In an Unexpected Finding, Parents’ Education Level Is Weak Predictor of Students’ Learning Habits

A parent’s level of education is often thought to be one of the strongest predictors of a student’s future success in college, but a new study upends much of this received wisdom.

Parents’ levels of education do not directly influence whether students demonstrate behaviors associated with deep learning, according to the study, “Exploring the Effect of Parental Education on College Students’ Deep Approaches to Learning,” by Amy K. Ribera, a research analyst for the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research. The study was scheduled to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association this past weekend, in San Francisco.

Though the overall differences were small, students whose parents earned baccalaureate degrees were the least likely to engage in deep learning. Not only did they lag behind those whose parents held advanced degrees, she found, but they also engaged in deep-learning behaviors less often than those whose parents had attended but not completed college, or who never went at all. <Read more.>

Via Dan Berrett, The Chronicle of Higher Ed.