Parental involvement in New York City public schools among immigrants from the former Soviet Union

Randi Beth Herman, Fordham University

Abstract

This was a qualitative study. It described the involvement for a group of parents from the former Soviet Union who have settled in New York City and identified the cultural factors influencing that involvement. The purpose was to ascertain the role that culture played in the involvement of this particular group in the public schools attended by their children. The respondents evidenced a high level of interest and involvement in the education of their children by organizing and implementing a comprehensive Sunday program of classes in both cultural arts and academics; most were unemployed and had time as well as professional talent available; all had a level of commitment to children that was very high, yet none were active members of the Parents Association at the schools attended by their children.^ A focus group of 12 parents was held first. Of the 12, six parents were then interviewed individually. A translator was present at the focus group and attended individual interviews when requested by the respondents. Domain analysis was used in the identification of themes, resulting in a profile of each issue.^ The research has found that this group of parents from the former Soviet Union has been excluded from involvement in the education of their children. This situation developed as an outgrowth of the absence of a common language and the neglect of both the school leadership and the Parents Associations to provide for communication. This alienation brought these parents from the former Soviet Union together, uniting them and promoting their focus on a common purpose: to provide a quality educational experience for their children. This partnership exists among parents from the former U.S.S.R. who have formed their own community, exclusive and independent of the New York City Public School community. Only after these parents have been accorded recognition and acceptance by the Parents Association and the school leadership will the parent involvement envisioned in A New Compact For Learning (1991) become a possibility. ^

Subject Area

Education, Bilingual and Multicultural|Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies|Sociology, Social Structure and Development

Recommended Citation

Herman, Randi Beth, "Parental involvement in New York City public schools among immigrants from the former Soviet Union" (1996). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9631039.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI9631039

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