Creating Positive Lived Experiences in Schools for International Relocatee Parents and Their Children

Abstract

Children benefit from strong home–school relationships. Yet, parents who are immigrants and refugees are expected to follow frameworks for school involvement that are incongruent with their cultural backgrounds and experiences. Drawing on aspects of world-making (Kondo in World-making: Race, performance, and the work of creativity. Duke University Press, Durham, NC, 2018) and funds of knowledge (Moll et al. Theory Pract 31(2):132–141, 1992), this mixed-method case study explores how one group of international parents at a university laboratory school perceive their roles and responsibilities in the education of their young children. Data collection tools included a school-wide survey and semi-structured interviews distributed during two phases of data collection. Research findings indicate that this group of parents is highly invested in their children’s education. They see their responsibilities as supporting the teacher, reinforcing the curriculum, and helping their children understand that school practices can differ from those that occur in the home. Further, these parents seek deeper connections with faculty and staff and other parents to form stronger relationships. The majority of interviewees indicated that they would like to participate more fully in the life of the school but didn’t know how to do so, given their biographical experiences and within the current school structure.

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Correspondence to Monica Miller Marsh.

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Marsh, M.M., Raimbekova, L. Creating Positive Lived Experiences in Schools for International Relocatee Parents and Their Children. Early Childhood Educ J (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10643-021-01161-w

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Keywords

  • International relocatees
  • Immigrant parents
  • Home–school relationships
  • Parent involvement
  • Parent knowledge
  • Early childhood education