Family Background, parental instructional strategies and children's self-regulated learning: a longitudinal, experimental study

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This project examines if parental meta-cognitive strategies with their children in formal and informal learning contexts mediate social inequalities in learning processes and if a targeted parenting intervention can improve these strategies and reduce educational inequalities. Meta-cognitive strategies comprise a combination of scaffolding & challenging behavior in learning tasks with child’s encouragement, autonomy-fostering practices, contingent feedbacks and parental responsiveness. We argue that these parenting practices are unequally distributed among social groups and affect children’s capability to develop self-regulated learning strategies, enjoyment of learning and, ultimately, school proficiency. 

In the first part of the project, we will carry out a qualitative study of parenting behavior, of related meta-cognitive strategies and of their variations among social groups. This will help us to design a light-touch parenting intervention that we will test by means of a randomized controlled trial targeting parents of children attending 1st grade in primary schools in disadvantaged neighborhoods. The main outcome is school proficiency; instrumental outcomes cover child’s use of meta-cognitive strategies, self-confidence and self-efficacy, school autonomy and enjoyment of learning.

Poster of the project - June 2021 


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