Date of Award
Doctor of Education in Teacher Leadership (Ed.D)
Teacher Leadership for Learning
Dr. Harriet Bessette
Dr. Guichon Zong
Dr. Jo Williamson
The purpose of this case study was to explore the context, perceptions, and understandings of school-home connections and family engagement of four middle class Latin American families who have children in U.S. public schools. Because family engagement with schools correlates with student success, the participants’ perspectives were examined in depth. The study was guided by two major research questions and associated sub questions:
1. How do four middle class families from Latin America perceive that their child’s school makes efforts to connect with them?
a. What factors contribute to the development of connectedness between home and school for four middle class families from Latin America?
b. What factors contribute to the development of family engagement for four middle class families from Latin America?
2. What tensions are inherent in the interactions between schools and four middle class families from Latin America?
a. What tensions impede the development of connectedness between home and school for four middle class families from Latin America?
b. What tensions impede the development of family engagement for four middle class families from Latin America?
Data sources were open-ended and in-depth biographical interviews, informal conversations, observations, and collages.
There appears to be a paucity of qualitative research examining the perspectives of middle class Latin American immigrants. Therefore, the present case study enriches the current literature on Latin American families. The study was framed by critical theory and guided by the work of Freire (1998/2005) and Moll (Gonzalez et al., 2005). While the data indicated connectedness is especially important to the participants, the degree to which the schools connect with them is complex. The findings suggest that respect is a critical factor for school-home connections, and when families’ funds of knowledge are honored, their sense of connection and desire to engage with the school appear to be strengthened.
Clark, Janet Elizabeth Pierce, "Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Family Perspectives on Home-School Connections and Family Engagement: A Case Study of Four Middle Class Latin American Families" (2011). Dissertations, Theses and Capstone Projects. 433.