Support for parent participation in primary school

Judith K. Bernhard, Marlinda Freire, Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw


This article describes how a group of Latin American parents became more effective in their dealings with their childrens schools, a mainstream Canadian institution. Ethnicity, along with race, gender, and social class, is a critical determinant in of the interactions between schools and any group of newcomers to a society, particularly when those newcomers are an ethnic minority. Over an eight-month period, twelve Latin American parents met monthly to discuss aspects of their childrens experience with the Canadian educational system. These parents learned to collaborate with teachers and expressed their needs, but also affirmed their ethno-cultural differences. The positive feedback on their activities led to unforeseen gains, not just in relation to education and the schools. This exploratory study focuses on how the experience helped the parents to better comprehend what is expected of them in the support of their childrens schooling while retaining their own cultural assets. This study may serve as a possible model of adaptation for newcomer groups in their efforts to integrate in the school system.


Parent Participation; Foreign Countries; Race; Ethnicity; Gender; Social Class; Adaptation; Cultural Capital

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Copyright (c) 2019 Judith K. Bernhard, Marlinda Freire, Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw


Contact EPAA//AAPE at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College