Looking at school from the house window: Learning from Turkish-American parents' experiences with early elementary education in the United States

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

This retrospective study is an in-depth investigation of the perspectives of Turkish immigrant parents on their children's early schooling in the United States (PreK-3). It specifically explores how these parents connect with or are disconnected from school culture, and how their socio-cultural understanding of education and teachers influence their relationships with schools. Using a qualitative research design, data were collected through in-depth interviews with 18 parents from 10 families. Findings suggest that Turkish parents negotiated the ways curriculum and instruction is constructed in American schools-such as their assumptions about the lack of academic rigor-while they also embraced sound pedagogies the teachers practiced. Through their experiences with schooling in the United States, Turkish parents reconsidered their sociocultural perspectives on the role of the teacher in their children's lives based on their experiences with their children's teachers. The parents also reported their challenges in understanding school culture and curriculum, and described how they negotiated their access to the school culture. The results indicate the need for a stronger partnership between home and school. Teachers could support parents in their struggle to access to the culture of schooling by establishing an eagerness for communication and a reciprocal personal connection with families, who already socioculturally assume the teacher's role as part of family.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-142
Number of pages10
JournalEarly Childhood Education Journal
Volume38
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Looking at school from the house window: Learning from Turkish-American parents' experiences with early elementary education in the United States'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this