Obstacles and Strategies: A Multicase Study of Three Mexican Mothers’ Involvement in Education

Araceli Calderón

Abstract


Research shows the positive impact of family involvement on children’s education (Abrego, Rubin, & Sutterby, 2006; Epstein & Dauber, 1991; Jasis & Ordonez-Jasis, 2004; Quezada, Díaz, & Sanchez, 2003; Osterling, Violand-Sanchez, &Vacano, 1999; Zentella, 2005). When families get involved in school activities, working at home with their children and having good parent-school communication, they promote better education for their children (Abrego, Rubin, & Sutterby, 2004; Quezada, Díaz, & Sanchez, 2003). But for Latino families, it not always is easy to be involved in school activities, especially if they are not well informed of the school’s expectations. Integration may not be an easy task for them, particularly because their perceptions of life, parenting, and educational practices have to be accommodated to the practices in the new community. These different practices and norms do not make sense for many immigrant families. In Mexico for example, public schools often do not allow families into their children’s classroom. Consequently, families do not know how to participate in their children’s education as it is expected in the US public school system. Therefore, Mexican Immigrant families need support to acquire vocabulary and literacy practices that better fit the expectations from the school system in United States.

Keywords


Parental involvement, early childhood education

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