Parental influences in getting children "ready to learn"
Stevens, Brenda Cook
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This research project examined the effects of parent-child reading sessions have on Head Start children's language development. The subjects for this study were 16 Head Start students and parent pairs. The control group was 16 randomly selected non-participating Head Start students. The researcher instructed the parents in training sessions in techniques of reading with children. The treatment was the parents' subsequent reading to their children at home. The researcher used Gardner's (1990) Receptive One-Word Picture Vocabulary Test and Expressive One-Word Picture Vocabulary Test for the pre-and post-test with the experimental group. The experimental group and the control group were tested using the Developmental Profile II. A survey was given to each parent at the first training session. Data were analyzed in two ways, The survey and training session results were reported qualitatively and the pre-and post-tests results were reported using quantitative methods of ANOVA and post hoc sign test. Based on statistically significant (at.05 level) post hoc test results, the reading project was effective. Encouraging interaction between the child and the parent during reading have positive effects on language development. It would seem that the attitude of participating parents about reading to their children did change. A limitation of this study was the low participation rate of the parents. Future research is needed on ways to build parental involvement in reading with children.