Title

Looking at School from the House Window: Learning from Turkish-American Parents’ Experiences with Early Elementary Education in the United States

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Spring 5-2010

Publication Source

Early Childhood Education Journal

Volume

38

Issue

2

Inclusive pages

133-142

Publisher

Springer

ISBN/ISSN

10823301

Peer Reviewed

yes

Abstract

This study is an in-depth investigation of the perspectives of Turkish immigrant parents on their children's early schooling in the United States (PreK-3). It specifically explores how these parents connect themselves or are disconnected from school culture, and how their socio-cultural understanding of education and teachers influence their relationships with schools. Using a qualitative research format, data were collected through in-depth interviews with 18 parents from 10 families. Findings suggest that Turkish parents negotiated the ways curriculum and instruction is constructed in American schools such as their assumption of the lack of academic rigor while they embraced sound pedagogies the teachers practiced. Through their experiences with schooling in the United States, Turkish parents reconsidered their sociocultural perspectives on role of the teacher in their children's lives based on their experiences with their children's teachers. The parents also reported they had challenges in understanding the school culture and curriculum, and described how they negotiated their access to the school culture. The results indicate the need for a stronger partnership between home and school. Teachers could support parents in their struggle to access to the culture of schooling by establishing an eagerness for communication and a reciprocal personal connection with families, who already socioculturally assume the teacher’s role as part of family.

Disciplines

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Social and Behavioral Sciences

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