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Support for parent participation in primary school Apoyo a la participación de padres en las escuelas primarias

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Author(s): Judith K. Bernhard | Marlinda Freire | Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw

Journal: Education Policy Analysis Archives
ISSN 1068-2341

Volume: 8;
Start page: 52;
Date: 2000;
Original page

ABSTRACT
This article describes how a group of Latin American parents became more effective in their dealings with their children’s schools, a mainstream Canadian institution. Ethnicity, along with race, gender, and social class, is a critical determinant in of the interactions between schools and any group of newcomers to a society, particularly when those newcomers are an ethnic minority. Over an eight-month period, twelve Latin American parents met monthly to discuss aspects of their children’s experience with the Canadian educational system. These parents learned to collaborate with teachers and expressed their needs, but also affirmed their ethno-cultural differences. The positive feedback on their activities led to unforeseen gains, not just in relation to education and the schools. This exploratory study focuses on how the experience helped the parents to better comprehend what is expected of them in the support of their children’s schooling while retaining their own cultural assets. This study may serve as a possible model of adaptation for newcomer groups in their efforts to integrate in the school system. Este artículo describe cómo un grupo de padres latinoamericanos aprenden a manejar en forma más efectiva sus experiencias con el sistema educacional canadiense. La etnicidad y variables como sexo y clase social son determinantes críticos en las interacciones sociales, en las cuales los recién llegados constituyen el grupo minoritario. Durante ocho meses, doce padres latinoamericanos compartieron una vez al mes sus experiencias con la escuela. Finalizado el estudio se descubre que estos padres no sólo aprendieron a colaborar con los maestros sino que también los enfrentaron y validaron ante ellos sus diferencias etnoculturales. Esta interacción condujo a ganancias inesperadas más allá de lo relativo al proceso educacional. A través de este examen los padres develaron lo que el sistema escolar considera como intervención familiar ideal, sin menoscabo del bagaje cultural del estudiante. Este estudio puede ser un modelo de adaptación para grupos de recién llegados que intentan integrarse al sistema educativo.
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