Vol. 20 No. 1 (2022): n° 1 gennaio-giugno 2022

“Don’t complain and do it properly”: ‘Pedagogicalized parents’ and the morality of doing homework

Vittoria Colla
University of Bologna
Published July 6, 2022
  • parent-assisted homework,
  • family-school partnership,
  • pedagogicalized parents,
  • parent-child interactions,
  • morality
How to Cite
Colla, V. (2022). “Don’t complain and do it properly”: ‘Pedagogicalized parents’ and the morality of doing homework. Rivista Italiana Di Educazione Familiare, 20(1), 211-228. https://doi.org/10.36253/rief-10579


In the last decades, pedagogical studies and policies in western countries have proposed parental involvement in education as the formula for maximizing students’ success and increasing social equality. In the building of the family-school partnership, a crucial role is commonly attributed to parent-assisted homework. Therefore, parental involvement in homework has increased and the model of the “involved” and “pedagogically competent” parent has become common. Analyzing video-recorded parent-child interactions during homework, this paper illustrates how parents make relevant and educate their children to moral horizons concerning homework, education, and schooling. The moral beliefs evoked by the parents in the study are significantly aligned with the school culture. Parent-assisted homework therefore becomes a particularly relevant arena for children’s socialization into the cultural and moral horizons of the school system. Yet a socio-pedagogical issue emerges: if the school relies heavily on the family for homework activities, what happens to those children who cannot rely on school-aligned, pedagogically competent parents?