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Education Worldwide

Comparative evaluation of the “Mother Child Education Program”

Interviews with 100 mothers regarding the project’s effects



Cover of the report, © Foundation AÇEV

Corresponding to the “Mother Child Education Program“ (MOCEP) run by the ACEV Foundation, which is meanwhile run in five countries (Turkey, Bahrain, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Belgium), Sevda Bekman and Aylin Atmaca Koçak conducted a comparative evaluation in 2009, supported by the ACEV Foundation. 100 mothers who had participated in MOCEP were questioned in part-structured personal interviews regarding their assessment of the quality oft the project, its effets and their own experiences throughout and after completion of the project. The project targets families in areas that are disadvantaged by educational policy.

Supporting cognitive and social competencies in mothers and children
The project is based on the idea that the economic, ecological and social environments have a far-reaching impact on a child’s development, determining whether a child is supported or not. The project thus targets families in areas that are disadvantaged by educational policy. The project aims to compensate for such disadvantages and foster the cognitive and social competencies of mothers and their children. Therefore, families are supported within their life contexts: According to the initiators, deficiencies are primarily rooted in family dispositions, the assumption being that even despite being poor, families can kindle an interest in education in their children. Mothers are encouraged to foster an interest in education and in reading in their children: Children are thus brought into contact with reading material and made aware of language use. Despite their limited opportunities in the region, education thus becomes possible in the children’s daily lives. Hence, mothers are trained in supporting the development of social and cognitive competencies in their children and strengthening emotional ties. The project thereby pursues a holistic approach embracing health, education and emotional situation.

Findings from the evaluative study
Across countries, analysis of the interviews revealed direct positive effects on the mothers’ behaviour as well as the children’s conduct. Mothers paid particular attention to the implementation of the information they had learned into their daily routine, as well as focusing on the collaboration and exchange with other mothers.

Changes in the families, both in communication and in behavioural patterns, were highly beneficial to the children.. Some participants reported that they had created an atmosphere of learning at home, and that their awareness of books and of educational games had considerably increased. Moreover, mothers had changed their behaviour with respect to their partners, which also led to a change in the men’s conduct. Even some of the more reluctant fathers were ready to patiently engage in reading with their children. The holistic approach underlying projects which assumes that an effect will be transmitted from one member of the family to the others was thus sustained.

Table 13: Changes in the Child

Source: Bakman, Sevda/ Koçak, Aylin Atmaca (2010): Mothers Reporting: The Mother-Child Education Program in Five Countries, Istanbul: ACEV Publications, p. 60

Besides an improvement of general and learning atmospheres in the family, the increase in learning and reading abilities in children were of course also crucial. In retrospect, many of the mothers and fathers stated that their children had made significant progress regarding their early literacy (listening, comprehension, rehearsing content, describing pictures). Some of the children were even able to acquire first reading and writing skills, prior to school entry.

First and foremost, however, all of the children who had participated in the project outperformed their peers in a control group comparison regarding reading, writing and calculating skills. Similar findings after the first year of school attendance provide evidence that the advantages in starting school had also benefited project participants throughout acquiring school-related competencies in their first year.

A central finding of the evaluation was that the program’s effectiveness highly depends on the mothers’ attitudes. Mothers need to be strongly convinced of the program in order to implement it in the family.

Summary: Stiftung Lesen, September 2011

Bakman, Sevda/ Koçak, Aylin Atmaca (2010) Mothers Reporting: The Mother-Child Education Program in Five Countries
Istanbul: ACEV Publications

Mother Child Education Foundation (AÇEV)
Büyükdere Cad. Stad Han. No:85 Kat:2
34387 Mecidiyeköy – Istanbul, Türkei
E-Mail: acev@acev.org
Internet: www.acev.org

Translated into English by Gwendolyn Schulte (DIPF)



Evaluation of the “Mo..