Parents can undermine their children’s performance in secondary school if they set their academic expectations “unrealistically high,” finds.
Researchers studied 3,530 German students in grades 5 to 10, and their parents, between 2002 and 2007. They analyzed students’ scores on annual math tests and a questionnaire portion of the tests, in which parents specified the grades they hoped their children would earn, and the grades they thought their children could reasonably earn.
High parental aspirations led to increased academic achievement only when the expectations were realistic, the researchers found. When their aspirations exceeded what their children could reasonably achieve, the adolescents’ achievement declined.
A version of this article appeared in the December 02, 2015 edition of Education Week as Parental Involvement