EFFECTS OF SOCIOECONOMIC AND ILLITERACY ON EDUCATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT OF CHILDREN 43
Date of submission:
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 3
Problem statement 9
Rationale for study 12
Significance of the study 13
Nature of the study 15
Research questions and hypothesis 17
Definition of terms 18
Scope, limitations and delimitations 20
Chapter summary 21
CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW 23
Chapter Summary 31
Chapter 3: RESERCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY APPROPRIATENESS 34
Appropriateness of the Study 34
Research design 35
Population Sampling and Data Collection Procedures 36
Pilot Study 36
Data Collection Procedure 37
Data Analysis 37
Chapter Summary 38
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTIONIntroduction
It is a common opinion that education not only provides knowledgeand skills, but it also inculcates a set of values and guidelinesthat help parents to train their children’s instincts. This definesthe role of the parents in determining their children’s academicfuture. Accordingly, the parents’ self-cultivated attitudes andhabits are passed on to their children. There is an underlyingopinion among educationists that cultural heritage and values arepassed on from one generation to another through education(Barnhardt, 2014). This is among the fundamental reasons why thesociety holds a strong opinion that the training of a child is theparents’ responsibility. Also, according to social understanding,education can be an instrument for driving cultural change. Based onthis, this paper asserts that is not out of place for the society toimagine that parental socio-economic background can influencechildren’s academic performance. Regardless of the level and stageof impact of the parents’ socioeconomic status, it is inevitablethat this factor affects their education or disposition to it. Hence,this paper seeks to establish the influence of parental socioeconomicstatus and literacy on the educational performance of the children.
For a long time, scholars have made an observation about the roleof parents on their children’s development. Parents of differentoccupational classes have been observed to have different styles ofchild management. They have different ways of disciplining theirchildren, correcting and guiding them, as well as counselling themthrough the challenges of personal and social life (Durand, 2011). Itis worthwhile to note that while all, if not a majority of modernparents aim to instill best practices in their children, parentingstyles are often unique and differ in one way or the other. Thedifferences in child management and parenting styles do not expressthemselves consistently as many would expect in modern families, butthey influence the average characteristics of the members of thatfamily, especially the children.
Consensus has been built around the influence of the socioeconomicstatus of parents on their children’s welfare, especially inacademic matters. However, it is imperative to note that the matterdoes not address negativities only. For instance, some parents of lowsocioeconomic background, and even some with low levels of literacy,have been able to inspire and guide their children to scale theheights of education successfully. This is manifested in themodern-day scenarios where children from poor backgrounds are able tocompete with their counterparts from fairly economically stablefamilies in education. Under the same academic environment, thesechildren are able to tackle challenges that may hinder theirperformance and emerge as equally successful, if not more successful,as their counterparts. Based on this, studies that address the impactof socioeconomic and literacy on children’s academic performancehave utilized complex techniques and tools to analyze therelationship between the variables. Subsequently, with certainconditions, one of the most significant predictors of academic andintellectual performance of children at certain ages includes theirparents’ socio-economic status (SES).
In equally investigative studies, some scholars have posited thatparental SES has a direct and measurable impact on the children’sschool attendance and performance (Yamamoto & Holloway, 2010).Among the determining variables for are the children’s flexibilityto the system, their parents’ logistical, financial and moralsupport, as well as the different school schedules. Morespecifically, authors have paid attention to factors that mayinfluence the children’s performance, as an impact of theirparents’ parenting styles. Such factors include their parents’counsel, which determines the difference between the rates of deviantbehaviors among students hailing from the different socioeconomicbackgrounds, and the parents’ involvement in their children’s’academic activities, which determines the level of motivation foracademic success.
Also significantly, there has been a foregoing discussion regardinga number of factors that relate to the socioeconomic status offamilies and their influence on the home environment of students.There is an almost inseparable association between the private lifeof students, which is influenced by home dynamics, and theirperformance in school. Accordingly, it is not deniable that there isa striking contrast between the high achieving students, and the lowachieving ones (Yamamoto & Holloway, 2010). While the school andacademic environments may be similar, highly achieving students areobserved to have fairly friendly and supporting backgrounds. Most ofthese backgrounds are intrinsically linked with parents of highsocioeconomic standards. At the same time, some low achievingstudents may be influenced by quite non-supporting backgrounds, whichin many cases, are characterized by parents with low socioeconomicand literacy levels. Based on this, it is imperative to appraise thesocioeconomic backgrounds of children with strikingly unique academicunderperformance to determine the linkage between their parents’influence and their educational discourse.
Some authors have considered the issue of the health status ofstudents and attempted to determine the influence of their parents’SES status on their situations. For instance, Farooq et al. (2011)reported that there can be a traceable influence of parentalsocioeconomic background on their children’s school performance. Itcan also be observed that the health status of children from urbanand rural areas differ significantly. In many cases, the overallhealth status of urban school children is better than that of theirrural counterparts. Low nutritional status and health problemsgreatly hinder the children’s academic performance. Subsequently,educational researchers opine that children who are put under propernutrition and healthcare have the ability to assimilate well into theacademic environment, and take the optimal advantage of fullyutilizing educational resources than their disadvantagedcounterparts. Fundamentally, there is a determinable associationbetween parents’ socioeconomic status and their children’s’nutrition and health.
Another factor of concern is the level of parents’ involvement intheir children’s’ academics. Illiterate parents do not have agood command of English communication skills, such as reading,speaking and writing. This situation makes them to be less familiarwith the educational system, such as the protocols and modes ofofficial communication. As such, their ability to be involved intheir children’s’ academics is severely limited (Vera et al.,2012). Educationists find that these parents are unable to supportvarious aspects of their children’s’ learning, such as helpingout with homework and making career decisions (Chohan & Khan,2010). Besides, such parents do not participate in school activitiesthat help to boost their children’s academic performance, such asannual general meetings with education shareholders. Regardless, someschools have devised ways of helping out such parents, especially bytargeting those from a poor socioeconomic background. Perhaps one ofthe most efficient methods is involving Non-governmentalorganizations to help their children keep up with those from fairlybetter socioeconomic backgrounds. However, there are some aspects ofacademic achievement support that such strategies cannot helpimprove, such as the illiterate parents’ comprehension of theeducation system, which guides them in making the right educationaldecisions for their children.
Social theorist hold the opinion that the source of sustenance ishaving strong grassroots foundations. In education, the grassrootsfoundation of children’s academic performance can be equated totheir family backgrounds. Education is also considered as the onlyroot of individual and national development. However, due to theimbalance in socio-economic status of individuals, the performance ofstudents is not equal. The influence of socioeconomic status oneducation is harnessed in the balance of political and economicadvantage, which leads to a creation of distinctly dissimilareducation performances (Budoki & Glodthorpe, 2012). For instance,communities with high socioeconomic backgrounds are likely to havebetter resource due to their political and economic influences. Theopposite applies for communities with averagely low socioeconomicstatus. This is the reason why many schools in urban posh areas havegood educational resources, such as classes and infrastructure, whichsubsequently translates to high performance. On the other hand,schools in rural communities, and in poor urban centers, have schoolswith low level education infrastructure, which facilitates lowperformance. Despite the approvable effort made by the government tobring balance to these schools, the impact of the society’ssocioeconomic status and illiteracy significantly affects thechildren’s performance.
Theoretically, the sociocultural theory has implications for theeducational performance of children who come from differentsocioeconomic backgrounds (Devlin, 2013). Particularly, the profoundimplications focus on the modes of teaching, schooling and thechildren’s general education performance. It is upon the influenceof the sociocultural theory that education policy makers havebroadened the understanding of how the children learn, and how theycomprehend the lessons. One key concept that is related with thesociocultural theory, as far as education is concerned, is humandevelopment and social interaction. The sociocultural theorychallenges individuals, within the social sphere, to widen theirperspective of knowledge and the risks of isolation. In other terms,the sociocultural theory predicts the behavior of children at homeand a school.
There is a significant difference in the manner in which childrenfrom families that have a high socioeconomic status behave, and themanner in which their counterparts from poor socioeconomic statusbehave (Conger, Conger & Marin, 2010). Perhaps this can beexplained by confidence in individuals. Children from financiallystable families are not frustrated by life as those from poorfamilies, because they rarely lack resources and finances to keepthem going. The frustration experienced by children from poorfamilies hinders their concentration at school, hence affecting theirperformance. They may fail to record good social interaction withothers, hence poor performance in extra-curriculum activities thatare associated with good classwork performance. This way, thesociocultural theory presents an explanation for the perceiveddifferent academic performance among school children from differentsocioeconomic backgrounds.
In broad terms, socioeconomic status is a wide construct thatrepresents a given family’s access to key social and economicresources. Past empirical investigations have established facts thatcreate a direct link between a family’s social status, its economiccapacity and relations to access to resources (Crosnoe et al., 2010Conger, Conger, & Martin, 2010). Accordingly, some key variablesemerge, which can be applied to appraising the impact ofsocioeconomic status on the children’s’ performance. Thesevariables are the family’s monetary income, the parents’occupations and their ability to get involved in their children’sacademics. Other key measures that emerge as influences of a family’ssocioeconomic status are income to poverty ratio, property ownershipstatus and social positions. Also, an examination of a family’ssocioeconomic status helps to determine the distribution andutilization of key resources, in this case, those associated witheducation. Therefore, it is sound to hold an opinion that there is ahigh risk of educational underachievement for children who come fromfamilies of low socioeconomic status. Some indicators of this riskare being disadvantaged in terms of access to key resources, parentalsupport in education and even poor school completion rates. Thecapacity of the parents to take their children to well-equippedschools, which is a function of their economic dispositions,determines their children’s performance.
It is against this background that the researcher sets toinvestigate the possible impact of the independent variables, parentssocioeconomic and literacy levels, on the dependent variable, theirchildren’s academic performance.
Over the past decade, a number of scholarly published articles haveshown that children of parents from the extreme ends of thesocioeconomic sphere record significantly different levels ofacademic performances (Farooq et al., 2011 Okioga, 2013).Regardless, there are some classical studies that demonstratedifferent observations as regards to the school performance among thechildren. For instance, Okioga (2013) highlights the findings of astudy that was published in an issue of Psychological Science,which showed that the behavior of children from fairly well offsocioeconomic background was detrimental to their studies. Thesechildren were observed to express characteristics of disengagementthan their less fortunate peers. The disengagement behavior involvedactions such as playing around while when they are supposed to bepaying attention. On the other hand, the study showed that childrenfrom economically humble backgrounds demonstrated high levels ofconcentration. Other behaviors studied in these children, which areassociated with good learning, were making eye contact with theteacher and nodding as a sign of engagement in an interactive socialenvironment. The contrasting behavior shows that the children fromeconomically sound backgrounds felt less inclined to gain rapportwith their peers, perhaps due to seeing that they need no assistancein their future. On the other hand, the study found that the childrenof poor parents seemed to be internally motivated to perform well ineducation so that they can avoid the poverty that their parentsexperienced. The findings of this study are some of the indication ofthe complex nature of understanding the impact of socioeconomic andilliteracy on educational performance of children.
While delivering on the promise of quality education, it is the wishof every government to have equal educational gain among allchildren. However, there is a constant gap in performance amongstudents, which turns out to be a source of concern for the keystakeholders. Parents, on their end, may feel that their children arenot getting the fair attention they deserve, without understandingthe source of the problem. On the other hand, the teachers and schooladministration may fail to prove the working of their teachingsystems, which can be a source of discomfiture for the entire system.The policy makers may be unable to constitute and implement the rightframeworks to improve the academic performance of the children, whichis part of their operations mandate. Therefore, it is clear that agap in performance among students is likely to cause confusion forall the stakeholders that are involved in education.
More detailed observations have been made regarding the way thatchildren from extreme ends of the socio status sphere carry abouttheir studies. For instance, Okioga (2013) observed that studentsfrom the poor backgrounds are unable to pay their school fees intime. This causes them to lose several hours, and even days, ofclasswork. This way, they get disadvantaged when it comes to exams.The parents from poor socioeconomic backgrounds may not be able tofully support their children’s school attendance. For instance,they may fail to provide them with the right uniform and stationary.This affects the children’s confidence in class, and exposes themto inevitable failure. While the government tries to improve thestatus of children for providing subsidies for necessities such asschool uniforms and books, the parents’ input is crucial for fullrealization of a positive learning mindset.
The level of academic performance is partly determined by parentalinvolvement in children’s studies (Carroll, 2013). Consequentially,parental involvement is a factor that is determined by the parents’literacy levels. Parents are supposed to be involved in theirchildren’s academics from an early stage of their development. Theinvolvement encompasses helping the children with their homework andguiding them through the syllabus. While this function is carried outby teachers, parents play a key role in helping their children tograsp the content with ease. However, it is evident that parents withlow literacy skills are not in a position to get involved ineducational matters of their children. This is because they areunable help the children by reading out instructions to them, as wellas lacking the ability to help them with technical subjects, such asscience and arithmetic. On the other hand, children whose parentshave a good educational background get the parental support that theyneed, hence finding it easy to cope with school work even when theyare at home. Also, literate parents are able to collaborate withtheir children’s teachers and help them to cover the syllabus withease.
The literacy levels of the parents can determine their parentingstyles and choices, which determines their children’s academicperformance. For instance, parents with a good educational backgroundare aware of their children’s academic schedules, and plan theirparenting to suit their children’s education. The problem withuneducated and illiterate parents is that they fail to plan for theirchildren on time. Carroll (2013) gave an example of poor maternalexpectations, which interferes with the children’s schooling.Besides, illiterate parents may fail to understand parentalpublications that are issued to help parents to make the rightdecisions for their children’s schooling. Parents’ inability toread, especially in the African continent, therefore acts as a majorobstacle for children’s achievement in education.
Rationale for study
Nigeria is one of the sub-Saharan African counties that haverecorded a significant differences in the academic performancebetween children from good socioeconomic background and those from apoor socioeconomic background. The results of the Senior SecondarySchool Certificate Examination (SSCE) show this difference. Besidesthere being a number of studies that address the impact of theparents socioeconomic status and illiterate parents, there is a lackof studies that combine these two independent variables. Hence, therationale of this study is to first determine the way in which theparents’ socioeconomic background affects their children’seducation and academic performance. Concurrently, this study looksinto the impact of the parents’ level of literacy on theirchildren’s academic performance. From the background review of theproblem, it is quite clear that both these variables have their ownsignificant and measurable impacts on the children’s performance.However, the approach of this study is to determine the combinedimpact of these two influences.
The research aims to establish the impact of socioeconomic statusand literacy within Kwara state in Nigeria The aim is to establishfacts about the area’s society’s socioeconomic status as comparedto against other places in Nigeria. Accordingly, the researcher willattempt to determine how the standing socioeconomic status of theparents whose children school in Kwara State affects the academicperformance. This is against the logic that the financial ability ofthe parents is a central determinant of the manner in which theirchildren are able to access educational facilities and resources. Theresearcher will investigate the influence of the parents’ abilitiesto read and write, which determines their literacy levels, and theirchildren’s performance. By focusing on the schools in Kwara State,the researcher aims to come up with information that will expand theexisting knowledge that relates to educational matters within thejurisdiction.
Also importantly, the study will look to determnine theinterrelations that exists between the variables that are underinvestigation. With this knowledge, the researcher will uncover factsabout Kwara State’s education sector. This is aimed at informingpolicy formulators about the impact of external factors on thedelivery of education, using children’s performance as the keyindicator. By external influences, the researcher refers to theparent’s position and capacities to contribute to the children’seducational issues. Besides, while evaluating the impact of theparents’ socioeconomic status and literacy levels, the study willtouch on other minor issues, such as the motivations, opportunitiesand challenges for the children’s educational endeavors.
Significance of the study
The findings of this study will be useful in understanding thefactors that are responsible for the academy performance of children.Particularly, the findings will be useful in determining the keyfactors behind some children’s underperformance in Kwara estate.The Nigerian government has been implementing efforts to ensure thatit improves all students’ academic performance indiscriminately.However, the main challenge has been determining some of theobstacles to performance, and how they relate to various independentvariables. Therefore, by investigating the parent’s socioeconomicstatus and their literacy levels, and their impact on the education,the study will be useful for the government’ efforts to improvingthe children’s academic performance.
The study will bring into focus some of the key areas where policyformulators have focused their efforts on to improve the quality ofeducation in Nigeria. Particularly, there has been a challenge inbringing a balance to the socioeconomic differences that influencethe performance of the children. In any society, there must be lowand high earners. However, this should not be a hindrance to theacademic achievement of the disadvantaged members of the society. Byunderstanding how the parents’ socioeconomic status affects theirchildren’s performance, the study will help the policy formulatorsto implement strategies to support all the students. This willemphasize the importance equality in education matters.
The findings of the study will help the relevant authorities todetermine how to support children who lack parental interventions intheir education, due to the parents’ illiteracy. With the changingglobal dynamics, illiteracy is a severe challenge to the developmentof local communities. By determining the exact impact of the parents’illiteracy o their children’s performance, the paper will be usefulin devising ways to help the parents cope with their children’sschooling and possible ways of helping them. For instance, if thepaper finds that illiteracy affects the parents’ understanding ofthe needs of the children, some of the possible solutions may behaving community members assist them with the problem. If the problemis due to the inability to read the letters from schools, theteachers may be asked to communicate with the parents in person tohelp them understand the protocols. In general terms, the paper willhold significance in helping parents who cannot read get the rightinformation to help them participate actively in their children’sstudies.
Methodologically, the study will help to improve the manner in whicheducational researches are conducted. There are several approaches toeducational studies, such as action research, case study research,qualitative and quantitative studies. Through the findings of thispaper, the validity and reliability of the applied methodology willbe determined. This will provide clues about improving the methodsfor educational studies that are applied today. In equal measures,the researcher’s approach technique will set an example for futurestudies that set to investigate education matters. With everyresearch, scholars find ways of improving other studies based ontechniques that have been implemented already. This has been theframework upon which educational investigations have been improvedover the past decades. The researcher’s choice of population andvariables will inform the technical aspects of future studies underthe same topic. Given the wide nature of education researches, thechoice of key factors such as the participants and their location iskey to determining the level of generalization of the findings.Fundamentally, the researcher looks to improve the methodologicalexecution of educational studies through this research.
Nature of the study
The main objective of the paper is to explore the impact ofsocioeconomic status and the parents’ literacy level on theeducational performance of their children. Accordingly, theresearcher applies a quantitative study that will use surveys. Theinformation will be collected from a specific set of schools, whichthe researcher will use to observe and make conclusions about therelationship between the independent variables and the dependentvariables.
The quantitative study approach is chosen because it enables theresearcher to determine the nature of the phenomenon statistically(Muijs, 2010). Given the nature of investigation, the researcherprofiles the target population and looks to determine the proportionof the audience that is impacted by the independent variables. Whiledesigning the study, the researcher considered issues that arerelated to the appropriate sample. These issues were thesocioeconomic status and illiteracy levels of the parents whosechildren were being investigated. The independent variables are thencorrelated against the test sample’s characteristics, which areacademic performance and educational achievement. Given the nature ofthe study, the technique has been custom designed so that theinvestigator answers specific set of questions and tests a specificset of hypothesis. For technical purposes, the study applies aquantitative approach with surveys.
There are many reasons why the researcher chooses surveys for thisstudy. Most important, the researcher considered the number ofschools that were to be investigated. There are several primary andsecondary schools in Kwara estate. This prompted the researcher toutilize surveys as the research instrument of choice. In research,surveys help to collect enough data within a specific period of time,especially when the sample is big (Muijs, 2010). Surveys enable theresearcher to generalize the findings. Given the fact that theresearcher cannot collect information from every school, usingsurveys makes it possible to generalize the findings. The studypopulation for this study involves four schools from Kwara State.These are Ora-Aiyegbaju, Obbo-Ile, Eju-Ile and Ora-Aiyetoro. Theseschools are all located within the Ekiti local government of KwaraState. The findings obtained from these schools, regarding theparents’ socioeconomic status and literacy illiteracy, and theirimpact on their children’s academic performance, will be used toproject the situation for the rest of the schools that are notsampled.
The proposed approach and technique will enable the researcher tomeet the research objectives effectively. Survey studies have beendiscussed to be effective quantitative methods in situations wherethe researcher has already set some pre-determined questions andhypothesis that apply to an entire group (Muijs, 2010). Because ofthe large number of participants, the method will make it easy forthe researcher to collect and organize the data objectively. Thiswill enable pinpoint explanation of the role and impact of thevariables, as well as explaining the key factors that influence theoutcome. Education matters are influenced by several forces. Besidesthe identified variables, there are other minor drivers of thesubject matter that may influence the outcomes almost independently.By correlating the data, the technique will enable the researcher,and other readers of the paper, to identify sub-themes that may cropout of the investigation. More specifically, the survey techniquewill enable the researcher to observe particular groups, such asparents who share the same illiteracy standards, and their impact onthe children’s performance.
Research questions and hypothesis
The broad objective of the study is to determine the impact ofparents’ socioeconomic status and illiteracy levels on theirchildren’s educational achievement. Academic performance, in thisregard, is used as the measure of educational achievement. Given thiswider objective, the specific research questions that guide the paperare:-
To what degree does low socio-economic status of parents correlate with student achievement?
To what degree does parental illiteracy correlate with student achievement?
The researcher seeks to test a set of hypothesis that are related tothe study’s independent and dependent variables. The hypotheses areas follows:-
H1. There is a correlation between the low socioeconomic status ofparent and students’ achievement.
H0. There is no correlation between the low socioeconomicstatus of parents and student achievement.
H2. There is a correlation between parental illiteracy and students’achievement.
H0. There is no correlation between parental illiteracyand students’ achievement.
Definition of terms
Below are the definitions of some of the key terms that are appliedin this study.
Socioeconomic status – “The social standing or class of anindividual or group. Examinations of socioeconomic status oftenreveal inequities in access to resources, plus issues related toprivilege, power and control” (American Psychological Association,2016, p.1).
Educational achievement – Refers to a student’s success inmeeting both short-terms and long-term goals in education (Center forthe Study of Social Policy, n.d).
Academic achievement – For the purpose of this study, the term canbe used interchangeably with educational achievement. It refers tocompleting high school and qualifying for college (Center for theStudy of Social Policy, n.d).
The researcher relies on the honesty of the participants.Socioeconomic status of families is a topic that may elicitdiscomfort among many people in Nigeria. To this effect, somestudents, or parents, may report untruthfully to protect their image.Perhaps the most probable reason for this is fear of being lookeddown upon by people who may be of a higher socioeconomic status.Moreover, the researcher anticipates that some students may reportfalsely regarding the literacy levels of their parents. While such anoccurrence may affect the reliability and validity of the study, theresearcher puts in some controls that may reduce the impact. Theseinclude conducting brief follow up investigations, such as testingsome of the parents’ literacy skills, and following up with thelocal government’s records about the area’s education statistics.
The researcher also assumes that the targeted schools will give apopulation sample that can be used for generalization. As earliernoted, it is impossible to take a survey that involves each and everystudent in the study area. Thus, the researcher assumes that theobserved characteristics apply for those students who are notsampled. This assumption is considered to be logical because theunderlying conditions for educational achievement, which aredetermined by the selected independent variables, are constant. Forinstance, the ability of parents from a given socioeconomic class tofinance their children’s schooling is constant across the board. The inability of an illiterate parent to be involved in theirchildren’s academics is the same for all parents who share the sameinability. This makes the assumption for this study logical andapplicable for the purpose of generalization.
Scope, limitations and delimitations
The researcher targets to collect data that will inform the study’sobjectives only. There are two particular areas of interest. Thefirst one is the parents’ ability to read, especially the contentthat is associated with their children’s academics. The researcherconsiders the effect of illiteracy on the parents’ level ofinvolvement in their children’s schooling. Also importantly, theinvestigation of the parents’ illiteracy will be limited to theirEnglish language reading, speaking and writing skills. The researcherassumes that some of the parents may know how to write and some wordsor sentences in their local language. However, because the curriculumis delivered in English language, the researcher will be interestedin the parents’ English literacy skills. Secondly, the researcherwill consider the influence of the parents’ socioeconomic status ontheir children’s schooling. The scope will therefore be determiningthe capacity of the parents to provide for and support their childrenfinancially. Within the African society, some measures ofsocioeconomic status may be some traditional factors, such asownership of land and livestock. However, the researcher recognizesthat these have little or no impact on the children’s educationalachievement. As such, the measures of socioeconomic status that willbe of importance include the parent’s employment status, whichdetermines their income, and their financial status. These aredirectly linked to their ability to pay for their children’seducation, and to support them financially.
The study is limited to investigating the impact of the independentvariables on the educational achievement of primary and secondaryschool students. The researcher does not look into the impact of thevariables on tertiary and college students. This is because the ageconsideration for the study limits the researcher to looking at theeducational achievement of primary school and high school students.Students in institutions of higher learning have the ability offinancing their studies, and do not need much parental involvement intheir studies. Regardless, the findings of the study may haveimplications for the academic achievement of students who are able tojoin institution of higher learning. This is because the level ofacademic performance from the primary and secondary schools is whatdetermines if these children go on join institutions of higherlearning. Based on this, the findings can be generalized to haveimplications on the students who have joined colleges and othertertiary institutions within the State.
This chapter has introduced the research issues, identifying andgiving a detailed overview of the problem. Fundamentally, theresearch aims to investigate the impact of two independent variables,parent’s socioeconomic status and illiteracy, on their children’seducational achievement. The researcher approaches the study with theassumption that the parent’s socioeconomic status and their levelof education does determine the way that they get involved in theirchildren’s education (Durand, 2011). Consequentially, parents whocome from a high socioeconomic class are likely to influence theirchildren’s education positively, as they are able to provide fortheir needs and support them financially through their education.However, parents from a low socioeconomic class are likely to faceseveral challenges that may hinder them from supporting theirchildren’s education.
The researcher will provide information that explains how illiteracyamong some parents affects the children’s educational performance.The approach is based on studies that show that illiterate parentsnegatively influence their children’s educational performance (Veraet al., 2012
Chohan & Khan, 2010). Specifically, illiterate parents are notable to participate actively in their children’s education matters,hence failing to provide them with the necessary support that theyneed away from school. The paper utilizes a quantitative approachusing surveys because of the population involved, and nature of theknowledge that is sought. Also, using this approach, the researcherwill be able to make generalizations from the study. While the studyfocuses on selected schools from the Kwata State of Nigeria, themethodological execution makes it possible for generalization of thefindings across schools from other parts of the State, and the wholecountry in general. The study is useful for various uses, such asimproving education policy and devising strategies to helpunderperforming children to achieve better in their education.
CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW
Education is the most valuable assets that parents can always give totheir children and therefore, they have a primaryobligation to play its achievement is concerned. As explainedby Akhter & Bano (2013) the personality of achild matters in the realization of the child`s successful educationoutcome. In a study that conducted in Bahawalpur, Pakistan, theauthor explains that the socio-economic background of the parentplays a critical role in influencing the personality of their child.In that respect, the research believes that educated parents have abetter understanding of the educational needs and the child`saptitude and as a result, they will always provide necessary and therequired help for their children right from their early educationdays. The same idea is supported by Burger (2011), who accepts thatthe home environment of the child is a critical indicator towards thedevelopment of their personality. In a healthy situation, it ispossible to have a parent that continually engages with theirchildren regarding the education performance.
An early engagement of the parents in their child`s education highlyinfluences the future performance of the kid all the way fromelementary school to the college level. In some of the non-Englishspeaking countries or even the English as the second languagelearners, the involvement of parent at an early age plays a criticalrole in the improved performance as it affects the child`sproficiency in the related areas of learning. On the contrary, Jensen(2013) views the performance of the children whose parents who areilliterate and economically unable to be low due to the little or noinvolvement of their parents in their education. In the study, Jensen(2013) identifies two primary issues to be the cause of the parent’slack of involvement.
The first one, the poor performance of the children is related to themuch attention that the parents place on their respective jobs so asto sustain the daily lives of their children. In most cases, theseparents leave home very early in the morning and come back late inthe night thus reducing the contact time they have with theirchildren. In that respect, the parents fail to assess the performanceof the child with no effort being placed on the child`s improvementespecially in the subjects they might notice weaknesses of the child.
In a study conducted by Michalos, Sirgy, & Land (2012) there is astrong relationship that exists between parent`s early involvement inthe child`s education and their high performance. In those specificinstances where the guardian is actively involved in the child`seducation either by monitoring their homework or even assisting thechild with some of the most basic understanding of the conceptlearned in school, the performance tremendously improves. It is,however, the complete opposite scenario in a situation where theparent show the lack of commitment to their child`s education, whichhas been linked to the poor socio-economic background by Michalos,Sirgy, & Land (2012).
Additionaly, Christenson & Reschly (2010) explains that someparents do not involve themselves in their children`s educationparticularly at the high school level due to the lack of sufficientknowledge in the particular area of study and this as wellcontributes to the poor performance of the child. Due to the poorsocio-economic background, the parent cannot hire a private tutor,who can get involved on their behalf. Christenson & Reschly(2010) expounds that in most cases, the parents would like toparticipate in their child’s studies like assisting with homeworkbut due to the high levels of illiteracy in them, they find itchallenging to engage their children in such educative discussions.It is however different from parents who are illiterate but areeconomically able since the have the ability to hire private tutorsfor their children who help in improving the performance of theirchildren.
In research that was conducted by Mestry (2014) in South Africa, someof the illiterate parents but are socio-economically able always tohire private tutors for their children thus improving the level oftheir kid`s performance in school. In some parts of Easter and WestAfrica, parents who engage in either tea and cocoa farming, accesshigh revenue from their products which always have access tointernational markets and as a result, making their socioeconomicstatus to improve. With such efforts, these parents even though mightbe illiterate and cannot directly support their children, they tendto hire people who can do this on their behalf. However, it is thecomplete opposite scenario with parents who are both illiterate andare socioeconomically unable to hire private tutors for theirchildren who are only forced to work extra hours, not for the tutors,but to meet their children`s school fee. Under these conditions, thepoor children find it tough to competitively compete with otherstudents whose parents are either directly involved by providing theright skills or participate directly in hiring the best privatetutors Mestry (2014) explains.
Gonzalez, Borders, Hines, Villalba, & Henderson (2013) alsoexplains that belonging to a strong socioeconomic background by aparent also contributes to the involvement of the parent in theirchild’s education and not only their literacy level as have beenfeatured above. With the development of technology and incorporationof technology into the learning process, these parents have aneconomic advantage of equipping their children with the requiredtechnological tools needed to facilitate the process of education.Gonzalez, Borders, Hines, Villalba, & Henderson (2013) therefore,believes that it is entirely different thing that happens to theparents living in poverty who cannot afford basic tools likecomputers and related software that aid the learning process. Today,the internet has become an important component of children`s learningprocess. From the internet, poor children can gain access to the opensource books and some of the learning software which they can use tocreate change in their learning process and also impact theirperformance. However, due to poor socioeconomic conditions, it ischallenging for some parents to afford a computer to help theirchildren access such software and tutoring websites, thuscontributing to the poor performance of some of the kids.
Farooq, Chaudhry, Shafiq, & Berhanu (2011) takes a different viewon the performance of children in schools and the relationship theyhave with the status of the parent`s socio-economic condition.According to the author, the studies that were conducted reveals thatthe parent`s socio-economic conditions have a psychological effect onthe performance of the child. In the study, Farooq, Chaudhry, Shafiq,& Berhanu (2011) explains that financial status of the parentusually acts as the backbone to providing the mental confidence tothe students and therefore, students with poor socioeconomicbackground tend to have low self-esteem towards their class workperformance. Primarily, students coming from low-income families,usually have so many unfulfilled needs as compared to the studentswho come from wealthy families thus influencing how they perform inclass. With the rapid rate at which the world globalizes, the worldhas created no barrier to meeting new people, new ideas and a new wayof thinking for the students who are always looking for innovativeways of learning and the best mean of improving the conditions of theworld in which they live. However, socioeconomic background of theirparents plays such a critical role in the realization of this as itaffects the ability of the children to meet people and communicatewith them effectively.
According to Farooq, Chaudhry, Shafiq, & Berhanu (2011),psychological thinking of students majorly controls how they relateto other people. Due to this reason, the children who come from poorsocioeconomic background always carry the burden of lacking some ofthe most fundamental needs in their minds, thus influencing how theyrelate with others on a global platform which as well hurts theirperformance. It is, however, different from the students who`sparents are socioeconomically performing well and can afford themsome of the fundamental needs. For such students, there is littleload placed on them psychologically, thus making them create anintense focus on their studies, relationship with others and how theygain a global understanding to issues around the globe.
In a study that was conducted by Kazeem, Jensen, & Stokes (2010),it is evident that the parent`s socio-economic background plays acritical role in determining the performance of their children. Insome of the unique cases, especially in some of the West Africancountries where child labor is rampant, children are usually forcedto help their parents in finding for the family to subsidize thefamilies annual income. In such situation, therefore, children findless to focus on their studies resulting in an inadequate schoolperformance that has been witnessed over the years.
In some of the unique cases that have also been focused by scholarssuch as Kamanda (2016), parents always view their children as a goodsource of income due to the high level of energy that the childrenhave compared to their parents. In some of the cocoa growingcountries like Ghana, the performance of the socio-economicallychallenged parent`s children is usually low due to the intensecommitment the kids make on the cocoa farms thus reducing theirduties towards the books.
Due to high levels of poverty in the cocoa growing areas, Hilson(2010) explains that children are forced to help their parents inraising their tuition fee, house rents and other money for basicneeds. Hence forcing them to either drop out of schools or pay littletime for studies thus forcing them to perform poorly. It is a similarperception that was provided by Porter, et al., (2011) who associatedchild labor to the poor performance among the children who are comingfrom socioeconomically challenged regions.
On the contrary, children whose parents are economically able,exhibit better performance due to the increased time that they havewith their books. For these group of pupils, their parents do notallow them to engage in any economic generating activities that wouldotherwise consume their learning time as explained by Corak (2013).Instead, these children focus more on their studies and create acircle of class-work discussion either online or within the homegroupphysical circle where they meet and conduct formal book work reviews.Psychologically, these children have little to think about ascompared to their counterparts who are exposed to child labor andwork to save their families from poverty.
Scholars like Brah & Phoenix (2013), also view the parent`ssocio-economic background of a child to be a primary contributor topoor performance in school, especially for the female students insome parts of the world. Primarily, in some of the African countries,like Kenya and within individual communities, poor parents view theirgirl child as an excellent source of wealth which is paid regardingdowry. Such practices have, therefore, contributed to the poorperformance of girl child compared to the boy child in families wherethe parents are poor. Parents living in poverty in such communities,tend to attend so much to the performance of the male child and lessattention to the girl who as a result performs poorly and instead,bothers no one since they are viewed as assets to the family. Suchculture promotes the notion that girl child are solely dependent onthe male partners and therefore, deserves no better education thanremaining wives who are to inherit wealth from their new familiesexplains Brah & Phoenix (2013). However, it remains a differentcase for the girl child in the household where the parents have agood socio-economic background where both girl and the boy childstand an equal chance to education and attention from the parents.
Rawlins, Baker, Maynard, & Harding (2013) also conducted anexcellent research and brought a different perspective of poorperformance of children coming from families with the poorsocio-economic background. In the findings, health is believed to bea critical factor in the better performance of each and everystudent. Critically, children from wealthy families always haveaccess to the best healthcare maintenance thus contributing to theirpositive performance which is always evident in the exams that theydo. However, due to intense poverty, children from thesocio-economically challenged parents, find it hard to treat some ofthe basic diseases, which sometimes contribute to their prolongedabsenteeism from school contributing to their poor performanceexplains Seirawan, Faust, & Mulligan (2012). In research that wasconducted by Spaull (2013), in South Africa, it is clear thatchildren from low-income families always lack things like the hearingaid and the reading glasses among the children with either hearing orvisual problems compared to children who come from thesocio-economically stable families that can afford such.Statistically, such disparity is also manifested in the performancewhere poor children with health problem perform poorly compared tothe rich kids who performs well explains Spaull (2013).
Besides, children whose parents are wealthy frequently access medicalexamination which enables them to live a healthy life as compared tothe children whose parents are poor and sometimes might not have themoney since they lack the health covers to allow them to accessprimary treatment whenever they feel sick. Significantly, healthplays a critical role in the improved performance of a student. InAfrica, the girl child is highly at risk, more so the ones whoseparents have the poor socioeconomic background. During menstruation,some always lack basic needs such as sanitary towels, something thatalways forces them out of school during school going days asexplained by Komba (2015). However, a different thing for the girlswho come from wealthy families who get to attend their school daysfrequently since they have the capability to afford the sanitarytowels. In a way, the rich girl child always has their betterperformance manifested when it comes to the coverage of syllabus inschool and the better understanding of issues which might not bereflected on the girl child with a poor economic background.
The quality of education also determines the performance of thestudents. Children who learn in schools without enough learningresources tend to perform poorly compared to the students who learnin a serene environment with all the knowledge requirement. Today,technology has changed the manner in which education is conducted,the format of the classroom and the way in which the teachers deliverconcept to the students. However, there is a relationship between aparent`s socio-economic background with the quality of education thatthey offer their children. In a study that was conducted by Berliner(2013) children whose parents have a good socio-economic background,tend to perform better compared to children whose parents are poor.Primarily, the rich children are usually taken to posh privateschools with enough and state of the art facilities which are used ineducating them compared to the poor children who lack such facilitiesin their learning environment. Such disparity is, therefore,reflected in the performance of the children where rich childrenperform better compared to the children coming from a poorbackground.
Literacy acquisition is one of the mostfundamental activities that determine academic achievement of eachand every child. However, parents play such a critical role in theprocess of literacy acquisition In their children and therefore, thelevel of an individual parent`s literacy level greatly affect theacademic achievement of their child. Tchombé & Nsamenang,(2012) believe that children who have got parents with a positiveeducation background usually perform better compared to the studentswho come from illiterate or semi-illiterate families. Parents withliterate skills usually expose their children to group reading skillsat an early age, offer them related stories books which are good fortheir language development. On the contrary, this is the oppositething that happens to the parents who are either illiterate or aresemi-illiterate. Their level of appreciating the learning process islow thus forcing their children to perform poorly compared to theother children.
In addition to that, Tchombé & Nsamenang(2012) explains that parental involvement in the child`s education atan early age is primarily influenced by literacy level of the parent.In this study, children who come from literate mothers usually showhigh educational achievement since the parent has more commitment totheir education. These children are always exposed to books that notonly improve their reading skills but also contribute positivelytowards their oral development as explained by McNeal Jr (2015), As aresult of parents involvement due to the low level of literacy, somechildren, especially from students who learn English as a secondlanguage, usually exhibit poor oral and the written skills in thelanguage. Basically, English is a language of involvement and if achild does not have a parent to help them practice its writing orspeaking once they get home, then it is likely that that student willperform poorly compared to the students who practice the language asexplained by McNeal Jr (2015),.
The effects of socioeconomic and parental illiteracy on theeducational achievement of children is a wide topic that has alwaysled to a mixed understanding from different scholars around theglobe. As have been explained in this chapter, various scholars haveassociated socioeconomic background of the parents to the achievementof the students. Besides, children level of literacy has equallybeen associated with perfomance of the parents. Most of the scholarsbelieve that children whose parents have got a high level of literacyperform better in class as compared to the children whose parentsshow a low degree of literacy. Literate parents are associated withbuying their children material such as the story books and engagingthem in a roundtable discussion wich are critical for their oral andwritten skills development (Farooq, Chaudhry, Shafiq, & Berhanu,2011).
The chapter has also focused on the parentalsocioeconomic background and the relationship it has with theperformance of the child. Based on the analysis from variousscholars, it is critical to understand that economic status of aparent, highly influences the performance of their child in school(Michalos, Sirgy, & Land, 2012). Parents who are aresocio-economically stable usually have the upper hand in taking theirkids to schools that are well equipped with learning facilities thatcan highly influence the performance of their children toachievements of greater heights (Michalos, Sirgy, & Land, 2012).It is the complete opposite phenomenon for the parents who live inpoverty who take their children to schools without such facilitiesthat necessitate learning in the technologically advanced world oftoday. The socio-economically able parents also equip their childrenwith some of the most fundamental technological learning devices suchas computers and the internet which are positive drivers to greaterheights academic achievement in the today`s learning environment,thus making their children be on the advantaged side over thechildren from poor families. Above all, this chapter provides a clearevidence on how socioeconomic and parental illiteracy affects theperformance of the child. The researcher has primarily reviewedliterature from across the globe with most of the focus coming fromsub-Saharan Africa and South Africa due to the level of relevancethey have with the area of studying the Kwara State in Nigeria.
Chapter 3: RESERCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY APPROPRIATENESSAppropriateness of the Study
To achieve the objectives of this study, the researcher will use thequantitative methods of data collection to get data from four schoolsat the Kwara State. Ora-Aiyegbaju, Obbo-Ile, Eju-Ile and Ora-Aiyetoroare schools that are all located within the Ekiti local government ofKwara State and will help in reaching the bottom of data collection.Primarily, the main focus of this study will be to ensure that therelationship that exists between the parent`s socioeconomicbackground and level of literacy is shown with the performance of thechild in Ekiti local government of Kwara. Based on the literaturethat has been reviewed, it is clear that there is a closerelationship that poverty of the parents has on the performance ofthe child.
In 2010, research that was conducted by The United Nations` GlobalMulti-Dimensional Poverty Index ranked 46% of Nigerians to be livingbelow the poverty index. In Kwara state alone, 23% of the populationlive below the poverty showing a significant difference between therich and the have notes. In addition to that, less than 20% of theKwara State inhibitors access affordable healthcare. Significantly,these factors contribute to the performance of the child eithernegatively or positively. By the use of surveys, this paper willestablish the exact effect parent`s socio-economic background andlevel of literacy affect children in Ora-Aiyegbaju, Obbo-Ile, Eju-Ileand Ora-Aiyetoro schools.
Through interviews and observations, this paper will collect datafrom the selected students in the schools who will also participatein the process of questionnaires. Qualitative analysis is preferredin this study over the qualitative methods due to the level ofaccuracy it offers in the data collection process. Usually, thequalitative approach is always dependent on the process of researchthat gives the researcher a more subjective view of the studyincluding the participants. The interpretation of this study is whatwill determine the future application of the findings, and in thatrespect, qualitative research might prove to be unrealistic sinceinterpretation might be influenced by the views of the researcher.Importantly, the time frame for conducting this research is verysmall thus calling for the need of implementing a quantitive researchthat is less time consuming a similar opinion shared by Patterson &Silverman (2014).
Education of the child is highly dependent upon so many factors ashave been witnessed from Ekiti local government in the Kwara state.In that respect, this research is interested in determining some ofthe dependent and independent variables that contribute to educatinga child. The socio-economic background and the level of literacy of aparent are some of the dependent variables that will be used in thestudy. The outcome or the achievements of the child is theindependent variable the research needs to establish. However, if anonly if the dependent variable will have to show the effect on theindependent variable in more than 4 out of the five participants inall schools, then it will be used to prove them the validity of theresearch hypothesis.
Ora-Aiyegbaju and Obbo-Ile are some of the two schools with very highrates of poverty where more than half of the entire school populationcoming from families whose parents have got the poor economicbackground. For more than three years now, the two schools havereported a poor performance on the senior secondary schoolcertificate examinations. It is, however, different from betterperformance registered in the same example by two private schools inthe region Eju-Ile and Ora-Aiyetoro. In this research, both thedependent and the independent variables named above will be used tounderstand the cause of these poor performances irrespective of themeasures that the Nigerian government puts in place to create anequal playground for all the students to learn.
Population Sampling and Data Collection ProceduresParticipants
Four schools from the State of Kwara will participate in theresearch. Two private schools and two public schools all from thelocal of the government of Ekari which has a significant number ofschool going children, high economic disparity as well as differentliteracy level of the parents.
The aim of this study is to establish how socioeconomic status of theparents affects the performance of the child. State with 23% of thepopulation living in poverty, Kwara population plays a critical rolein acting as participants of the study. Ora-Aiyegbaju, Obbo-Ile,Eju-Ile and Ora-Aiyetoro are all schools that have mixed performance,and by participating in the study, they will not only provide insightinto what happens in the schools but what also is going on in otherparts of the country since 46% of Nigerians live in poverty justlike these students. Each of the schools will hover provide fiveparticipants to take place in the research.
A sample study will be conducted to help in understanding therequirement of research. In the sample study, the researcher willselect on private school and one public school from Ekiti localgovernment. The researcher will select Ora-Aiyegbaju and Ora-Aiyetorofrom where they will provide the students with a sample of aquestionnaire to be answered and a sample of interview questions.However, both the interview questions will be defined by theresearcher so as to meet the aim of the study which is to determinethe effects parental socioeconomic and literacy level has on theachievement of the child. In addition to that, the researcher willonly sample a student from each of the schools and a parent toinvolve in the process. The research shall be conducted in the worstconditions so as to allow the researcher to learn weaknesses in thewhole research.
Each of the sampled students will fill a questionnaire from theresearcher and answer several and related interview questions. Beforethey are presented with the questions, all the students, and theproper school administration will consent to participate in thesample study so as to follow all the ethical procedures and therequirement. Observation will also be done on one parent from eachside of the school to establish how their level of literacy impactsthe achievement of their children and the entire performance of theschool.
Data Collection Procedure
All the participants of this study will be served with an officialletter and a consent form from the researcher to ensure they areinformed of their participation in the process. In addition to that,this research will ensure all the participants have been providedwith interview questions a day before coming into the rooms where theresearch will be conducted. Besides, they will have the right toreject any question outside the provided issues just as theresearchers will not be allowed to introduce new topics all to remainethical.After which, the researcher will walk into the four differentschools and subject all the participants into the process of datacollection where they will fill out questionnaires and respond to thespecific interview questions. in addition to that, the researcherwill observe specific involvement of the parents to their child`sstudies. It will be done by monitoring how much the parent involvesthe child both at school and at home. From the findings, a solutionwill be found based on the analysis done by the researcher.
Special computer software will be used to analyze the datacollected. Reviews and SPSS shall be used in the analysis process toensure that the data analyzed can be represented statistically. Themain aim of this study is to represent the findings statistically ina manner that it can be used by other researchers within Kwara Stateand outside Nigeria. The relationship that socioeconomic backgroundof a parent affects the performance of the child in school is notonly an issue in Nigeria but is found globally. Use of such softwarewill, therefore, ensure applicability of the reach remains validbeyond the place of reach.
The chapter primarily details how theresearchers will conduct the study in the four schools in Kwara Statein Nigeria. The researcher has clearly indicated the procedure to befollowed and the methods of data collection to be used. In thatrespect, the researcher has explained the critical role played by thesurvey in collecting data from the respondents and how they willremain relevant in future studies and understanding of the phenomenon(Compton, Schatschneider, & Petscher, 2013). Besides, astatistical analysis tool of SPSS and Eviews have also been explainedto be the best analysis tools for the study due to the improved levelof relevance they provide to the study.
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