The importance of education in the modern society is higher than it was ever before. Its benefits are endless and in this modern society, there is a general concise that education is key player in the achievement of both social and economic success. There has been intensive campaign throughput the globe aimed at encouraging people to educate their children so that they become socially and economically successful people in the future. However, the attainment of education does not simply entail waking up and taking a child to the nearest school and waiting for the child to slowly progress through the education system and become successful in the future. A couple of factors determine a child education’s attainment. So what are the factors that determine a child education attainment? This essay aims to explore two of these factors and establish whether they indeed influence the attainment of education by a child. The essay will particularly draw a lot from past research that seems to indicate that parent’s education as well as their earnings significantly determines the attainment of quality education in a child. A parent’s education achievements will act as a motivator for the child to proceed with education up to the tertiary level. It essentially increased the child’s desire to learn. On the other hand, a child who has parents with relatively high incomes will have more opportunities in the society (Davis-Kean, 2005)
Influence of Parental Education on the Attainment of Education in a Child
A lot of research has been conducted to find out if a parent’s education achievements in any way influence the attainment of education in their children. A majority of this research literature seems to indicate that there is a positive influence on a child education from his or her parent’s education. For instance, it has been found that highly educated parents are more likely to overtly define high education levels as prestigious and desirable to their children and therefore encourage them to do well in school (Haveman, 1995). These parents are also likely to harbor high expectations for their children when it comes to education matters. This is in comparison to parents with low levels of education who are not likely to evoke strong desire for education in their children.
Studies have also shown that parent’s education hugely determines their teaching styles, which consequently translate to a child’s development. For instance, parents with higher levels of educational achievement utilize teaching styles that promote the development of the child in a positive manner (Chevalier et al, 2003). These parents for instance engage their children in some very high quality verbal interactions, which inadvertently open their children’s minds and increases their learning ability. In addition, these parents use teaching styles that provide cognitively stimulating literary activities as well as a learning environment at home. It has also been found that parents with high education achievements are usually more comfortable and in fact, more involved when it comes to their children’s education, their learning institutions as well as their teachers (Chevalier et al, 2003). In addition, a relatively high level of education achievement by a parent is associated with low levels of parental-child hostility in their interactions. In general term the interactions between a parent with high levels of education achievement and their child are warmer and less hostile than those between an educated parent and their child (Chevalier et al, 2003).
A research was conducted at the University of Leicester in the year 2010 to measure the involvement of the parent’s interest in their child’s education. This study, which was conducted on students of the University with parents having varying education achievement, has shown that those parents who were highly educated were more actively involved with their children’s educational progress. They tended to attend parents meetings more frequently that their less educated counterparts (University of Leicester, 2010). One of the individuals involved in this research, Professor de Fraja in her interpretation of the research suggests that parents are extremely important when it comes to their children’s education. A child with highly educated will receive constant guidance and encouragement from his parents to do better in school and his education attainment will be higher than that of a child with parents possessing low education achievements who may not as adequately guide an encourage their children ion education matters (University of Leicester, 2010).
Influence of Parental Earnings on a Child’s Education Attainment
A variety of studies has been done to show the influence that parental earnings or income play in the education attainment of a child. Most of the results from this research seem to indica6te one thing. The higher the parental income of a child, the higher the likelihood that this child will achieve more education wise. Mayer (2002) conducted a study on several hundred participants whose parents had varying incomes and came to one conclusion. Children whose parents earn highly have a higher chance for education success that their counterparts from low earning parents. In fact, she concluded that most of the children from low earning families are likely to be low earners in the future themselves.
In a study conducted in the UK by Chevalier and others in 2005, it was found that high earning parents usually have some form of saving or education fund tucked away from their children (Chevalier et al, 2005). Chevalier conducted this study by interviewing participants having varying incomes where he asked them how their earnings influence their children’s education. It was from their responses that this aspect of education savings and funds emerged. Parents with such a fund use it to advance their children’s education that one’s again proves the enormous positive impact that high parental earnings have on a child (Chevalier et al, 2005).
Haveman (2009) states that a parent’s low social economic status as a result of low earnings impact negatively on a child education’s achievement as the child is less motivated to continue with education. This is because the parent may be unable to provide some of the required education tools such as books and stationary that are needed in any education institution or setting. In addition, the children with low earnings do not have their parents as role models and consequently, they may not be motivated to make any real academic achievements White (2000) states if a parent has a high social economic status, there is a high likelihood that their child will similarly have a high social economic status.
The overall implication of all these studies is that parental earning play a significant part in in a child education attainment. In particular, high parents earnings means higher, educational for children while the reverse applies for low parental earnings.
The world is laden with inequalities, some of which are manmade while other are just natural. This is something that has been depicted in this essay, particularly in regards to parental earnings and education. A parent’s education achievement as well as earnings is influenced by various factors, but this is not the focus of the essay so they shall not be dwelt on. However, the influence of these two factors on a child’s education achievement cannot be overemphasized. Throughout this essay, one thing that has been made clear is that the two factors are almost exclusively responsible to the level of education that a child attains.
Parent’s education influences a child education in several ways. It has been shown that parents with higher education holds high expectations for their children academic wise and therefore naturally encourage them to do better. It also emerges that such parents even at home facilitate education attainment through positive teaching styles, high quality verbal interactions, low parent-child hostility in their interactions and the provision of learning environments and cognitively stimulating literary activities. All these facilitate the child to have a higher education attainment something which is absent in children with parents having low-level education.
The influence of parental earnings on a child has also been conclusively shown, and one thing stands out is that children who have parents with high earnings are likely to achieve more. Their parent’s earnings act as a motivation for them to similarly succeed in life. In addition, their parents are able to fund all their schooling activities and provide for everything they require including crucial education tolls such as books and stationary.
Therefore, it is fair to conclude that parental education and parental earnings determines a child’s education attainment. Although they may not be the only factors that determine the child’s education attainment, their role is very pronounced and cannot be overlooked.
The relationship between parental earnings, parental education and education attainment is represented by the flowchart below.
Chevalier, A., Harmon, C., Sullivan, V. O., & Walker, I. (2013). The impact of parental income and education on the schooling of their children. IZA Journal of Labor Economics, 2(1), 8.
Haveman R, Wolfe B.(1995). The determinants of children’s attainments: A review of methods and findings. Journal of Economic Literature,33 (6), 1829–1878.
Mayer, S. E. (2002). The Influence of Parental Income on Children's Outcomes. The Knowledge Management Group, 471-473.
Davis-Kean, P. E. (2005). The Influence of Parent Education and Family Income on Child Achievement: The Indirect Role of Parental Expectations and the Home Environment.Journal of Family Psychology, 19(2), 294-304.
White, K.R. (2000). The relation between socioeconomic status and educational achievement. Psychological Bulletin. 91 (4), 461–481.