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Thesis
Parental involvement in early childhood education among Chinese immigrant and English speaking non-Chinese parents in New Zealand
(2012)
  • Qilong Zhang, Dr.
Abstract
This study compared 120 Chinese immigrant parents and 127 English speaking
non-Chinese parents on their parental involvement in early childhood education (ECE),
and investigated the role of parenting beliefs, parenting practices, and demographic
variables on the level of parental involvement. Parental involvement was measured with
the Parental Family Involvement Questionnaire, which was administered to all parents, and
interview data collected from 50 parents about reasons for early childhood education
involvement. Parenting beliefs and practices were assessed with the Parental Role
Construction for Involvement in the Child’s Education Scale: Role Activity Beliefs, the
Parental Sense of Competence Scale, and the Parenting Styles and Dimension
Questionnaire (PSDQ). ECE practices to encourage parental involvement were also
examined from interviews conducted with 30 kindergarten head teachers.
Results showed that Chinese immigrant parents were less likely than non-Chinese parents
to communicate with teachers, volunteer to help at the kindergarten, and participate in
kindergarten decision making. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that, for
the whole sample, role construction and self-efficacy were important predictors of
communicating with teachers, volunteering to help at the kindergarten, and participating in
kindergarten decision making. For the Chinese sample only, perceived opportunity for
involvement, parent education and English language proficiency predicted communication
with teachers, and opportunity for involvement was the only significant predictor of
participating in kindergarten decision making. Parent interviews corroborated and
supplemented these findings. Teacher interviews highlighted a range of communication
strategies, policies and systems used by kindergartens to encourage parental involvement.
Based on findings from parents and teachers this thesis makes some tentative
recommendations for early childhood services, particularly about ways to increase Chinese immigrant parents’ level of ECE involvement, such as helping Chinese immigrant parents
to understand the importance of parental involvement, suggestions for enhancing the
parenting confidence of Chinese immigrant parents, and their perceptions of opportunity
for involvement, employing bilingual staff, and developing relationships with Chinese
immigrant parents.
Keywords
  • parental involvement,
  • immigrant,
  • Chinese
Disciplines
Publication Date
October, 2012
Degree
Doctor of Education
Citation Information
Zhang (2012). Parental involvement in early childhood education among Chinese immigrant and English speaking non-Chinese parents in New Zealand (Doctoral thesis, University of Auckland). Available from https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/handle/2292/18363