This study utilized a mixed methods design to analyze the ways in which teachers and African American families establish home-school partnerships, and to identify the beliefs, practices, and traditions of teachers and African American families that underlie such partnerships, the factors that motivate their development, and the ways these vary by grade level. FirstSchool's School and Family Partnerships Questionnaire for Teachers in Pre-Kindergarten through Third Grade and FirstSchool's School and Family Partnerships Questionnaire for Parents of Children in Pre-Kindergarten through Third Grade were utilized to gain a global perspective on home-school partnerships. Focus groups with African American mothers and individual interviews with teachers and mothers of African American children provided detailed perspectives about home-school partnerships.
Descriptive statistics, exploratory factor analyses, and content analyses were used to analyze data. Results indicated that teachers and parents believe that strong home-school partnerships are critical to the success of students. However, teachers did not believe parents knew how to help their children, while parents believe they had knowledge that would help teachers make their children better students.
Teachers directed their efforts to engage African American families on school-based activities focused on improving academics. African American families were concerned about academics, but focused their family involvement efforts on broader goals related to the overall development of their children and preparation for a world where discrimination exists.
Relationships were priorities for both teachers and African American mothers, and served as a primary motivator for their efforts to establish partnerships. Teachers believed that if personal relationships with families were established, student success would follow. For African American parents, personal relationships helped them feel informed and better able to support their children.
Finally, this study found that home-school partnerships varied by grade level. Differences were found in the frequency of parent-teacher contacts and the points at which these contacts were made, with formal opportunities for parents and teachers to interact diminishing with each grade level.
|Advisor:||Day, Barbara, Ritchie, Sharon|
|Commitee:||Gillanders, Cristina, Iruka, Iheoma, Wilkerson, Rhonda|
|School:||The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill|
|Department:||Education - Curriculum & Instruction (Ed. D.)|
|School Location:||United States -- North Carolina|
|Source:||DAI-A 73/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||African American Studies, Black studies, School administration|
|Keywords:||African-American, Family engagement, Family involvement, Home-school partnerships, Parent involvement, Parent-teacher relationships, Parents|
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