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Presenter:  Amy Graham

Date: Jul 12, 2016

Time: 3:30pm to 4:00pm

Contact person:  The LEBA Research and Postgraduate Office
T: 8946 6156

Location:  Orange 2, Level 4, Old Council Room

Getting ready to succeed at School: Investigating the relationships between parental attitudes and expectations, parental engagement in academic socialisation, and school readiness outcomes in children.


After more than 40 years of research, the importance of parental engagement in education is well established. While school readiness is a multi-dimensional and complex construct, the effectiveness of parents in supporting a child’s learning can never be overstated. Children's experiences at home influence their preparation for school. Recent research has identified the need for additional evidence on how parents engage with their children in the home. While there is considerable interest in the areas of both parental engagement and school readiness, and some consensus amongst researchers that these are both very significant aspects of a child’s life, what is needed is research which ties together these constructs. How, and to what degree, can parents influence how prepared their child is for schooling through their academic socialisation activities, attitudes and aspirations? This research endeavours to investigate these relationships and to provide a window into this complexity. The chief aim of this mixed methods research design therefore is to understand how specific parental behaviours, attitudes and expectations contribute to, and impact upon, the readiness of children at school. Data collection instruments will be modified from existing measures such as the Australian Early Development Census tool. Data will be collected from parents and the teachers of children who are in their first year of formal schooling across SA and the NT. Relationships between the key variables of interest will be explored statistically and further unpacked in the development of case studies.


Amy Graham is a PhD candidate with Charles Darwin University and this project has been awarded an APA scholarship. Amy received First Class Honours for her 2006 thesis exploring perfectionism in children and its relationship to parental goal setting, which was published in the Journal of Educational Psychology.. Amy has been employed in a range of settings across the policy, political and academic and research realms in education.