For decades, researchers have investigated strengths and challenges promoting early healthy childhood development, in terms of physical, social emotional and linguistic aspects, for a variety of children groups in the United States. Due to the limited availability of research on the Latino population, addressing the needs of the growing population of Latino children throughout the United States is challenging. Latino students living in the United States are academically behind students of other ethnicities. In 2011, Latinos were identified as the largest and fastest growing minority group in the U.S. with the lowest education attainment levels. Unfortunately, less than 50% of Latino children are less likely to be enrolled in early childhood programs.
The purpose of this research was to examine the Latino parents’ beliefs, values and knowledge affecting their decision-making process in opting to send their children to Early childhood programs (ECPs), impacting their readiness for school. Both quantitative and qualitative data were gathered from Latino parent/guardians, Preschool to first grade teachers, and administrators from 9 schools in a school district in Phoenix, Arizona and analyzed. Qualitative data were collected in the form of in-depth interviews and surveys as sources of data from participants. Qualitative data were analyzed using two cycles of coding and represented through matrices. Quantitative data were analyzed using a descriptive analytical method. Five themes emerged that informed the research questions.
Findings of this study suggested that capitalizing on the Latino parents’ cultural wealth can help district administrators and policy makers to maximize opportunities for this growing minority group to increase their readiness to kindergarten and success in school. It is important to increase access to high quality early programs to help children begin kindergarten with the necessary tools to succeed in school and in life.
|Advisor:||Eadens, Daniel W.|
|Commitee:||Dereshiwsky, Mary, Herrera, Alfredo, Wood, Gerald|
|School:||Northern Arizona University|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 78/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Early childhood education, Hispanic American studies|
|Keywords:||Affecting readiness, Critical race theory, Deficit model, Kindergarten readiness, Latino, Parental beliefs and values|
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