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ERIC Number: EJ759616
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 36
ISSN: ISSN-1068-3844
Dialogue across Cultures: Teachers' Perceptions about Communication with Diverse Families
Joshi, Arti; Eberly, Jody; Konzal, Jean
Multicultural Education, v13 n2 p11-15 Win 2005
New Jersey, like many other states, is experiencing a significant influx of new immigrants--from countries such as India, Pakistan, China, Russia, Poland, Nigeria, Liberia, Mexico, Dominican Republic, and Haiti. In addition, New Jersey remains one of the most segregated states in the country, educating the majority of its African-American families in the inner city and first-ring communities that surround the cities. Given this diversity in New Jersey classrooms, the authors conceptualized a multiphase research project with the ultimate goal of helping teachers understand family values, beliefs, and practices in order to create a learning environment at school that acknowledges and builds upon these. Simultaneously, the project aims to facilitate parents' understanding of the school's values, beliefs, and practices so they can create a congruent learning environment at home. Towards this end, the authors designed a survey to assess New Jersey teachers' current knowledge and practices. Participants were practicing teachers, specialists, and administrators in public and private central New Jersey schools serving children from pre-school to 5th grade. The final sample consisted of 40 respondents. A majority of the respondents were females (92%) and PK-3 classroom teachers (82%). This study reveals that the New Jersey teachers who responded have a rhetorical understanding of the important aspects of culture, but lack the ability to interpret that knowledge into practices. The same is true for their understanding of parent involvement practices. They identify communication and parent/teacher conferences as important, but people are left wondering about the specific strategies they use and if they use them for the purpose of cultural interchange. Future research will be designed to further probe these questions. (Contains 1 table and 2 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Jersey