Parental Involvement among Different Cultures: Implications and Strategies for Families and Educators in the United States
St. Petersburg College
It may come to no surprise to many families and educators in the United States that families actively participating in their children’s academic life (school, homework, extracurricular activities) is a key component in unlocking their children(s)’ success in school. The struggle that educators face is the lack of understanding or lack of knowledge about how families in other cultures view parental involvement. It is important for educators to understand that not all families will have the same viewpoints on parental involvement, and educators themselves may have different opinions about parental involvement that are not unanimously shared among colleagues. This research paper aims to provide an in depth review of how parental involvement is viewed in different cultures present in the United States. This paper will provide discussion regarding how differing culture views affect education in the classroom. Furthermore, this paper should provide educators with strategies on how to recognize, accept, and encourage family participation in all cultures present in the United States. This paper will focus on cultural views from European American Families, Hispanic/Latino Americans, and cultural views based on family dynamics (single parents, income-classes, same-sex parents).
Keywords: Family Involvement, Family
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Cultural ideology strongly influences a student’s decision in regards to schooling and future opportunities (Lawrence et al., 2012, pp. 79-80). Whether students specifically choose otherwise; and the students run the risk isolation themselves from the cultural practices and expectations of his family and friends (Thompson, 2002, p. 8). Within the schooling culture a child will feel the same feeling isolated (Ewing, 2013, p. 85). As previously stated by the interviewee, parental input is a vital component. Discussing beliefs about cultural ideology with parents can be incorporated into the children’s
The word family is difficult to define as families come in many shapes and sizes. Each member of a family acquires funds of knowledge that influences every aspect of their lives. Educators need to take the time to get to know students and their families so that “they can begin to see that the households of their students contain rich cultural and cognitive resources and that these resources can and should be used in their classroom in order to provide culturally responsive and meaningful lessons that tap students’ prior knowledge” (Lopez, 2013, par. 2). By getting to know each student and their families, teachers can better detect poverty and homelessness and provide resources and support. Administrators should provide teachers and other student personnel with professional training so as to increase teachers’ understanding of the importance of understanding a child’s funds of knowledge that students, especially from immigrant households, possess.
“In one study of 50 Western American mothers and 48 Chinese immigrant mothers, almost 70% of the Western mothers said either that ‘stressing academic success is not good for children’ or that ‘parents need to foster the idea that learning is fun.’ By contrast, roughly 0% of the Chinese mothers felt the same way. Instead, the vast majority of the Chinese mothers said that they believe their children can be ‘the best’ students, that ‘academic achievement reflects successful parenting,’ and that if children did not excel at school then there was ‘a problem’ and parents ‘were not doing their job.’ … Chinese parents spend approximately ten times as long every day drilling academic activities with their children. By contrast, Western kids are
Collective research focusing on family-school partnerships provide an extensive examination of parent involvement. Smith et al., (2011) referred to parent involvement as school, family, and community partnerships for the purpose of shared expectations, responsibilities, interests, and correlating influences of family, school, and community. Epstein’s (2008) framework of parent involvement approached parent involvement typologies from an institutional perspective; the framework for this literature review was conducted with a parental perspective that may positively affect academic achievement among students in 6th – 12th grades attending high poverty, rural schools. An explanation of Epstein’s six categories of parent involvement follows:
The job of child rearing is widely regarded as a maternal responsibility for most cultures
As educators, we spend a great amount of time looking for different ways to implementing curriculum, meeting school and district deadlines, assessing, planning, and grading. But do we ever take time to really get to know our students and their families in a personal level? Without event knowing, we hold different biases towards students and their parents; we expect them to have certain knowledge about their community and culture depending on their demographics and socioeconomic status. We completely ignore the fact that many parents can make positive contributions to our classrooms. In the book Funds of Knowledge edited by Norma Gonzalez, Luis C. Moll, and Cathy Amanti, we can see how many families have abundant knowledge that the schools/teachers do not know about and therefore do not use in order to teach academic skills.
Eileen Ariza’s article “Culture Considerations: Immigrant Parent Involvement” published from Kappa Delta Journal Record discusses appropriate teacher interaction with foreign students who are currently enrolled in standard classrooms in America. She argues that teachers who have foreign students in their classes should attempt to be more understanding of foreign students’ cultures when foreign students behave abnormally according to American culture. In this essay, I intend to summarize, critique, and evaluate Ariza’s proposal for revising teacher pedagogy and improving teacher interaction with foreign students and their families.
An obstacle I have witnessed in my school is the lack of parental involvement. Throughout this year, I believe the parents' investment in their children education has been disheartening. I can say in my own classroom, nearly one-third of student’s parents have no idea how they are doing in school academically. About one-sixth of student’s parents don’t sign daily agendas or notes that are sent home. Only about one-fifth of parents consistently attend school programs. My biggest concern is that too many parents are disengaged. Parent involvement can indeed make a difference in a child’s education. Students would perform better academically and behaviorally if their
Including family in the learning process enhances the learning process; the teachers have to adapt to the demands of a multicultural classroom to facilitate a healthy environment for learning. A culturally responsive pedagogy ensures that the learning process is student-centered; teachers focus on identifying and nurturing the unique cultural strengths among students to foster high academic and social achievements (Jocson, 2013). The use of the three dimensions of culturally responsive pedagogy has indicated a positive effect on students’ performance and the family involvement. These three include the institutional, instructional, and the personal dimension (Richards, Brown & Forde, 2007).
They are more involved with their studies, and take them more seriously. This is because the parents of the Asian children take the child’s education the a higher degree, and do not except lower than when they believe their child can achieve; mover, the parents of Asian-Americans expect more from their young. This is mentioned by Hsin and Xie in their paper ‘Explaining Asian Americans’ Academic Advantage Over Whites’, “It is widely documented that Asian-American parents hold higher educational expectations for their children than white native-born parents. Also in contrast to white American parenting, some scholars argue that Asian-American parenting fosters greater interdependence and collectivism within the family, which helps Asian-American parents to more easily inculcate values such as high educational expectations and strong work ethic in their children” (Hsin & Xie,
Yes Freda parental involvement is critical through out the world for any school. According to research family factors plays a major role in teacher’s ability to teach students. Coupled with, principals and teachers agree that what is going on at home impact a student’s propensity to learn. Especially, when some teachers and administers try to work with children in less than ideal family environments, we can only do so much. Particularly, when parents are often not willing to partner with the schools to provide for the children. On a high note the earlier in a child’s educational process parent involvement begins, the more powerful the effects. Also the most effective forms of parent involvement are those that engage parents in working directly
Parenting styles have been widely defined by Baumrind into three categories, authoritative, authoritarian and permissive. Parenting styles can be defined as a pattern of attitudes in how parents choose to express and communicate with their children. These styles are categorized based on the level of nurturance, parental control and level of responsiveness (Dwairy, 2004). Authoritative style exhibits high levels of demand, responsiveness and nurturance; authoritarian style exhibits high levels of demand but low levels of responsiveness, permissive style exhibits low levels of demand but high in responsiveness and nurturance (Dwairy, 2004). These parenting styles have been proposed to have a significant impact on a child’s
Paternal involvement is impacted by culture and gender norms. The gender and cultural norms in male parents is portrayed through the behaviors they show. Gender stereotypes are different depending on the culture. The Hispanic cultures carry many gender stereotypes and bias, especially with parenting. The Hispanic parenting styles are based on power and sexism, mostly for male parents. The majority of Hispanic fathers perform Machismo. “Machismo is a Spanish word meaning strong and assertive masculinity and implying complete male authority” (Brannon, L., 2002). Hispanic males are affecting children with their masculine and dominance behaviors. A child who is raised by a father who believes in Machismo can be morally and psychologically affected. Over the years observational theories have been showing how much of an impact observations have on children. Children behave and act based on what it is taught to them by their parents. Parents are the children’s first teachers, especially during the children’s critical period of learning. Machismo can seem positively by some but machismo portrays sexism, hyper masculinity and aggressive attitudes. Machismo will only have a negative impact on children’s psychological development.
As an educator it is important to be aware of the various learners in the classroom as well as being able to shift lessons accordingly to adapt to a greater number of students. In addition it is essential that culturally responsive practices is adapted in the classroom in order for all students to have a sense of belonging and are able to participate. For this reason, a teacher must actively use culturally responsive practices to engage students and their families because it helps to develop a relationship and maintain a level of communication. Learning “facts” about different cultures is not enough, it is more important that we make