In other research, a teacher-researcher in an adult literacy program in California introduced activities in her welfare-to-work computer lab to help adult women who were mothers help their children with school. In a survey of 16 mothers at the end of the program the teacher-researcher found the following percentages of responses to the survey questions:
|1. Will you take part in more of your children's activities such as PTA?||Yes-88%|
|2. Will you provide assistance and help with your children's homework?||Yes-100%|
|3. Will you feel more comfortable talking to your child's teacher?||Yes-100%|
|4. Will you provide more educational type activities for your children.?||Yes 100%|
The teacher-researcher also asked the mothers, "What would you do to ensure your child's graduation from High School?" Again, 100% gave positive responses such as "I will encourage them by continuing to educate myself, and attending night school. Teaching them to be proud of their scholastic achievements." In response to another question, "Is there any other important effect the [welfare literacy] program has had or will have on your children?", several mothers mentioned an increased ability to help their children, and one stated that her children's grades had improved.
The foregoing and other available research supports the conclusion that parents' education levels exert a strong, positive influence on family size, health, and the achievement of children in school. Additional research by Cochrane et al for the World Bank indicates that in Egypt and Thailand, mother's education level is positively related to higher aspirations for and participation in education by their daughters.14 In these studies, mothers' aspirations for their daughters' education exceeded the aspirations of fathers.
The finding that mothers' education may lead to higher aspirations for and education of girls is significant because of recent research by Benavot on education, gender and economic development.14 This cross-national research in 96 countries "found clear evidence that in less-developed countries, especially some of the poorest, educational expansion among school-age girls at the primary level has a stronger effect on long-term economic prosperity than does educational expansion among school-age boys." All of these positive effects of women's education offer compelling arguments for greatly expanding efforts to include women in literacy and adult education programs. More than for boys and men, investments in the literacy education of girls and women bring multiple returns in learning and achievement at home and at school.
13 Sticht, T., McDonald, B., & Erickson, P. (1998, January). Passports to Paradise: The Struggle to Teach and to Learn on the Margins of Adult Education. San Diego, CA: Applied Behavioral & Cognitive Sciences, Inc., p. 111. .
14 Cochrane, S., Mehra, K., & Osheba, I. (1986, December). The Educational Participation of Egyptian Children. Report No. EDT45. Washington, DC: The World Bank; Benavot, A. (1989). Education, gender, and economic development: A cross-national study. Sociology of Education, 62, 14-32