Music As A Tool To Increase Academic Achievement

Read Complete Research Material


Music as a Tool to Increase Academic Achievement

Music as a Tool to Increase Academic Achievement

A key question in current efforts to strengthen the impact and accessibility of pre-kindergarten programs is whether parent-school relationships contribute to improvements in children's school readiness. Although early childhood program policies and standards include provisions for parent-school connections (e.g., Copple & Bredekamp, 2009), a tenuous empirical base supports claims about the benefits of parent-school relationships for young children (Henrich & Blackman-Jones, 2006). Research that identifies characteristics of parent-school relationships that are associated with children's school readiness may inform initiatives to improve pre-kindergarten.

Two dimensions of parent-school relationships — parent involvement in school activities and perceived teacher responsiveness to children and parents — hold particular promise of enhancing pre-kindergarten effects on children and are the focus of the current study. Providing parental school-involvement opportunities is the most common way schools attempt to facilitate relationships with parents, whereas the construct of teacher responsiveness reflects a more recent interest in how schools embrace parents and students.

The pre-kindergarten year may be an optimal period to promote parent-school relationships. Parents may develop or refine knowledge and skills in how parents and school personnel can work collaboratively to support children's learning during the pre-kindergarten year and beyond (Epstein, 1996). For pre-kindergarten classrooms in public schools, the transition to pre-kindergarten includes the beginning of a parent-school relationship that may span 7 or more years in the same school building. Parent-school relationships may be especially beneficial in the early childhood years for promoting early academic and social skills that are predictive of later school success. For example, studies indicate that preschool literacy and language skills are key to subsequent reading ability (National Early Literacy Panel, 2008) and that pre-kindergarten social competencies, including attention skills (Duncan et al., 2007) and behavioral regulation (Bronson, 2000), are associated with early and subsequent school success (Miles & Stipek, 2006). Longitudinal research also indicates that parenting practices in the early childhood years are powerful predictors of later school-related outcomes (Hart & Risley, 1985).

Parent-school relationship practices and research are dominated by the concept of parental school involvement, typically defined as parent participation in school activities such as volunteering or observing in the classroom, attending parent-teacher conferences, planning or serving on advisory committees, and participating in school social events (Hill & Taylor, 2004). Parental school involvement is the primary focus of family-school relationship standards established by leading national organizations (e.g., National Parent Teacher Association, 1997) and of surveys conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (e.g., [Carey et al., 1998] and [Planty et al., 2009]). Theoretical perspectives on parent-school relationships often frame parental school involvement as a path to parent-school partnerships that bolster children's outcomes ([Christenson, 2004] and [Epstein & Sanders, 2002]). Participation in school activities provides parents with information about children's learning and development plus insight into their child's abilities that leads to improvements in how parents promote the development of their child's school-related abilities (Powell, ...
Related Ads