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Title:Mexican immigrant parents and the education of their handicapped children: Factors that influence parent involvement
Author(s):Gault, Annette R.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Henderson, Robert A.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Bilingual and Multicultural
Education, Administration
Education, Special
Abstract:Mexican immigrant parents were interviewed regarding their involvement in the education of their handicapped children. In addition, teachers were surveyed as to their expectations for parent involvement.
The results of this study indicated the educational attainment of the mothers and the time parents had spent in the United States correlated with parent involvement. The severity of their child's handicap (whether non-handicapped, mildly, or severely handicapped) did not seem to make a difference in the parents' emotional reaction to the handicap or their involvement. A combination of scientific, religious, and folk expectations for causes of handicaps were utilized by all parents. All parents thought they could improve the condition or education of their children by teaching at home.
Seventy percent of the parents were satisfied with their participation. They respected school professionals as authorities. The parents expected teachers to teach academics and parents to teach values at home. The parents were not very visible in schools, but made sure they provided their children with basic care, attended parent-teacher conferences, and used the teachers' ideas to teach. Parents participated more when barriers such as transportation problems, lack of Spanish speaker were removed. Mothers with less formal education tended to be more uncomfortable in school and found school vocabulary harder to understand.
There was confusion among parents as to the special education services their children were receiving in school. Plus, only half of the parents agreed with the school professionals about the severity of their child's handicap.
All of the teachers thought parent involvement was important. Teachers believed that when Hispanic parents did not get involved, it was because of language barriers or unfamiliarity with the system. And when Hispanic parents were involved, they believed it was because parents cared about their children's future or because parents themselves were educated.
The comparison of parents' actual involvement to teachers' expectations in most areas of parent involvement did not match. However, pairing the "ideal" involvement of parents with the expectations of teachers showed a closer match.
Issue Date:1989
Rights Information:Copyright 1989 Gault, Annette R.
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI8924819
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI8924819

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