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Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4179-0160

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Education (also CAGS)

Year Degree Awarded

2020

Month Degree Awarded

May

First Advisor

Gretchen B. Rossman

Second Advisor

Ian Barron

Third Advisor

Thomas Roeper

Subject Categories

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Humane Education | International and Comparative Education

Abstract

This study examined a Brooklyn, New York Community of Uzbek parents’ engagement with their children’s education, focusing in particular on parental involvement with the school system. It addressed the important, yet difficult-to-measure factors that influence why and how parents engage. It determined that parents are agents who attempt to advance their child’s progress through strategies shaped by a perspective consisting of their goals, resources, parenting style, and expectations. A Q-sort methodology generated parents’ perspectives through their rankings of certain value judgement. Due to variations in parental education, income levels, and other elements, the study generated three parent perspectives that were linked to three strategies of engagement. This study concluded that parental engagement is shaped by an interrelationship of material, social, and cultural factors as well as a school’s culture and environment. The research determined that while the educational system in New York City was providing pertinent information and supporting programs for their parent population, many of the study’s parents did not believe that these efforts were productive enough to attain their goals for their child’s educational development.

This study recommends that school policy adopt multiple strategies to reflect the distinct strategies represented by the three engagement strategies. For example, community school programs can provide the cultural support needed to engage Perspective B parents whose material and cultural resources do not meet the expectations of traditional school culture. On the other hand, increased engagement of Perspective A parents would be encouraged if a space and role at school were supported. Lastly, the strategy of Perspective C followed a dual strategy that maintained separated school and home; academic achievement is a separate sphere from the emotional development at home. The differences spheres create a tension whose resolution does not necessarily suggest a policy, at least in my findings, of incorporating religious or ethnic values into the school culture.

The value of Q-methodology in research on parental engagement is evident in the findings that build on major conclusions in the field. The method provides a nuanced, holistic conceptualization that captures the complexity of parents’ expectations. The method avoids the tendency of immigrant studies to ascribe success to an ethnic value that overlooks the significance of parents’ education, knowledge of the school culture, and community support material, cultural, and language factors.

Lastly, my theoretical approach to the study of subjectivity aligns with contemporary research that emphasizes the role of the parent, a broader definition of academic success, and range of engagement strategies. The focus on the subject allows for comparative research of different populations, reveals the heterogeneity of each population, and comprehends parents in a complex and nuanced way.

Available for download on Sunday, November 08, 2020

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