ERIC Number: ED382412
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-May
Reference Count: N/A
Hispanic Parent Involvement in Early Childhood Programs. ERIC Digest.
Espinosa, Linda M.
To determine effective strategies for connecting Hispanic parents and their children's early childhood programs, educators need to develop a greater understanding of the features of the Hispanic culture that influence parents' childrearing practices and orientation toward formal education. Educators should be aware of Hispanics' diversity in terms of socioeconomic status, country of origin, and the nature and timing of their immigration. Except for Cuban-Americans, Hispanics can be characterized as having high rates of poverty and low levels of educational achievement. They are also an educationally vulnerable minority group, starting kindergarten somewhat behind their peers. Educators should note some differences in the way Hispanic and other American children are socialized. First, Hispanic culture tends to emphasize obedience and to value respect for adult authority. A directive style of communication between parent and child is most common, with little collaborative conversation. Second, throughout Hispanic culture there is a belief in the absolute authority of the school and teachers. Third, Hispanics, as a whole, have strong family ties and a collective orientation that supports community life. Addressing these differences, projects in early childhood programs and in schools that have successfully involved Hispanic parents recommend the following strategies: (1) a personal touch that includes personal meetings and home visits; (2) non-judgmental communication; (3) perseverance on the part of teachers in maintaining parents' involvement; (4) bilingual support; (5) administrative support; (6) staff development activities focused on Hispanic culture; and (7) community outreach efforts in which schools and programs serve as resource and referral agencies to support families. Contains 10 references. (BC)
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Urbana, IL.