On Valentine’s day, a new quantitative analysis calls for an emphasis on loving marriages, loving one’s children, and loving parent-teacher relationships as the key to student success

LONG BEACH, Calif — A new article by a professor and researcher uses quantitative analysis to assert that the American education system can raise school quality and help students, especially in the inner city, far better than it currently does. In his article entitled, “A Meta-analysis:  The Association Between Relational Parental Involvement and Student and Parent Outcome Variables,” in Education & Urban Society, Dr. William Jeynes notes that the results emanate with a message straight out of the heart of Valentine’s day. That is, the results of his meta-analysis indicate that an emphasis on loving marriages, loving one’s children, and loving parent-teacher relationships is the key to student success. A meta-analysis statistically combines all the studies on a given topic to see what the overall body of research indicates. William Jeynes, a Harvard graduate and Professor at California State University, Long Beach, asserts that “Political leaders, academics, and people at large do not emphasize love enough in improving relations between parents, between parents and their children, and in partnerships between parents and teachers. The results of his meta-analysis indicate that many of the most important components of parental involvement are relational. Parental marriages that are filled with love and stability and close parent-child connections adorned with compassion and support have a major impact on children. Moreover, even if a parent checks their child’s homework, establishes rules for how young ones spend their time, etc., it does not even come close to the benefits of strong close relationships in the family.”

Dr. Jeynes presents the following evidence as a basis for future educational policy that can turn around American K-12 education.

Calls for teachers to emphasize developing more of a bond with parents as much as possible to gain their trust rather than viewing them either as passive participants or only those needing specific instructions on how to educate their children.
Calls on couples and society at large to increase their recognition of the salience of stable families that are filled with love and support. Dr. Jeynes points out that, “Americans love to point fingers at such external factors as lack of money and a host of sociological factors beyond themselves. They do not like to identify factors that reveal that they are some of the primary people that need to take action. However, Valentine’s Day is a wonderful reminder that what the world needs now is all of our love.” Dr. Jeynes continues by stating that this message is so fitting for Saint Valentine’s because typically when one thinks of Valentine’s Day, at least in the context of family living, one thinks of the love that exists between a husband and wife. However, when a married couple improves the quality of their relationship, they are likely improving life’s prospects for their children, as well. Coming from families with close relationships enhances children’s prospects for success in both school and life.”

Dr. Jeynes asserts that if these actions are taken, American education can turn around for the better.


William Jeynes
[email protected]

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Religion News Service or Religion News Foundation.

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