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School, family, and community partnerships as pathways to support Vietnamese immigrant children's early learning in Saskatchewan: A case study within the Saskatoon Vietnamese community

Date

2015-10-06

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Type

Degree Level

Doctoral

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative case study was to understand Vietnamese immigrant parents’ conceptualizations and practices related to school, family, and community partnerships that support their children’s early learning and development in a Canadian context. The study was guided by three research questions: In what ways do Vietnamese immigrant parents conceptualize school, family, and community partnerships related to their children’s early learning and development? What supports and challenges do Vietnamese immigrant parents have in building and maintaining school, family, and community partnerships that facilitate their children’s early learning and development? What practices related to the partnerships do Vietnamese immigrant parents employ to assist their children’s early learning and development? Joyce Epstein’s (1997) Theory of Overlapping Spheres of Influence and her Six Types of Involvement Framework were employed in this study. Data were collected from semi-structured interviews and observations to answer three research questions. Participants of the study included three sets of Vietnamese immigrant parents, three teachers, two Vietnamese immigrant children’s grandmothers, and one friend of a Vietnamese immigrant family who was selected on the basis of relational proximity with the focal child. The findings of this study confirmed those of previous studies that immigrant parents share interests in and responsibilities for their children’s early learning and that the partnerships are significantly beneficial for immigrant children’s early learning and their transition to a new environment out of their home setting. In addition, the findings contributed to previous theories in the field of school, family, and community partnerships. Specifically, guidelines for parental involvement that better represent the involvement of immigrant parents were suggested to extend Epstein’s (1997) framework. Additionally, this study shed light on some misaligned perceptions and interpretations related to language barriers, time constraints, the significance of grandparents’ involvement, the principle of equity and respect for diversity, and the expectation for immigrant children’s academic early learning. In addition to implications for theory, the researcher also attempted to provide some implications for practices and future research. Noticeably, some practices related to “Parenting”, a dimension of the partnerships significantly acknowledged by the Vietnamese immigrant parents, were presented in detail.

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Keywords

school, family, and community partnerships, immigrant parents, early learning, case study

Citation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Department

Educational Administration

Program

Educational Administration

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