Continuity and variability in the parental involvement and advocacy beliefs of Latino families of young children
Durand, Tina M.
Perez, Nicole A.
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Citation (published version)Tina M. Durand, Nicole A. Perez. 2013. "Continuity and variability in the parental involvement and advocacy beliefs of Latino families of young children." School Community Journal, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp. 49 - 79.
Parental involvement is an important component of children’s school success. Although the literature on parental involvement among Latino families is growing and moving from deficit-based perspectives, very few studies have examined the parental involvement beliefs and practices of Latino families who vary across demographic and sociocultural lines within the same school community. This qualitative study explored Latino parents’ beliefs about children’s education, their involvement and advocacy beliefs and practices, and their perceptions of feeling welcome at their children’s school. In-depth interviews were conducted with 12 parents of preschool and kindergarten children who attended a bilingual school. Qualitative descriptive analyses revealed that the majority of parents espoused the cultural value of educación, engaged in learning activities at home, and viewed themselves as living models of behavior for children, regardless of their education or immigrant status. Only first generation immigrant parents made explicit reference to children’s futures. All parents attributed supportive relationships with school personnel and a bilingual climate as the most important sources of feeling welcome at school. However, parents with more education valued what they perceived as an “open door policy” and were more vocal in critiquing policies. Findings have implications for the development of multicultural competence among teachers and for ways diverse Latino families might develop a shared voice within the school sector.
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