Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Family social networks: Taiwanese immigrant parents' homeschooling experiences
by Tsai, Tsai Fu, Ph.D., The University of Oklahoma, 2008, 201; 3330311
Abstract (Summary)

Probing the home school experiences of immigrant families in western society yielded valuable information regarding root causes of decisions about education and how the families obtained educational information, via social interaction, to support home schooling efforts. Very few empirical studies were found that explored the experiences of home schooling, immigrant families. This study explored, in-depth, how Taiwanese immigrant parents who home schooled their children, specifically in the Southwestern United States, interacted with others to access information and acquire resources essential for their home schooling efforts. How the parents determined curricula and fostered the development of their children’s mother tongue was also explored. A snowball technique was employed in order to locate five Taiwanese immigrant families to take part in the study. Social capital and sociocultural theory were utilized as conceptual frameworks and rigorous qualitative analytical techniques employed a case study approach to collect, interpret and analyze data.

Data were created and gathered from three different data sets. Each participant’s home school experiences were recorded from semi-structured telephone interviews. Additional sources included demographic questionnaires, teaching artifacts, students’ work samples, and documents that were collected to triangulate trustworthiness. Once interview data were text-coded, all participants were requested to review their answers to ascertain accuracy of the information. Data were analyzed qualitatively. As overarching themes emerged, inter-coder reliability was assessed to validate the coding.

There are several reasons behind the parents’ decisions to home school ranging from instructional self-efficacy to wanting their children to be more competitive academically. Findings suggest that these families actively joined home school associations, attended conferences and meetings to socialize with others, built social networks, and accessed social capital. Children interviewed were fluent in both English and Chinese, and they believed that they could concentrate on their academics and compete in this relatively foreign culture with parental assistance. Implications and recommendations are made for educators and policy makers. Furthermore, this record of these immigrants’ home school experiences detailing how they successfully garnered social capital for social and instructional needs and some perceived difficulties are offered for current and prospective immigrant home schoolers to use as a reference.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Griffith, Priscilla
School: The University of Oklahoma
Department: Department of Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum
School Location: United States -- Oklahoma
Source: DAI-A 69/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Individual & family studies, Ethnic studies, Curriculum development
Keywords: Family, Homeschooling, Immigrant, Parents, Social networks, Taiwanese
Publication Number: 3330311
ISBN: 978-0-549-82706-1
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