Middle School Parent Engagement Text Messaging Study
This research project will use experimental methods to study the effects of information on parental involvement in their adolescent child's education and how this in turn affects the child's education and social outcomes. The intervention uses weekly text messages to provide low-income parents information and activities that will help them support their middle school children's socio-emotional and academic skills. The text messages include tips on how: (i) to support and guide children's academic trajectory as they transition from middle to high school; (ii) to support children's social and emotional learning (SEL) skills; and (ii) knowledge, skills, and abilities of children are grow-able. Educational and social outcomes of children whose parents receive text messages will be compared to those of children whose parents do not receive text messages. The goal of the text messaging is to narrow income-achievement gap of students before middle school students enter high school. Parental involvement during middle school years is positively associated with a range of behavioral and academic outcomes; yet parental involvement declines during the formative middle school years. This project is intended to demonstrate the value of a parental texting programs for the middle school years and provide a replication roadmap for school districts. The results of this research will provide important inputs into the design and implementation of policies to improve school outcomes, increase skills, and ultimately increase economic growth in the U.S.
This research project uses a randomized control trial (RCT) method to study the effects of information on parental involvement in their child's life and the effect of this involvement on the child's educational and social outcomes. It involves sending three weekly text messages to parents of middle school students in the treatment group. Each text message focuses on an academic topic, skill, or activity for their child. The text messages include tips on: supporting and guiding children's academic trajectory as they move from middle school to high school; supporting children's social and emotional learning (SEL) skills; and how to grow knowledge, skills, and abilities of children. Texts4Teens is intended to narrow income-achievement gaps before children enter high school. The results of this research will provide parents, schools, and school districts with details on how information on parent-child engagement affects students' academic and social-emotional outcomes and on how to support parents in their child's educational trajectory from middle to high school. The results will also establish the U.S. as the global leader in the use of information to improve education and social outcomes of teenagers.
This project is supported by the National Science Foundation under grant number 1918016.
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- Author: Shane Greenstein