A Stepping Stone Foundation Blog
A Stepping Stone has engaged in two-generation family literacy for 30 years now. While others talk about it, we do it!! Check out this link to a recent paper posted on Archbridge Institute’s website September 2020 from James J. Heckman (see HeckmanEquation.org). Of special interest is Key Takeaway #2 two: “Families are the primary producers of skills and policy makers should institute policies aiming to support families in engaging and nurturing their children. Additionally, more informed and motivate parents foster better schools by sending children to them who are qualified, motivated to learn, and who have already been taught basic skills.”
In that same paper Figure 5 above is of noted interest. It relates to the work A Stepping Stone Foundation does with parents and children together.
The graph demonstrates research showing that “trends in achievement test scores such as PISA2 clearly show that children whose mothers completed more education tended to have higher scores”. Educate the parents and the children are highly likely to score better on standardized tests.
Better educated, better opportunities!
In the conclusion of Dr. Heckman’s paper he writes, “Skill gaps due to differences in family backgrounds are real and not a figment of test score bias. They matter a lot in predicting life outcomes. Skills are multiple in nature and can be shaped by families and other influences, not only schools. By taking a skills-based approach, governments can solve the root cause of the problems of persistent poverty and inequality, social immobility and racial gaps in the larger society. Instead of centering policies on enhancing skills solely through the education system, policy makers should institute policies aiming to support families in engaging and nurturing their children. Building on lessons learned from effective programs which promote parenting, mentoring, and parent-child interactions, society can design policies to promote childhood skill development and begin to close gaps caused by differences in family structures and environments. More informed and motivated parents foster better schools by sending children to them who are qualified, motivated to learn, and who have already been taught basic skills.”
We thank you for your support of our Stepping Stone families over these past three decades! You help us better educate children AND their parents.