Griffin Early Childhood Center in Illinois taking part in ‘one of the largest field experiments ever conducted in economics’.

Most mothers and fathers would do anything for free to help their sons and daughters.

But some parents are being paid up to $7,000 per year to attend bi-weekly workshops with their children and learn about parenting strategies and education.

The Parent Academy is part of a $10million education and economics experiment happening at the Griffin Early Childhood Center (GECC) in Chicago Heights, Illinois.

The two-year project, which started from a grant given by billionaire Ken Griffin, has been described as ‘one of the largest field experiments ever conducted in economics’.

University of Chicago professor John List took the grant to find out if putting money towards parents rather than just children and teachers will lead to better students.

They actually learn to be the teachers of the children,’ Parent Academy Director Sydnye Allen told AOL News.

‘In much the same way I would teach a preschool classroom, they learn how to teach and instruct their children with these techniques that would be used in a pre-school classroom.

‘Parents are incentivised for participating because this research project is designed by economists who are studying the outcomes relative to costs.’

The study has three groups – students attending a specialised pre-school, parents in the Parent Academy and a control group that gets neither, reported AOL News.

The students of parents in the Parent Academy do not attend the pre-school, as the two groups are kept apart for the research, which will expand next year.

Around 120 families have enrolled in the Academy – but next year GECC, which operates a registration lottery system, hopes to have double that number.

‘Our bottom line is we firmly believe there is an important interaction effect between students and parents and teachers,’ Mr List told AOL News.

‘You can’t just incentivise one. We have to put our efforts towards all three.’

Mr List is joined on the project by fellow Chicago economist Steven Levitt and Harvard economist Roland Fryer, who he has worked with on another education programme.

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Source: Daily Mail –