All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Lois M Christensen

Advisory Committee Members

Lynn D Kirkland

Kay Emfinger

Robbie Roberts

Deborah Strevy

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2015

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Education

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to explore the teacher's role in family involvement in preschool classrooms. Family involvement has been a relevant topic for early childhood educators for many years (Hoover-Dempsey & Sandler, 1995). When families are involved in their child's school experience, it has added a positive benefit to the child's development (Chavkin, 2005; Swick, 2004; Marcon, 1999). Regardless of this widely held belief, many families face barriers that prevent involvement from occurring (Gallimore & Goldenberg, 2001; Lamb-Parker, Piotrkowski, Baker, Kessler-Sklar, Clark, & Peay, 2001). This multiple case study was designed to answer the following central and sub-questions: Central questions: 1. How do early childhood teachers describe their role in family involvement? 2. How do families describe the ways in which they become engaged in family involvement? Sub-questions: 1. How do preschool teachers communicate opportunities for family involvement? 2. How do preschool teachers support family involvement outside of the classroom? 3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of family involvement in preschool? 4. How is family involvement defined? Who defines family involvement? Purposeful sampling was used to select three administrators, three teachers and three family members from three different sites. Data was collected through in-depth interviews and artifacts from the classroom. The interviews were digitally recorded and transcribed verbatim. Through careful review of the data, five themes were identified as emergent. These themes coalesced to allow the reader to hear the lived experiences of the participants within the contexts of family involvement. The final compilation of data is flexible, written with thick, rich, descriptions (Geertz, 1973).

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