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Title: Parental involvement in children's learning : an Anglo-Chinese cross-cultural study
Author: Chang, Y.-S.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2007
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This is a comparative study of parental involvement in children’s learning at Key Stage 2. It focuses on mothers and children of white English and Chinese ethnic origin, using a two-group sample which also mixes gender and socio-economic status. The illustrative medium for the study is an official DfES book designed for parents to use with their children to support their school learning. The book, Learning Journey (ages 7-11): a parent’s guide to the primary school curriculum is published in both English and Chinese versions. The research examines how this material is viewed and used by mothers and children in the two cultural groups, and places its analysis in the wider context of UK government policy on education and home-school relations. Three methods were used to collect data for the study: interview, observation and analysis of the chosen illustrative medium. The interviews were with the mothers in the two groups and with DfES and Primary National Strategy team officials, a home-school academic expert, and a representative of a national parental organisation. The mothers and children were observed undertaking activities from the English and Chinese variations of Learning Journey (ages 7-11). All interviews and observation sessions were tape-recorded.  In the latter case this facilitated a subsidiary comparison of the task-related mother-child discourse in the two groups. The two published versions of Learning Journey (ages 7-11) were compared for cultural bias and for disparities arising from translation. The findings reveal both similarities and differences within and across the cultural and socio-economic groups involved in the study. There is also variation in the views of those interviewed. Some of the most striking differences are in the areas of homework, children’s home life, and the way parents approach the task of helping their children with their school work. In the latter case, the discourse analysis shows the impact of culture and parental educational experience.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available