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ERIC Number: ED552976
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 171
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3030-1320-1
Caregivers' Support for Their Elementary School Children in the Virtual Classroom
Fairbairn, Shane Jay
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Walden University
Families living in rural areas face a number of barriers to educational access in both face to face and virtual instruction to which students in more urban areas are not exposed. The purposes of this inquiry were to explore the lived experiences and self-reported interpretations of the caregivers of rural elementary-aged students participating in virtual education and to identify successful self-reported strategies and behaviors that caregivers develop to enable their children to succeed despite either real or perceived barriers in online education. Rogers's innovation diffusion theory and Johnson and Puplampu's techno-subsystem within Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory were used as the conceptual framework. The research questions for this study asked how caregivers overcame barriers with their children's virtual education, how they made the decision to use virtual education with their children, and how they viewed their role in the education of their children. Two interviews and a narrative journal were collected, analyzed, and coded to identify rich themes and patterns. The themes identified as barriers to children's success in the virtual environment were "focus," "frustration," "socialization," and "distance." Although strategies for some of these barriers had been developed, socialization for children in a virtual education program remained unaddressed. Families chose virtual school in response to their children's needs and for the flexibility it afforded to their unique situations. Participants viewed their roles in terms of "caregiver," "teacher," and "advocate" and experienced frustration when their roles were in conflict. The implications for social change from this preliminary work extend into advocacy for families who virtual school and equity of access to high quality instruction through technology. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A