An assessment of the impact of family learning programmes on parents' learning through their involvement in their children's learning

Janet Webb

    Research output: Types of ThesisMaster's Thesis


    This study investigates the learning of parents attending family learning programmes in Co. Clare. The programmes encourage parents to support their children’s learning by understanding how the role of parents, the home environment and ordinary everyday interactions play an important part in the development of children’s learning. As family learning programmes in Ireland are funded through adult education it is also hoped that parents’ own learning will develop as a result. Internationally studies agree that ‘family learning works’, but little has been done to determine whether these findings are replicated in Ireland and what and how parents learn from the family learning programmes. Literature was examined from both children’s and adults’ learning perspectives. The recognition of the role of parents in children’s learning through emergent literacy, the work of Deforges, the social practice view of adult learning and the impact of this on social capital, as well as recent research into family learning in the UK, formed the theoretical base. The study took place in two areas of Co. Clare with twenty-two parents from two family learning programmes. The data was collected through questionnaires, three focus group discussions, six semi-structured interviews, evaluations and a follow up on progression a year later. The findings were analysed in the light of the concepts identified in the literature review. The results indicate that family learning programmes in Co. Clare did make an impact. It showed that parents developed a better understanding of their ’s learning and became more confident in themselves and in people around them. This encouraged greater curiosity and interest in further learning, employment and integration within the community. This has implications for policy and for the provision of funds to build on the number of family learning programmes already being delivered.
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Heynen, Monica, Supervisor
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2007


    • Family Life Education


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