Multi ethnic schools' parent involvement policies and practices
Number of pages
SourceSchool Community Journal, 17, 2, (2007), pp. 27-43
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI OE
SW OZ BSI OLO
School Community Journal
SubjectLearning and Plasticity
Culture differences within parent communities provide challenges for schools trying to develop a successful parental involvement policy. In this study, we explore schools' practices and policies with respect to parental involvement. This study was carried out at four elementary schools in the Netherlands. Interviews were conducted with the schools' principals concerning the schools' experiences with the parental involvement of diverse groups of parents. The results of this study indicate that school administrators recognize difficulties in getting immigrant parents involved in their children's school. The two main barriers to getting immigrant parents involved in the schools were language problems and culture differences between the schools and families. The four stories of these schools reveal one basic dilemma that underlies the schools' perspective of parental involvement: should schools expect parents to comply with the schools' expectations and culture, or should the school take parents' expectations and cultures into account? Schools differ in their view of the right balance between school and family culture. It is suggested that schools share their experiences in networks that can help them to enhance the involvement of diverse groups of parents.
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