This mixed-methods study examined the perspectives of teachers and parents regarding family-school collaboration in elementary schools of western Mexico through the lens of the cultural-historical contexts of various communities. Third Generation Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) provides the framework for comparing complex contexts of interacting groups (Engeström, 2001). It was employed to make comparisons across public, private, and rural community schools, as well as between teachers and parents. These contexts, as well as perceived access to mediating tools and the psychological beliefs of role construction and self-efficacy (Hoover-Dempsey & Sandler, 1997), help to build expectations for working with students and with each other. Results indicated that both teachers and parents are open to adopting various roles in the family-school relationship and have felt some success in engaging in those roles. Gender and teacher perceptions of average family income levels predicted teacher role construction, sense of efficacy, and how they assessed parents, while one's own experience in school and time living in the community predicted how parents reported their own role construction and efficacy. However, the rich descriptions provided through focus group interviews revealed more conflicting experiences with the family-school collaboration than did the survey results. In addition, despite substantial variation in responses, teachers assessed parents as being less committed to and confident about collaborating towards children's education than parents reported themselves. These internal contradictions are characteristic of activity theory and can become the instruments needed to drive change (Engeström & Glaveanu, 2012).
University of Minnesota Ed.D. dissertation. March 2015. Major: Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development. Advisor: Dr. Karen R. Seashore. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 260 pages, appendices A-K.
Schalla, Lisa Kathleen.
Family-school collaboration in Mexico: perspectives of teachers and parents.
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