Why is there Low Parental Involvement among ELL Hispanic Parents of Elementary Aged Children at PS/MS XXX?IntroductionThroughout the last few years, I have been working at the Holy Cross School as an elementary teaching assistant. I started as a first grade monolingual teacher and currently I am a first grade bilingual teacher. I was always told by my colleagues that bilingual parents are exceptional in terms of school engagement and involvement. For the first two years in the school, observing and holding conversations with colleagues this idea seemed to be correct.
However, this year my perspectives have completely changed. My first year teaching in this school, I had a monolingual first grade classroom with twenty-six students among them a few English Language Learners. During parent-teacher conferences only one-fourth of my parents would be present. These parents were normally the parents of English Language Learners. During special activities, like dinners, concerts, plays or workshops, the parental attendance was always very minimal.
This led me to believe that parents of English Language Learners were more involved and applied to their child and in their school. However, this perspective has rapidly changed as I a teacher of a bilingual first grade classroom. From the beginning of this school year 2015-2016, there are been about two teacher workshops and several meetings and special activities at PS/ MS XXX. The school normally sends out invitations and flyers twice before the events, usually weeks and a couple days in advance. In terms of my classroom, parental involvement has been very minimal. There has been two parent-teachers have been held and I have yet to meet and greet quite a few parents.
As a parent myself, parental involvement and engagement is an aspect of my children’s’ education which is very critical. Due to the fact that I am also a teacher involvement in their school is not ideal. However, I attend all parent-teacher conferences and make all efforts to attend special activities like plays and concerts that the school may offer.
Parental involvement seems to be a challenge from both a parent and teacher’s point of view. In recent years, the amount of Hispanic and immigrant families entering the elementary school system has evolved and with it comes many challenges.(Smith, Stern, 2008) One of the challenges being the push and strive to effectively involve Hispanic parents in their child’s education from the elementary school level.(Nieto, 1985) Parental involvement is a critical aspect of education that through the years has faced many challenges. It is key a child’s success throughout their elementary schools years. English language learners(Hispanics) and their families have been one of the populations that have been affected through these changes.The lack of parental involvement by English Language Learners possesses gaps that need to be viewed, analyzed, and synthesized. As a parent and an educator, I seek to close this gap by finding the reasons, advantages and disadvantages within schools.
This lack can and has resulted in disadvantages in school aged children. The school system, at times, can be under the impression that parents of ENL choose not to be involved in their child’s education when in fact they play an essential role is this lack of involvement. In this matter, the school system is viewed an entity made of the educational policy makers, administration, and teachers. However, with effort the gap and lack of parental involvement can be diminished through the years.
This study looks to gather, analyze and provide enlightenment to the area of parental involvement by focusing on barriers to effective parental involvement of Hispanic students in elementary setting at PS/MS XXX. It will look at the barriers school place, the ways the school engages these parents and the effects the lack of involvement can have on ELL. Using previous studies and statistics by other researchers and current data, the result will be to provide clarification, finding and strategies that will positively affect parental involvement in the elementary school system. The following questions will guide my study:Research Question:Why is there Low Parental Involvement among ELL Hispanic Parents of Elementary Aged Children at PS/MS XXX? Sub-Questions: What are the barriers for parent involvement among Hispanic ELL students in PS/MS XXX? What are the current involvement and engagement practices of Hispanic ELL parents at P.S./MS XXX? What impact does parental involvement have on the academic and social aspects of a successful elementary aged student?How does the overall school staff(administrators, parent coordinator) support and guide Hispanic ELL parents in PS/MS XXX?Literature ReviewParental involvement is a controversial yet crucial aspect in education that has been under the radar for many years.
The school system continues to evolve and change however, one area that seems to have lost its spotlight has been parental involvement. Sonia Nieto(1985) states a powerful quote “Some fundamental questions have to be addressed before parental involvement in bilingual education can become a goal, much less a reality.”(p. 179) There has been ample research and studies that have gathered data to show how powerful and what role parental involvement plays in a child’s education. In addition, these studies have looked to showcase and bring light to the overarching confusion of why parental involvement is lacking within the community of Bilinguals.The literature that has been provided through the years allows us to have a precise definition of what parental involvement is and the roles the schools have played as part of it. Also, the literature lends it hand at discussing the barriers the schools may have place resulting the decrease of parental involvement through the years. In addition, studies have been developed to show the correlation between parental involvement and have it can be an advantage to the success of English language learners both academically and socially.
This issue seems to continue to develop and there seems to be a disconnect in the relationships the school builds with parents of English language learners. I divided my literature review into the following themes: *How can we define Parent Involvement? *Hispanic ELL parent involvement barriers*Significance of parent involvement in English Language Learner (ELL) schools* Explanatory vs. Ecological ModelsHow can we define Parent Involvement?Parent involvement can best be understood as “Most children have two main educators in their lives – their parents and their teachers.”(2008) This lends its hand to show that as much as fingers are pointed towards parents, teachers are also just as responsible for their involvement in a child’s education. This idea comes from the “Department for schools and families” where they have conducted studies to bring light to the gap of parental involvement and to show how there are many advantages especially with educational and social achievement. This quote shows how there are not a clear correct or incorrect definition to what parent involvement truly is. Defining parent involvement all depends from what perspective it is being analyzed or discussed.In Nieto’s review, we see this correlation of how parents and educators play many roles.
(1985) Depending on which it is speaking out on parent involvement the meaning can shift in various ways. The gap in the definition of parent involvement comes from the notion and perspectives that it is not a sole individual’s responsibility but rather a community where each member plays an essential role in the involvement of schools. Hispanic ELL parent involvement barriers Hispanic ELL families throughout the years have faced many challenges within the school systems. One of the challenges they face is successfully being involved and engaged in the school system. According to Tinkler, Parents and teachers have different perceptions of what constitutes parental participation.(2002) This means that there is a disconnect on what it truly means to be involved in the school. There is a gap that can lead to misconceptions through this idea. For example, “In Latino culture, teachers are highly respected and any interference from parents may be considered rude and disrespectful.
“(Tinkler, 2002) This may be viewed as the parents not willing or wanting to be involved however, their cultural norms do not align to all other cultural norms. Cultural norms are an enormous factor in both society and the ways different perspectives are carried out. These cultural norms are then seen as barriers. The investigation conducted by the School Community Journal also shows the correlation with cultural norms and how they can possess as barriers for parent involvement.(Vera, Israel, Coyle, 2012) The investigation gave understanding to many other aspects among them demographic and time factors as a barrier to parent involvement. These factors are intertwined in that they show how some parents are not able to be as involved in the school system because of access and resources in the environment.Language as a barrier seems to be the common thread throughout the studies and research conducted.
Bilingual parents may not be able to express or know how to express their concerns. They may feel imitated and afraid to speak out because of how they feel society will look at them. This intimidation may come from their confusion to understand and internalize the United States school system. (Vera, Israel, Coyle, 2012) Significance of parent involvement in English Language Learner (ELL) schoolsBarnard and De Civita’s study shows the following: Parent involvement is shown to Parent involvement is shown to be positively related to child be positively related to child academic success and mediates the effects of poverty, parent academic success and mediates the effects of poverty, parent’s educational attainment, and ethnicity on achievement educational attainment, and ethnicity on achievement (2004)Studies throughout the years have been conducted and show the correlation among parent involvement and a child’s academic and social success.
This correlation has been shown through data and states that attainment to success has many factors among parent involvement. In addition, the data shows that this correlation is linked to various types of involvement that occur both in the school and at home.(Barnard, 2004)Explanatory vs. Ecological ModelsThe “explanatory model” looks to clarify the barriers of effective parental involvement. It seeks elaboration and clarification of four areas resulting in these barriers.(Horby, Lafaele, 2011) The four areas of critical focus are the family factors, school factor, effective relationships, and to culminate the societal factors of these barriers.
This model shows a correlation with effective parental involvement as a direct benefit to a child’s success in school. However, the model does recognize that there are gaps, even though there may be some parental involvement may exist. The “explanatory model” seeks to provide enlightenment to the area of effect parental involvement as part of the educational process/journey.The ecological model involves the aspects of the social and cultural capital of the social system in terms of parent involvement. It shows the connections and congruencies within the perspective of parent involvement. It looks to bring clarity to the idea of the achievement gap in terms of understanding and applying the social and cultural capital as a form of this model.(Lee, Bowen, 2006) The ecological model looks to form connections among parent involvement in school and at home and its benefits in the child’s social and educational achievement.
Both models indicate that there are gaps in parent involvement and that throughout the years, parent involvement does affect a child’s success due to many social, academic and environmental factors.MethodologySCHOOL SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: My research site for this study is the school at which I work, PS/MS 5x. My school is located in the South section of the Bronx near Third Avenue.
There are currently 788 students enrolled from Pre-kindergarten all through eighth grade. The school began as an elementary school from Pre-kindergarten to fifth grade and through the years the principal decided that it would be best to expand rather than let a Charter school split the building. There are two Pre-k, three kindergarten with one bilingual, three first grade with one bilingual, three second grade with one special education, four third grade with one special education and one bilingual bridged, three fourth grade with one bilingual, four fifth grade with one special education and one bilingual, and the middle school is broken down by cluster teachers and homerooms. Pre-kindergarten through eighth grade are split into the four floors of the building.
On the first floor, you will find the two staircases, one set of student restrooms, two sets of adult restrooms, four entry/exits, the gymnasium, the main office, the auditorium, the custodial staff’s office, the social workers/assistant to the principal offices, and the cafeteria. On the second floor, you will find the library, student’s restroom on opposite ends of the hallway, janitor’s closets, storage closets, and ten classrooms with kindergarten to third grades. On the third and floor floors you will find the same amount of classrooms and student’s restrooms along with an office on each floor assign to the dean, two assistant principals and an ESL pull-out teacher.
The school building takes up the entire corner on the block on both sides. One side has industrial work along with housing and the other side has a daycare and housing. On the back side, you will find the main playground which is shared with the community. During recess, aides stand at the gates which are closed for safety purposes. On one front side of the building there is a small playground that belongs solely to the school. The front of the building is on the main street with constant movement of oncoming traffic and many businesses along with bus stops. Many of the students live within the neighboring streets.
Student Demographics at PS/MS XXX:Asian: 0% | Black: 23% | Hispanic: 74% | White: 1% Student with Special Needs: 22% English Language Learners: 23%DATA COLLECTION/RATIONAL:My data collection will be focused on the parental engagement that occurs at my school among Hispanic parents of ELL elementary children. The data that will be collected and analyzed will be derived from the observations at the parent workshops, parent surveys and audio recorded interviews with parents conducted throughout the research. The methods I will be using to gather the data are interviews, surveys, and observations. I chose these methods, as they will provide insights related to the guiding research questions of the study on parental involvement. The data collection will take place throughout the second half of the school year totaling about five months of research.
I will begin to gather data for this research starting in January 2016. The data will be collected at various points until May 2016. Throughout the months, surveys will be collected and analyzed. In addition, during parent teacher night and family engagement Tuesdays, I will conduct interviews.
Lastly observations will be jotted during the two meetings that are held monthly.The rational for focusing on parents is to get insight on how involved parents are or would like to be and what they find either impedes or allows this involvement. Through this data collection, I look to close any gaps in the research and hope to find ways to increase parental involvement in my school. I am choosing the naturalistic approach in that I will not intervene or disrupt any set parent to school activities throughout the span of the research. In addition, I look to make the parents comfortable and willing to participate in the research. InterviewsOne form of data collection will be parental interviews. Interviews are one of the best ways to communicate, gain insight and directly get responses from individuals.
The interviews will take place throughout the duration of the study. Most of the interviews will occur during the parental workshops and during parent-teacher meeting opportunities. The interview protocol can be found in the Appendix.
The interview consists of various types of questions that look to show the parent’s perspectives. The questions consist of demographics, sources of information, and values, and beliefs of parents. The interviews will be recorded as a reference to the written research. Parents from kindergarten to second grade will be included and referred to for interviewing. I will conduct interviews in the language that the parents feel comfortable.
In addition, I will conduct one interview with the principal, and the parent coordinator of the school.SurveysAnother form of data collection will be survey questionnaires. Surveys are a rapid means of gathering specific information for research. The survey questionnaires focus on seven areas that will correlate to the research. The areas are “HYPERLINK “https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/parental-support-template”Parental support, HYPERLINK “https://www.
surveymonkey.com/s/Child-Behaviors-Template”Child behaviors, HYPERLINK “https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/parent-engagement-template”Parent engagement, HYPERLINK “https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Parent-Self-Efficacy-Template”Parent self-efficacy, HYPERLINK “https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/school-climate-template”School climate, HYPERLINK “https://www.
surveymonkey.com/s/school-program-fit-template”School fit and HYPERLINK “https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/parent-roles-and-responsibilities-template”Parent roles and responsibilities.” The survey will consist of both open ended and closed questions. This will give the parents an opportunity to provide written feedback. The survey will be available in both English and Spanish in order to collect accurate data. I will give and collect surveys from parents in kindergarten through second grade during the parent teacher nights and Tuesday family engagement days.
ObservationsThe last method of data collection will be observations. Observation and note-taking can be an essential part throughout the research. Note- taking through the observation is keen and provides information without disruption. The observation protocol is simple and straightforward in that I want to gather as many notes that will piece the interviews and questionnaires together. In addition, the observation tool will provide information on the school and the relationship with the parents. The observations will occur during the PTA meetings that occur twice a month in the school.