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ERIC Number: ED554372
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 200
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-3031-9790-1
Translating "School": The Intersection of Teachers' and Immigrant Parents' Schemas about Public Elementary School Education
Goldston, Jennifer Anne
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of California, San Diego
The goal of this study was to analyze the education-related schemas guiding teachers and highly educated, professional immigrant parents in a small southern California elementary school district, and to describe how facets of these schemas converged or diverged as parents and teachers drew upon their social and cultural backgrounds during interactions with one another. First, participants' schemas about teaching and learning were categorized by the degree to which they identified with either a virtue-oriented, effort-based, traditionally-defined model of teaching and learning (labeled Content Classic) or a mind-oriented, innate ability-based, progressive model of teaching and learning (labeled Knowledge Construction). The teachers who participated in this study gravitated toward Knowledge Construction, while the parents who had recently moved to the United States identified more strongly with Content Classic. Those parents who were partially educated outside the U.S. but had been in American for a decade or more tended to espouse "hybrid" schemas, incorporating aspects of both Content Classic and Knowledge Construction models of teaching and learning. Second, teachers described parent-teacher conferences in a consistent, teacher-led style emphasizing the communication of academic information. According to the interviewed educators, the parent's role during conferences and all interactions was to demonstrate trust in the teacher's expertise, judgment, and advice, a behavior they noted when Asian immigrant parents were described as gracious and thankful during conferences. Parent participants who believed that a child's effort was the most important determinant of academic success were interested in their children's relative standing (rank) in the class and concrete, specific ways to help their children practice skills at home. Teachers, who identified more closely with a Knowledge Construction schema, felt that students' self-esteem and intrinsic motivation should be nurtured through encouragement to maximize their innate ability. Consequently, teachers at times believed that immigrant parents were pushing their children too hard or were disproportionately fixated on academic acceleration. This study's disentanglement of culture as a variable separate from SES and education illuminated key areas where educators can engage and ease the transition of immigrant students and parents into a new context, regardless of their demographics. [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
Identifiers - Location: California