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more than 85 studies, these publications document the profound
and comprehensive benefits for students, families, and schools, when parents and
family members become participants in their children’s education and their
evidence is now beyond dispute.
When parents are involved in their children’s education at home, their
children do better in school.
respect to children’s cognitive development, programs were more effective when
they included an early childhood education component (.48 vs. .25), when they
were targeted to special needs children (.54 vs. .26), when there were peer
support opportunities for parents (.40 vs. .25), and when there were parent
groups rather than home visits (.49 vs. .26). For children’s social and
emotional development, programs were more effective when parent self development
was a program goal (.56 vs. .25) and when professional staff were used rather
than paraprofessionals (.43 vs. .27). Parenting effects were also moderated by
program characteristics, such as peer support.
math skills, prereading skills, impulse control, relationships with peers, and
approaches to learning are the most frequently studied aspects of school
readiness. Language and learning materials in the home are the parenting
behaviors most highly linked with vocabulary and early school achievement;
discipline and nurturance are most closely associated with behavior problems,
attention, and impulse control.
in parenting behavior are seen between poor and not-poor children. The variation
is especially large for those aspects of parenting most linked to school
success: language, materials in the home, and teaching. We estimate that
about 1/3 to 1/2 of the variation in school outcomes between poor and not-poor
children can be accounted for by differences in parenting.
Family Research Project, Jeanne Brooks-Gunn is the Virginia and Leonard Marx
Professor of Child Development at Teachers College and at the College of
Physicians and Surgeons, both at Columbia University. Source:
Boulton: So, in some respects, how much of what we're saying is that we need to
do this in order to compensate for variations in the family? How much about this
is really about the family learning environment?
Rolnick: I think most of it is. I would talk about it in the environment.
It’s basically a poverty issue. It isn't that early education isn't important
for every kid. But clearly in middle and upper middle class families in most
cases, not in all, but in a high percentage, the environment is a very positive
one. Children begin school ready for school. They've got the language skills.
heard from all over the country from people in the criminal justice department
on this topic. They tell me they most of the children that they end up putting
into jail don't come from middle and upper middle class families.
They come from poverty families. They're well aware of the problem. They see it.
They realize that if a kid has a very slow start, or if they're far behind in
kindergarten, odds are they're going to see them somewhere down the road, five,
ten, fifteen years down the road. So they know that.
arguing, and the research kind of shows us, you can get the highest return
focusing on the at-risk children. The programs, the ideas are good for all
children, of course, in all families. In most cases, middle class and upper
middle class families are already doing this.
not talking about taking the children in these low-income families out of the
family, just the opposite. We're talking about working with the family, because
the studies show you've got to get the parent engaged.Essentially, you're educating the parent on parenting and it's a critical
component.The programs that we are advocating suggest to get the high
return includes a mentor with the parent at a very early age. The brain
development people will tell you in the most stressful environments, most
at-risk children, you have to get them by three. You can't wait until four or
five, even, that can be too late. So, we're talking about mentors in families
from birth on.
of programs, they may look expensive. Relatively speaking, they're not, because
the return is so high.
interviews: Participation in a Children of the Code interview does
not constitute or imply an endorsement of the
Children of the Code project or
documentary by the interviewee. Conversely, including an interview does not
constitute or imply an endorsement of the views, organizations, books or
products of the interviewee, other than
as explicitly stated, by the Children of the Code Project and documentary.
For more information about Children of the Code events please click here or call:502-290-2526
Dr. Grover (Russ) WhitehurstDirector,Institute of Education Sciences, Assistant
Secretary of Education, U.S. Department of Education Dr. Jack
ShonkoffChair, The National Scientific Council on the
Developing Child; Co-Editor: From
Neurons to Neighborhoods
Edward Kame'enuiCommissioner for Special Education Research, U.S. Department of
Education; Director, IDEA, University of Oregon Dr. G. Reid LyonPast
Director,National Institute of Child
Health and Human Development (NICHD) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Dr. Keith Stanovich
Canadian Chair of Cognitive Science, University of Toronto Dr. Mel
LevineCo-Chair and Co-Founder,All
Kinds of Minds; Author:A
Mind at a Time, The Myth of Laziness &
Ready or Not Here Life Comes Dr. Alex
District Psychologist, Past President, Oregon
School Psychologists Association
J. HeckmanNobel Laureate, Economic Sciences 2000; Lead Author: The Productivity Argument for Investing in Young Children
Dr. Timothy Shanahan President
(2006) International Reading Association, Chair National Early Literacy Panel,
Member National Reading Panel Nancy
Hennessy President, 2003-2005, International Dyslexia Association Dr.
Marilyn Jager Adams Senior Scientist, Soliloquy
Learning, Author: Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning About Print Dr.
Michael MerzenichChair of Otolaryngology, Integrative Neurosciences, UCSF; Member National
Academy of Sciences Dr. Maryanne
WolfDirector, Center for Reading & Language Research; Professor of
University Dr. Todd Risley Emeritus
Professor of Psychology, University of Alaska, Co-author: Meaningful Differences
Sally ShaywitzNeuroscientist, Department of Pediatrics, Yale
University, Author: Overcoming Dyslexia
Director, Professional Development and
Research Initiatives, Sopris West Educational Services Dr. Zvia BreznitzProfessor, Neuropsychology of Reading & Dyslexia, University of Haifa,
LavoieLearning Disabilities Specialist, Creator: How Difficult Can This Be?: The F.A.T. City
Last One Picked, First One Picked On Dr.Charles
Professor, Psychology & Linguistics; Senior Scientist and Associate Director,
R&D Center, U. of Pittsburgh, PA
Senior V.P. & Dir. of Research,
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis; Co- Author:
Economics of Early Childhood Development
Dr. Richard VenezkyProfessor, Educational Studies, Computer and
Information Sciences, and Linguistics, University of Delaware
Dr. Keith RaynerDistinguished Professor, University of Massachusetts, Author: Eye
Movements in Reading and Information Processing Dr.
Paula TallalProfessor of Neuroscience,
Co-Director of the Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience, Rutgers
SearleMills Professor of the Philosophy
of Mind and Language, University of California-Berkeley, Author:
Mind, A Brief Introduction
ResearchCenter, Penn State Dept. of Human Development
& Family Studies;
CASEL Leadership Team Dr.
Terrence Deacon Professor of Biological
Anthropology and Linguistics at University of California- Berkeley Chris
Doherty Ex-Program Director, National Reading First
Program, U.S. Department of Education Dr. Erik Hanushek Senior Fellow,
Hoover Institution, Stanford University
Dr. Marketa Caravolas
Director, Bangor Dyslexia Unit, Bangor University, Author: International
Report on Literacy Research Dr. Christof
KochProfessor of Computation and
Neural Systems, Caltech - Author:The Quest for Consciousness: A Neurobiological Approach
Professor of Languages and Cultures of Ancient
Mesopotamia, Holland; Author: Unfolding
Language Robert Wedgeworth President, ProLiteracy, World's Largest Literacy
Organization Dr. Peter Leone Director,
National Center on Education, Disability and Juvenile Justice Dr. Thomas CableProfessor of English, University of Texas at Austin, Co-author: A History of the
Ecologist and Philosopher; Author: The
Spell of the Sensuous Pat Lindamood and Nanci Bell
Principal Scientists, Founders, Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes Dr. Anne Cunningham
Director, Joint Doctoral Program in Special Education, Graduate School of
Education at University of California-Berkeley Dr. Donald L.
NathansonClinical Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at
Jefferson Medical College, Director of the Silvan S. Tomkins Institute Dr.Johanna
DruckerChair of Media Studies, University of Virginia, Author:
The Alphabetic Labyrinth
John H. Fisher Medievalist,
Leading authority on the development of the written English language, Author:
The Emergence of Standard English Dr. Malcolm RichardsonChair, Dept. of English,
Louisiana State University; Research: The Textual Awakening of the
English Middle Classes James
Executive Director, National Center
for Learning Disabilities
Physician; Best-Selling Author:
The Alphabet vs. The Goddess Robert SweetCo-Founder,
National Right to Read Foundation
The Children of the Code is a Social Education Project
and a Public Television Series intended to catalyze and resource a social-educational transformation in how we think about
and, ultimately, teach reading. The Children of the Code is an
entertaining educational journey into the challenges our children's brains
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linguistics, developmental neuroscience, cognitive science, psychology, information theory, reading
theory, learning theory, and the personal and social dimensions of