Reframing School Readiness: Case Studies of African-American and Latina Head Start Parents
The “school readiness gap” has been attributed to differences in family life, home school connections, and social inequalities. The current school-parent partnership model fails to acknowledge the ways in which parent roles in education, and the home-school relations in which they are embedded, reflect broader social inequalities that affect students. This study utilized a narratological case study approach to examine the school readiness beliefs of African-American and Latina Head Start parents. The guiding research questions were: How do parents conceptualize school readiness and transition practices? Two sub questions were asked: (1) What specific behaviors do parents use to promote their children’s school readiness? and (2) What other factors do parents believe help to promote their children’s transition to kindergarten? Parents’ beliefs about school readiness were examined utilizing a theoretical framework informed by Yosso’s (2005) model of community cultural wealth, Ladson Billings and Tate’s (1995) critical race theory, and the concept of cultural capital. The participants in this study included three African-American parents and three Latina parents. This study extends current research on parent beliefs about school readiness by examining data sources including in-depth interviews, readiness protocols, and surveys. The research findings suggest the community cultural wealth model offers a framework to acknowledge multiple means of capital that parents access to support their children. The results recognize the diverse perspectives of kindergarten readiness held by parents, which suggests that schools work actively to gain insight into parental desires and interests, which may not be raised explicitly by parents themselves.
Table of Contents
Introduction to the study -- Literature review -- Methodology -- Findings and discussion -- Summary, recommendations, and conclusion -- Appendix A. Consent for participation in a research study -- Appendix B. Family Readiness Protocol -- Appendix C. Interview Questions: School Readiness -- Appendix D. Community Attitudes on Readiness for Entering School (CARES) Survey-English and Community Attitudes on Readiness for Entering School (CARES) Survey-Spanish -- Appendix E. Parent Interview Transcripts -- Appendix F. IRB study approval