Building Bridges Between Households And School Through Parent Involvement

Overview

This study investigated the actual and potential role that cultural resources embedded in Latino households are incorporated into parental participation in schooling practices. By examining various aspects of parental involvement that exist at a particular school site in the Southwest United States---including the various manifestations of the involvement, the enabling and sustaining factors for parental participation---and the challenges and possibilities for improvement of parental participation, this study ...
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Overview

This study investigated the actual and potential role that cultural resources embedded in Latino households are incorporated into parental participation in schooling practices. By examining various aspects of parental involvement that exist at a particular school site in the Southwest United States---including the various manifestations of the involvement, the enabling and sustaining factors for parental participation---and the challenges and possibilities for improvement of parental participation, this study aimed to provide a framework for how to authentically engage the participation of Latino parents within the school setting. A qualitative approach was selected as the primary methodological perspective, which included ethnographic interviewing based on Funds of Knowledge research (Moll, 2004) and action research as a participant observer being utilized for data collection. Observations of parent activity at the school were conducted over a three-month period at a school setting called "parent room", which served as a meeting place for parent volunteers to work, socialize, and attend classes. Twelve parents were interviewed to determine the kinds of skills parent volunteers employ through parental involvement at the school and whether or not these skills can be categorized as Funds of Knowledge. Six staff members were interviewed to establish a history of parental involvement at the school as well as to establish an understanding of the role of the parent room. The main enabling factors for the sustainability of parental involvement were the prioritization of a space, the funding of a staff member facilitator, and the establishment of trust among participants. Positive outcomes of parent room participation included the acquisition of employment, opportunities to supplement the family income, exposure to new places and ideas, increased advocacy on behalf of parent participants and their children, a connection to the greater school community, and increased comfort levels within the school setting. Challenges related to parent room participation were identified and illustrated. These included the need to update the parent room story, varying expectations of parents and staff, the lack of formal training for staff regarding the potential for parental involvement, varying levels of comfort by parents within the school setting, inconsistencies in the parent participation requirements for the preschool and K-5 parent volunteers, parent room size, and varying levels of language proficiency by volunteers in English and Spanish. The researcher presents results on parent involvement in a school setting that includes a space specific to the needs and work of parent volunteers. The parent room scenario, which has previously not been included in parent involvement research in schools, is determined to be a valuable and viable possibility for schools wishing to increase parental involvement by immigrant and minority parents or those parents who are generally uncomfortable in the traditional classroom setting. The framework and results advance our understanding of the complexities of parent involvement in school and provide a foundation for incorporating families' Funds of Knowledge into the function and organization of schools.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781243541185
  • Publisher: BiblioLabsII
  • Publication date: 9/3/2011
  • Pages: 154
  • Product dimensions: 7.44 (w) x 9.69 (h) x 0.33 (d)

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