Voces de padres inmigrantes Latinos: a multisite video-cued ethography
Abstract: The purpose of this ethnographic study was to better understand how Latino immigrant parents describe, view and conceptualize learning in the early primary grades. I looked to answer the following questions: (1) What are the thoughts and ideas that Latino immigrant parents have about the education their children are receiving in U.S. schools and learning settings? (2) What are Latino immigrant parents’ thoughts and ideas about the type of teaching and learning best for their children? (3) What do Latino immigrant parents’ believe is important for their children to learn in school and what should be learned at home? I used three theoretical frameworks for this dissertation study, funds of knowledge (Gonzalez, Moll & Amanti, 2005), social and cultural capital (Bourdieu, 1977) and subaltern (Spivak, 1988) theories. Together, these theories helped me to listen and understand the Latino immigrant parents’ thoughts and ideas about the education of their children in the United States as they navigated and experienced the school system.
This study was part of a larger comparative, video-cued, ethnographic project called the Agency and Young Children Project, modeled after Joseph Tobin’s research design. The research was conducted in two major phases. Phase 1 included selecting a site, observing and filming. Phase 2 involved taking the film to the new research sites for focus group interviews.
This dissertation study involved data from Phase 2, which including conducting focus group interviews in schools located in urban and rural areas. Participants were then selected from convenience samples, through access gained from personal and professional networks. I used ethnography for this dissertation study to gather the cultural knowledge and perspectives of a social group. I used video-ethnography in particular because although the videos are not part of the data, the method uses the video/s to generate discussion and reflection about issues occurring in various contexts. My research study revealed that Latino immigrant parents articulate the rationale for the thoughts and ideas they hold about their children’s learning. Understanding the rationale immigrant parents hold about education is meant to aid in valuing the marginalized voices of Latino immigrant parents (Tobin, Arzubiaga & Mantovani, 2007).