Date of Award

5-2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Jennifer Schulman

Second Supervisor

Christine Casey

Abstract

Historically, parental involvement has been viewed as a vehicle for academic success, especially in addressing the ever-widening achievement gap of Latino students. Despite this, minority parents frequently remain reluctant to engage in school programs. The reluctance to be involved can be attributed to several factors such as language barriers, lack of child care, low levels of education, and low English proficiency. The purpose of the dissertation was to explore the reasons for Latino parents’ reluctance to engage in their children’s school. Ecological Theory and Integrative Model of Family Involvement influenced the direction of this study. The research methodology was qualitative. Data collection was gathered through two focus groups, one for teachers and one for teacher assistants. In addition, there were six interviews for parent participants who were selected to participate after they completed a demographic fact sheet. Three of the families interviewed have been in the United States fewer than three years and three families have been in the United States over five years. The study provides early childhood educators, administrators, and policy makers with tangible strategies for effectively engaging Latino parents. Through the data collection, the study sought to uncover and assist schools in identifying meaningful ways to better meet the needs of Latino families and their children.

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