Home school relations and the construction of racial and ethnic identity of Hmong elementary students

Date
2004
Authors
Adler, Susan Matoba
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Publisher
Academic Development Institute
Volume
14
Number/Issue
2
Starting Page
57
Ending Page
75
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Abstract
This qualitative study examines how Hmong parents and professional staff at one elementary school perceive home-school relations and how they construct racial and ethnic identities of Hmong children. The study was conducted at a Midwestern elementary school where the Hmong student population is over 50% and where five Hmong staff members are employed (3 teachers, 2 aide/translators). Findings indicate differing opinions among parents and school staff in the areas of understanding Hmong culture, multiculturalism and cultural sensitivity, Hmong students “model minority” or “at risk” educationally and linguistically, the role parents play in school involvement, and the construction of race and ethnicity of Hmong students. Neither of two typical Asian stereotypes was attributed to Hmong students, and the prevailing perspective of the ethnic groups was that of “foreigner.” Conflicts with work schedules and language barriers are common constraints to parent involvement in the classrooms. Hmong parents are deeply concerned about their children's education and expect the school staff to be accountable for student achievement. Like some other Asian American groups, parent participation is seen as a division of labor with complimentary responsibilities between home and school.
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Modified from original accepted manuscript version to conform to ADA standards.
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Citation
Adler, S. M. (2004). Home school relations and the construction of racial and ethnic identity of Hmong elementary students. The School Community Journal, 14 (2), 57-75.
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19 pages
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