Children’s early experiences and interactions within early childhood education (ECE) settings play an important role in their developmental trajectory, experiences that are often assumed to be shared with mothers over fathers. The benefits of father engagement within ECE settings has been gaining attention; however, there is still a need to further explore fathers’ expectations of ECE programs and how ECE programs can improve and encourage father engagement. This is particularly important within the Latino population as it has been one of the fastest growing minority populations within the United States and an ever-increasing population being serviced within Head Start Programs. Early research on Latino father engagement has held that Latino fathers were often detached and behaved according to stereotyped roles characterized by machismo primarily focusing on the negative aspects. Machismo in this study was used as a positive cultural value with a focus on caballerismo. The study explored 20 Latino fathers’ expectations of two Head Start school environments within the greater Los Angeles area. Using a qualitative research design and Ecocultural Theory, the study aimed to understand how fathers make sense of their lives and experiences that would potentially shape how they engage with their young children. Results indicate that Latino fathers are proactively constructing an ecocultural niche that serves to sustain father-child interactions and relationships that go beyond the material needs of a child. These niches are influenced by Latino cultural values such as respeto, educación, and familismo, breaking through the negative machismo stereotype and seeing the important role that Head Start programs play in supporting their children’s development and their own. Fathers expressed how they would like more workshops and/or school events that are hands on and interactive as well as provided at different times of the day and week to help increase attendance. These results bring attention to the need to address stereotypical misconceptions of Latino fatherhood, documenting Latino father-child relationships that are composed of caregiving, play/family, and academic activities that do not fall into the Latino father characterization of being a disengaged and authoritarian father.
|Commitee:||Vang, Maiyoua, Lipman, Jenifer|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/4(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Ethnic studies, Early childhood education|
|Keywords:||Early childhood education, Father engagement, Fathers, Head Start, Latino fathers|
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