Research affirms that culture, teaching, and learning are interconnected and there is a link between student achievement and the extent to which teaching employs students' cultural referents (Gay, 2000). Research also suggests that parent involvement correlates positively with academic success for most students, and the more parents are involved in a child's education, both at home and at school, the more academically successful the child will be (Ingram, Wolfe, & Lieberman, 2007).
This research examines African American and Hispanic parents' perceptions regarding cultural sensitivity at an early childhood education center and how cultural sensitivity relates to parent involvement. This study seeks to understand ways parents perceive that their own cultures are represented and the degree to which parents feel welcomed and valued. This study further seeks to discover whether cultural barriers may inhibit African American and Hispanic parents' involvement in early childhood education centers.
The study compared the perceptions of parents using a 15-question Likert-type survey. The survey also included 4 open-ended questions. These questions gave participants the opportunity to share thoughts about the most important things the center does to help them feel culturally at home, what advice parents might give to the center to feel more culturally at home, important things that the center could do to help parents become more involved, and an opportunity to provide other comments. The results indicated a statistically significant positive relationship between parent perceptions of cultural sensitivity in early education environments and parent involvement.
|Commitee:||Gilbert, Susan, Tucker, Janice L.|
|School:||California Lutheran University|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 73/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||African American Studies, Black studies, Early childhood education, Hispanic American studies|
|Keywords:||African-American, Cultural influences, Cultural sensitivity, Early childhood education, Hispanic, Hispanic Americans, Parent involvement, Parent participation, Preschool education, Urban education|
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