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Family Influences Upon Learning

Group Investigation Project

EDP 603, Summer III
August 3, 2005
Beth Arnos, Kristin Bixby, Angie Cowan &
Chris Tickle

Table of Contents:

Birth Order
Parent Education
Family Structure

Role of Family in Learning:

Birth Order
Parent Education
Family Values
Family Structure

The classroom is an opportunity for teachers to look at

the family dynamics of each student and determine
ways to assist the child with regard to these factors.

Birth Order:

Zanjunc & Markus (1975)

Sample of 350,000 males
Later born, lower IQ test score
Based on Household Intellectual Climate
Only-child & last-born phenomenon

Birth Order:
Implications for Cooperative Learning:
Typical Personality Traits by Birth Order
(Dreikurs, 1958; Morales, 1994)

Only Child- Unfamiliar with relating to other children,

shy, not used to competition, lacks opportunities to
learn how to successfully share, selfish.
First Born- Most favorable position, entrusted with
power and responsibility, positive self-esteem,
confidence, has tutoring/teaching opportunity at
home responds with hostility towards second child,
feels status is threatened when second child is born

Birth Order:
Typical Personality Traits by Birth Order (cont.)
Middle Child- More relaxed, even tempered, less driven
by parents, sometimes develops sense of humor to
obtain attention, becomes more extrovertedcould
develop low self-esteem, could develop feelings of
Youngest Child- More sociable, friendly, less demanding,
less jealous, develops skills such as accommodation,
tolerance, becomes more popular If too pampered, can
feel weak and develop feeling of inferiority, not
entrusted with responsibilityseeks situations free of
competition, shies away from tasks for fear of failure.

Birth Order:
Children arrive at school expecting that their
classmates will behave like their siblings,
their teachers like their parents (Romeo,
Teachers should choose roles and groups
based on a balance between the skills the
child has and the skills the child needs to
acquire, based on birth order (Morales, 1994).

Parent Education:
Duncan & Magnusan (2005)
Higher test scores

Dearing et al. (2005)

Parent involvement

Davis-Kean (2005)

Parent education in relation to child


Parent Education:
Parent education and involvement
affect the student in three main
Instruction (cognitive ability)
Modeling (social cognitive theory)
Reinforcement (behaviorism)

Family Values:

Reinforced behaviors (in early childhood) related to

Anglo Americans values promote autonomy of children to
a greater degree than Latinos (Puerto Ricans and
Mexicans, reportedly)
this has the effect on Latino students of lack of
competition for teacher attention, lack of competition
with peers, and lower self-efficacy
Competition & self-efficacy are thought to help children
achieve in Anglo-American based school systems
*Though Latinos value this as a form of unhealthy pride

Family Values:

Latinos(Puerto Ricans and Mexicans)

Native Americans (Hupa Tribe in Ca.)
In two studies, these three groups demonstrated a value
for conformity in their young children. Autonomy was
only valued by parents if that meant the parents value
system was going to be reinforced (autonomy with
regard to peers)

Bachtold (1982) study involved California residents and

preschool children of Anglo-American heritage and
Hupa Native American heritage
Hupa desired their children to learn new ways and prosper
more than previous generations
Hupa embedded values were transmitted earlier than six
years of age
Hupa children conformed early to transactions of intimacy
and cooperation that are consistent with the Hupa values
altruism in their culture circumvented development of
autonomy, assertiveness and competition which leads to
seeking of attention and goal orientation in their AngloAmerican counterparts

Family Values:

One study reviewed 3 decades of data from Detroit Mi.,

including religious and ethnic diverse populations
Catholics showed the greatest change in values
increase in parental valuation of autonomy for children
and a decrease in preference for obedience, from 1958
to 1983
Approx. 25% - 30% of the differential change in the
(entire study population) parental values (e.g., valuation
of autonomy) was attributed to increased educational
levels in Detroit Catholic parents
Alwin (1984)

Family Values:
Parenting Style:

Parental involvement in homework as an intersection of

family literacy, SES, social support for the student
Parents homework involvement influenced student
academic success when parental modeling, reinforcement
and instruction supported student attitudes about
homework, student perceptions of competence and student
self-regulatory skills (Hoover-Dempsey et al., 2001)
Behaviorist views are supported in the findings, where the
parental involvement served to reinforce childrens attitudes
and self-regulatory skills
Social cognitive theory is also supported due to the positive
outcomes that resulted from parental modeling and parental
support of students perceptions of competence

Family Values:
Parenting Style: 2ndary outcome - peer group

Durbin, et al.(1993) examined an association between

peer group orientation and parenting style among
European-American high school adolescents - teens
reported on the style
authoritative (students were oriented toward
balanced peers that rewarded both adult&peervalues, e.g., "jocks," "the in crowd," and "brains")
authoritarian (no data trend)
indulgent (fun-culture orientation, "partiers")
uninvolved (mostly girls; some boys, oriented toward
crowds that didnt endorse adult values (e.g.,

Family Values:
Parenting Style:

Disparity between teens expectation of the onset of

more autonomy, compared with their parents
expectation-values created a secondary effect
Decreased interest in parent value system
Promoted student attachment to peer values

Depending on the peers selected, delinquent

behavior resulted (a distraction from school and
Researchers think the the greater the teens
PERCEPTION of disparity between the parent/teen
values caused maladjustment in teens

Family Structure:
Family Background
Ford et al. 1998

Students from two-parent families were

more likely to be identified as gifted, than
those from single-parent families.

Projections suggest that more than half of the children born

in the U.S. in the 1990s will spend some of their childhood
in single-parent families, (Pong, 1997).

Family Structure:
Affects of divorce on children
Two years

Malone et al. (2004)

Kindergarten through grade 9
Tracked students behavior of parents
who were married in kindergarten
Boys vs. Girls behaviors

Family Structure:
Implications for Teachers:
Assumptions that students have two biological
Look for acting-out behavior, especially with
boys. Understand that this is normal
Frieman (1997) explain to the student that,
that behavior is unacceptable and emphasize to
them that they are liked and valued (Maslow)

Family Structure:
Single-Parent Homes:
Difficult to monitor after-school
activities (lack of modeling)
Lower income (typically)
Traditional families are at more of an advantage when it
comes to meeting Maslows hierarchy of needs,
(Ormrod, 2004).

Family Structure:
Maslows Hierarchy of Needs
(in relation to divorce):

People need to feel safe in their environment

(regardless of where that may be)
People need to feel love and belongingness
(affectionate relationships)
People need to feel good about themselves

Family characteristics are factors in the
learning process
Families are educators
School/teacher/class are educators
Teachers have a unique opportunity
partner with the family
help children learn
Improve self-efficacy within students