Building Bridges Between Households And School Through Parent Involvement: A Qualitative Approach
Committee ChairArenas, Alberto
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis 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 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.
Degree ProgramEducational Leadership