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ERIC Number: ED552349
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 128
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2679-0499-7
Decision-Making Process of Parents Choosing a Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten Program
Pullen, Barksdale McPherson, III.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Trinity International University
Across the spectrum of educational choices, from preschool to college, parents find themselves in a position of making the appropriate school choice for their children. The implications for those choices can be far reaching, not only for the children, but also for the family itself. How do parents select a particular school for their children? This was a qualitative research study for the purpose of exploring the educational decision-making process of parents who chose a particular Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) program in a northern Florida community. Understanding that the decision-making process will include objective factors but that it will also be influenced by subjective ones, the researcher chose the landscape of choice metaphor for decision-making developed by Bowe, Gewirtz and Ball (Bowe, Gewirtz and Ball 1994). The landscape metaphor recognizes the complex interrelationship of the social, political, educational, prestige and geographic point of view of the parents. Parents now enter into the marketplace of schools as a consumer, rather than accepting of a school for utilitarian reasons. Therefore, consumption has taken on a strong social dimension - the interplay of relationships and context (known as the grapevine), rather than solely rational or objective truths. The data revealed that both cold and hot knowledge were found to exist in the parents' decision-making process, however only after an initial editing phase. The initial editing phase by parents was based on a personal value that was consistent with their desires for their child. After the initial editing phase, the influence of the grapevine helped to shape out the decision as parents looked first to schools close to home. The data revealed the grapevine's influence in the perceived reputation of the school, the comfort level of other parents with the school, and the quality of extra-curricular offerings of the school. Even though the parents were of similar demographic profile and access to the grapevine(s), it was demonstrated that the three levels of doubt, suspicion, and acceptance were seen in the parents' use of the information of the grapevine. It would appear from the data the landscape of choice metaphor for decision-making does exist in this context to a degree in the parent's educational decision-making process. [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: Preschool Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida