OECD Education Working Paper by Francesca Borgonovi and Guillermo Montt
Studies have highlighted the beneficial effects of parental involvement in children’s educational lives.
Few studies, however, analyse parental involvement in a cross-national perspective and few evaluate a
wide array of forms of involvement. In 2009, 14 countries and economies implemented the parental
questionnaire option in the PISA 2009 cycle. This working paper evaluates the levels of parental
involvement across countries and sub-groups within countries, as well as the relationship of involvement
with both cognitive (reading performance) and non-cognitive outcomes (enjoyment of reading and
awareness of effective summarising strategies). Findings suggest that some forms of parental involvement
are more strongly related to cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes than others. These include reading to
children when they are young, engaging in discussions that promote critical thinking and setting a good
example. Findings also show that levels of parental involvement vary across countries and economies.
Inequalities in parental involvement exist in practically all countries and economies. Policy implications
signal the possibility that promoting higher levels of parental involvement may increase students’ both
cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes, and that high-quality parental involvement may help reduce
performance differences across socio-economic groups.