Parental involvement in career education and guidance in senior general secondary schools in the Netherlands

PhD Thesis

Oomen, Anna Maria Francisca Adriana 2018. Parental involvement in career education and guidance in senior general secondary schools in the Netherlands. PhD Thesis
AuthorsOomen, Anna Maria Francisca Adriana
TypePhD Thesis

This research examines the involvement of the parents of secondary school children in career education and guidance (CEG). It is based on a secondary analysis of existing data from a research project I was involved in. This initial research evaluated the impact of a parent-involved career intervention, ‘Parents Turn’, in which six career teachers delivered four successive sessions to parent(s) accompanied by their child in the third or fifth year of their secondary school (HAVO) in the Netherlands. The study is important both to the field and to practitioners. Examples of parent involved career intervention in CEG are limited, scantily researched, and most were not sustained, which may explain why knowledge on involving parents in CEG is underdeveloped. I discuss these gaps in the evidence by providing an overview on the literature on parental influences and roles in their child’s career development, an international inventory of and taxonomy for parent-involved, school-based career interventions, and providing relevant knowledge on parental-involvement in education in general. I then present new analysis of data collected by an earlier evaluation of the ‘Parents’ Turn’ intervention. My secondary analysis approaches this data with new research questions, in-depth analyses and a non-parametric methodology. I integrated the
quantitative and qualitative results to understand who was involved in the intervention, why, and whether the impact differed for the learning of parents with and without higher education (HE) qualifications. I also sought to understand the role of the school in the intervention. The findings suggest that a school-initiated career intervention involving parents, in the form of family learning and community interaction, can build and enhance parents’ capacity to be involved in and support the career development of their child: their knowledge and skills, parental self-efficacy and parental role-definition. However, the career intervention works differently for parents who have different
levels of HE level attainment. Lower-educated parents seem less aware of the consequences of early educational decisions in their child’s career and also have different needs for being involved in the career intervention compared to higher educated parents. Despite the impact of the career intervention on their parental capacity, lower-educated parents remain unsure as a parent of how to make use of gained information, guidance and support tools. Third-year (14-16-year-olds) parents’ information and support needs are the greatest and they are open to changing their attitude to grant their child autonomy in managing their own career development. The study also finds that features of the present school system are major barriers to sustaining the intervention. Recommendations for policies and practice at school level are offered. A more focused public policy for parental involvement in career education and guidance in secondary schools could both improve the efficiency of
the education system and combat social injustice.

KeywordsParental involvement; Career education and guidance; 'first-generation' higher education students; secondary schools
PublisherUniversity of Derby
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Web address (URL)hdl:10545/623103
File Access Level
File Access Level
Output statusUnpublished
Publication process dates
Deposited05 Nov 2018, 18:38
Publication dates31 Oct 2018
ContributorsUniversity of Derby
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