Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A seat at the schoolhouse? An ethnographic study of immigrant parent involvement in two urban public elementary schools
by Borenstein, Marci, Ph.D., New York University, 2012, 275; 3511388
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation is an organizational study of how schools and families share educational responsibility for children. In the course of an 18 month ethnographic study of immigrant parent involvement at two New York City public elementary schools I develop a Shared Responsibility Model of Involvement which seeks to capture some of the complexity inherent to the home-school relationship. Rather than assuming that more involvement is intrinsically better, I instead consider how schools construct (enabling as well as undermining) opportunities for family involvement.

In particular, I pay close attention to the impact of three paradoxes of parent involvement on efforts to increase involvement: paradoxes of (1) families and schools that are variably oriented towards the task of caring for and educating children, (2) involvement creating challenges to professional expertise and authority, and (3) increasing involvement as contributing to tensions between rights and equality. Rather than focusing on how families differ, I direct the reader's gaze towards the school's role in structuring involvement, and demonstrate the many ways in which federal legislation, educational policies, union contracts, the physical structure of schools, and organizational culture of schools play a profound role in shaping immigrant parent involvement in urban schools today.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Stevens, Mitchell L.
Commitee: Arum, Richard, Suarez-Orozco, Marcelo M.
School: New York University
Department: Humanities and Social Sciences in the Professions
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 73/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational sociology, Multicultural Education, Education Policy, Ethnic studies
Keywords: Elementary schools, Immigration, Parent involvement, Urban education
Publication Number: 3511388
ISBN: 978-1-267-39106-3
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