Education Journal


1998/1999.第26卷第2期及第27卷第1期(Vol. 26 No. 2 & Vol. 27 No. 1).pp. 233–261



Parental Involvement in Children's Education: The Contributions of Cultural and Social Capital

何瑞珠(Esther Sui-Chu HO)





The purpose of this paper is to examine the contribution of parental involvement in the activation of cultural and social capital, which in turn affect children's learning outcomes. Over the past two decades, growing evidence in Western countries has shown that promoting parental involvement has significant benefits in mobilizing essential cultural and social resources for enhancing students' achievement, improving self-esteem, bettering students? behavior and learning habits, and lowering students' absenteeism and dropout rate. Parent represents a potentially cost-effective resource for public education, yet remains largely untapped especially in the Hong Kong and Asian educational systems. Recent school effectiveness study conducted in Hong Kong by Lo et al. (1996) also suggested that, in the light of the persistent effect of family social background on children's achievement, more work on home-school cooperation should be initiated in Hong Kong. Yet little has been done to investigate the concepts of cultural capital and social capital and appropriate these concepts in examining the nature and impact of parental involvement.

This paper provides insight useful to academics who are concerned with the potential application of Bourdieu’s concept of "cultural capital" and Coleman's concept of "social capital" in home-school studies. It also offers practical knowledge to policy makers, teachers, and parents in formulating policies and practices that would maximize the kinds of home and school resources for children's education.