Forging Home-School Partnerships with Latino Families.Report as inadecuate

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In the U.S. school system, parents are expected to take responsibility for their children's educational success by preparing them for school, teaching basic skills, and reinforcing what goes on in the classroom. Latino parents who are not completely acculturated usually believe that it is their duty to instill proper behavior in the child, and that it is the school's responsibility to impart knowledge. These parents may think that the behavior expected of them by the school is unwanted interference. The inability to understand English is another major deterrent to the participation of Latino parents in their children's schooling, as is the lack of knowledge about the school system. Latino parents can and do establish effective partnerships with schools once cultural unawareness and communication gaps are overcome. Schools that are successful in engaging Latino parents operate from the belief that these parents want to help their children but may not know how. Cultural competency training for teachers can help make them comfortable in outreach and communication activities. The hardest part of building a partnership with low-income Latino parents is getting them to the first school meeting. School involvement can become more relevant to Latino families when it is intergenerational and includes extended family members. (Contains 10 references.) (SLD)

Descriptors: Cultural Awareness, Elementary Secondary Education, Hispanic American Students, Hispanic Americans, Limited English Speaking, Parent Participation, Parent Role, Parent School Relationship, Partnerships in Education, School Role

LARASA, 309 W. 1st Avenue, Denver, CO 80223 (1 year subscription, $12; reports, $2 each).

Author: Pappas, Georgia


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