ERIC Number: EJ786849
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Cultural Misperceptions and Goals for Samoan Children's Education in Hawai'i: Voices from School, Home, and Community
Valdez, Marianna Fischer; Dowrick, Peter W.; Maynard, Ashley E.
Urban Review: Issues and Ideas in Public Education, v39 n1 p67-92 Mar 2007
Research lauds the benefits of parent involvement in the schools, yet many schools and communities have not achieved desired levels of involvement. Underlying expectations and methods soliciting parent involvement may be rooted in cultural misperceptions. This study, based on Epstein's (1987) Overlapping Spheres of Influence model, explored the ways and extent that community members, school staff, and Samoan families interact regarding a public middle school. Qualitative research methods (interviews and observations) involved parents, teachers, administrators, and community agency members and officials in participatory action research. Findings displayed a base of cultural differences regarding parent involvement: Samoan parents were expected to participate in school events and assist children with homework, yet Samoan culture has historically divided the parents' responsibilities from the teachers' responsibilities. Parents identified their responsibilities for children's spirituality and discipline and viewed academic matters as solely the responsibility of teachers. The school's new activities, parents' shifting focus, and community members' diverse actions are demonstrating a start of change. This research supports the need for school personnel to understand the cultural roots of minority families' parent involvement practices.
Descriptors: Qualitative Research, Action Research, Research Methodology, Parent Participation, Cultural Differences, Parent School Relationship, School Personnel, Educational Objectives, Middle Schools, Interviews, Minority Groups
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Middle Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A