Examining family -school partnerships: A case study of parents' perceptions of parental involvement in a Hawaiian language immersion middle school
Parents' involvement in their children's schooling is generally acknowledged as one of the most important predictors of school success. Although there are many ways that parents can choose to become involved, variables such as school invitingness, parents' constructions of their roles with regard to school matters, and sense of self-efficacy all contribute to the degree and extent of parental involvement. The purpose of this study was to identify some of the variables that impede and enhance involvement of middle school parents whose children are enrolled in a Hawaiian language immersion program on the island of Maui. Based upon structured and semi-structured interviews, observations, and document analysis, involvement practices among these families were compared with those of families in the traditional English language program at the same middle school. Qualitative analyses of interview data suggested that the parents of Hawaiian immersion students were generally more involved in the classroom program (e.g., attending field trips) and adopted roles that involved program decision-making (e.g., parent board member). Parent perceptions of school invitingness appeared to play a key role in these outcomes. Implications from this study suggest that involvement can be enhanced when parents have opportunities for meaningful roles in schools' decision-making processes. In addition, results suggest the cultural match between family and school is an important consideration for promoting positive family-school partnerships.
Families & family life;
0279: Language arts
0628: Families & family life
0628: Personal relationships