Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Curriculum and Instruction
This study explored how a multicultural/multilingual school negotiated culture with limited English proficient (LEP) students' families, particularly in the context of parent involvement activities. In order to understand how such negotiation of culture occurred, the researcher focused on the perspectives that school administrators, teachers and parents of students in an English as a Second Language (ESL) program had on the education of LEP students and their parents' involvement in school-organized activities. It also focused on the participants' understandings of cultural capital and the extent to which the school builds on immigrant /sojourner families' knowledge and culture to support their children's education. In this ethnographical study, the researcher used a variety of data collection procedures: a questionnaire for teachers and parents, document analysis, interviews, and participant observation. While results from the questionnaires show that teachers and parents had similar views of LEP student education and parent involvement, more detailed information gathered through interviews and observations show that school personnel and immigrant/sojourner parents held different perspectives and expectations. Moreover, the results revealed that cultural capital, social class, and parents' educational attainment level influence the way parents understand the academic and social expectations of the school's dominant culture and their interactions with school personnel. Likewise, cultural biases influence school administrators and teachers' perceptions and interactions with parents from ethnic/linguistic minority groups.
This dissertation is Open Access and may be downloaded by anyone.