Links Between Home and School among Low-Income Mexican-American and European-American Families [Educational Pracice Report: 9]

Margarita Azmitia, Catherine R. Cooper, Angela Ittel, Bonnie Johanson, Edward M. Lopez, Rebeca Martinez-Chavez, Lourdes Rivera, Eugene E. Garcia

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This report shows that, in low-income Mexican-American and European-American families, children's everyday learning activities at home and aspirations of parents for their children's future are key elements in home-school linkages. Two models of home-school linkages are reviewed: the cultural match/mismatch model and the two-way partnership approach. Interviews were conducted with parents of 72 students in grades 3, 5, and 7. The Mexican-American sample lived in rural central California, all parents were Mexican- born, the target child was U.S.-born, familial poverty was longstanding, and few parents had received an education above the elementary level. The European-American families lived in a small California city, and most were single- parent families whose poverty was recent. Ecocultural concepts were used to analyze student participation in chores and homework and parent aspirations for their children's personal/moral, educational, and vocational futures. Interview excerpts illustrate the family members and friends available to guide children's mastery of homework and chores, parents' direct and indirect instructional scripts, and how parent aspirations might shape their present goals and guidance. Findings emphasize similarities and differences of the ecology of learning, resources, and vulnerabilities between the two ethnic groups; within-group variation in family resources and vulnerabilities; and changes as children enter adolescence. Suggestions are offered for fostering two-way partnerships between schools and families and for dropout prevention. 

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Bibliographic Information:

Margarita Azmitia, Catherine R. Cooper, Angela Ittel, Bonnie Johanson, Edward M. Lopez, Rebeca Martinez-Chavez, Lourdes Rivera, Eugene E. Garcia. Links Between Home and School among Low-Income Mexican-American and European-American Families [Educational Pracice Report: 9] (1994). NCELA [National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition]: Washington, DC. (21 pages).

Sponsoring Agency: National Center for Research on Cultural Diversity and Second Language Learning

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NCELA [National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition]
George Washington University
Center for the Study of Language and Education
Washington, DC
20037

URL: http://www.ncela.us

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