesn't: The child attended Head Start.
Matters: The child's parents speak English in the home.
Doesn't: The child's parents take him to museums.
Matters: The child is adopted.
Doesn't: The child is spanked.
Matters: The child's parents are involved in the PTA.
Doesn't: The child frequently watches television.
Matters: The child has many books in his home.
Doesn't: The child's parents read to him regularily.
What does this tell us? A couple of things.
1) That although parents "matter" they don't matter in the way that we've been saying in mainstream literature and in pop psych books or parenting manuals.
2) It demonstrates that who parents are is a more important factor in children's performance at school than what parents do. This rejects the commonly held notions. I think it also is a great benenfit because it gives hope to childrenfrom families with abuse...they are not destined to become thir parents...we are not written in stone. And for those many parents who are stressed about what kind of parents to be...the stats show what you do may not be as tramatic to child development as we all fear.
From Freakonomics To overgeneralize a bit, the first list describes things that parents are; the second list describes things parents do. Parents who are well educated, successful, and healthy tend to have children who test well in school; but it doesn't seem to much matter whether a child is trotted off to museums or spanked or sent to Head Start or frequently read to or plopped in front of the television.
I will post some breakdowns of evaluations of these statistics in the comments below okay?
Thursday Thirteen Edition#75.
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