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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Past and future: An interpretive study of Heritage Language and Culture parents' perspectives on their children's education
by Strahlman, Harriet L., Ph.D., Tennessee Technological University, 2015, 184; 3740837
Abstract (Summary)

This qualitative research compared and contrasted the experiences, expectations, hopes, and dreams held by three dyads of Heritage Language and Culture (HLC) parents in three different countries concerning education. Sociolinguistic and sociocultural methods of analysis of narrative were used to code and analyze 63 stories selected from six participant interview transcripts. The context of each research venue, including economic, racial, and social positioning of each participant was explored, as were the researcher’s subjectivities, as elements impacting the analysis and interpretation of findings. Especially impactful on the findings and implications of this research was that each of the participant parents had experienced a significant negative event during their childhood schooling, and each participant had at least one child who had also experienced a significant negative event while attending a primary level public school.

Findings answered the five research questions and indicated that HLC parents valued education and identified it as a means of achieving success. Although the definition of success was found to vary by country of residence, all the participant parents believed academic and life success were dependent upon the acquisition of English language skills. Although parents in all three research venues recited multiple instances of physical abuse or threats or acts of violence or racism within the school setting, and were not surprised that it occurred, all valued the social aspects of attending school.

The implications for educational program planners and school personnel arising from these findings include the potential for misunderstanding between U.S. school personnel and HLC immigrant families concerning corporal punishment policies and violence, rejection of U.S. education program definitions of successful educational outcomes by HLC families, and reciprocity in education between schools and families. Three avenues for future research resulting from this current research are suggested.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Setliff, Deborah
Commitee: Anthony, Holly P., Howard, Martha, Owens, Carl
School: Tennessee Technological University
Department: Exceptional Learning
School Location: United States -- Tennessee
Source: DAI-A 77/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational sociology, Social research, Multicultural Education
Keywords: Analysis of narrative, Education, English language acquisition, Heritage language and culture, Institutionalized racism, Violence and abuse
Publication Number: 3740837
ISBN: 978-1-339-32962-8
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