Parent Involvement in Education Among African and Caribbean Born Immigrants in Saskatoon
Abstract The difference in educators’ and immigrant parents’ definition of parent involvement has led to the view that immigrant parents are less involved in their children’s education than native parents from the middle class (Crozier & Davies, 2005). The purpose of this study was to understand the experience of three immigrant parents born in Africa and the Caribbean with parent involvement in their children’s education at the elementary level. This phenomenological study utilized semi-structured interviews to gain a better understanding of the various ways in which immigrant parents are involved in their children’s education, and the factors that influenced how they became involved. The findings revealed that the essence of the parents’ experience of involvement in their children’s education was maintaining nurturing relationships. Participants guided their children into a relationship with God, they cultivated a loving relationship with their children, and had a cooperative relationship with their children’s school. The parents’ experience is explored using the themes spiritual leadership, creating and nurturing relationships, and anticipatory socialization. The description of the parents’ experiences provides some insight into how immigrant parents view and enact their role in their children’s education. The study also highlights how different cultural beliefs influence the ways in which parents contributed to their children’s development. The parents were already making contributions in a variety of ways to their children’s education. However, for the most part their activities were home-based and geared towards only their own children. There were opportunities for the parent to become more involved in ways that would extend to other members of the school community. The implications of this study for practice are that educators should give an orientation to parents new to Canada about strategies they can use to incorporate school based involvement activities into their busy schedules. This will suggest ideas that parents may not have considered and could be effective in increasing their involvement on the school compound. Implications for future research include the need to investigate how culture delimits the ways in which parents become involved. There is also a need to explore what factors would motivate immigrant parents to become more involved in their children’s education on the school site.
DegreeMaster of Education (M.Ed.)
CommitteeBurgess, David; Noonan, Warren; Newton, Paul; Pushor, Debbie
Copyright DateDecember 2016