Portland State University. Department of Educational Leadership and Policy
Esperanza De La Vega
Term of Graduation
Date of Publication
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Curriculum and Instruction
Curriculum & Instruction
1 online resource (vi, 90 pages)
The purpose of this phenomenological case study is to explore the misconception that is occurring in schools today about Mexican Immigrant parents' involvement. Using the Sociocultural and Funds of Knowledge (Gonzalez, Moll, & Amanti, 2005) theories to ground this study, I conducted in-depth phenomenological semi-structured interviews (Seidman, 2006) with six participants. The participants were Mexican Immigrant parents who resided in a specific Oregon county where their children attended school. They shared their perceptions and experiences about being involved in their children's education. The analysis led to three themes in the findings, which were: Perceptions, Culture, and Communication. The first theme provided a glimpse into the participants' lived experiences and their current views about engaging in their child's school, which was revealed to be heavily influenced by their socialization process in Mexico before immigrating to the US. The theme of Culture encompassed the cultural and linguistic traditions, values, beliefs that are passed down from generation to generation. This showed up as demonstrating respeto (respect), being buen educado (well mannered), and the responsibilities they felt toward their family and kin. Regarding Communication, the third and final theme, participants understood that communication was a critical part of parent involvement. However, from the interview data, it appeared that communication was the most challenging aspect of being involved. This was a scenario where misunderstandings emerged. This study provided me an opportunity to hear the voices of immigrant families and to help reveal the misunderstanding that often blames Mexican Immigrant parents/families for the gap in their children's educational achievement. The importance of culturally responsive teaching isn't just an educational fad or the newest strategy to try in the classroom. I believe that at its' core - understanding and valuing the cultural funds of knowledge that students and families bring to the classroom and school setting are essential and foundational for all educators to implement.
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Vega, Evelia, "A Case Study of Mexican Immigrant Parents' Involvement in Their Children's Education" (2023). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 6258.