Faculty Publications

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School Community Journal



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Latino immigrants, parents, family, involvement, schools, learning, obstacles, communication, immigrating, education, schooling


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education


Teachers and administrators in schools with large, working-class Latino populations often complain of parents’ indifference or lack of involvement in children’s schooling because of their low visibility at school events and relatively little face-to-face communication with teachers and school administration. In a series of semi-structured interviews with Latino immigrant parents, this study finds that, despite different educational experiences than those of their children in the United States, these parents engage in many of the parent involvement strategies observed by previous research to be most beneficial, though often through avenues bypassing the school itself. This finding presses schools and districts to recognize both the ways in which immigrant parents actually do the many things for which they never receive credit and the value of the other forms of involvement in which parents are active. We classify these reported behaviors into categories of asking questions about school and school processes, attending events at school or outside of school that parents deem supportive of children’s learning, and altering/augmenting children’s educational trajectories to improve outcomes. The study also reports on obstacles that interviewed parents faced in their efforts to interact with schools in conventional ways.


This article was published in the School Community Journal, volume 24, issue 1, 2014. It is also available online at this link. Articles are open access, distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license CC BY-NC-ND.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.