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ERIC Number: ED512976
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 124
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1092-9140-7
Building on Cultural Capital of Low-Income Hispanic Parents and Families in Elementary School
Gottlob, Jean Ellen
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of California, Santa Cruz
Parental involvement is often considered a key component of school reform. In spite of the state and federal mandates calling for "parent involvement" and many government-sponsored programs to support more parents and other primary care givers to get involved, participation of parents in low-achieving public schools continues to be low. However, the cultural capital of minority parents is often not valued in mainstream public schools. The purpose of this study was to examine how the cultural capital of low-income, Hispanic parents of children in an elementary school could be identified and used as the foundation to improve school-parent relations and create improved teaching and learning opportunities at the site. In order to accomplish this, a public sphere was created by bringing together a group of minority parents to create the space for a "two-way" conversation, especially "two-way" listening. The goal was to create a mechanism through which the school became responsive to the cultural capital and ideas of low-income Hispanic parents. Twenty parents and four teachers at one elementary school were interviewed to provide preliminary data for this study. Five parents from this group were selected to serve as a focus group that engaged in this discussion and created a list of activities they felt would improve the relationship between parents and the school. This product was decided by the group and provided an opportunity to build on the wealth and knowledge, or cultural capital of these parents, who were representative of the population at the school. The product that the parents created was a list of recommendations for activities to provide opportunities for school staff and parents to meet in informal settings (including "coffee with the principal" weekly, teacher office hours once a month and ongoing activities in which parents and teachers work together); and ways to increase parent involvement (personal invitations by parents to parents); and opening lines of positive communication between teachers and parents of struggling students. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A