All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

James Ernest

Advisory Committee Members

Grace Jepkemboi

Jenna Lachenaye

Jennifer Summerlin

Deborah Strevy

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2018

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Education

Abstract

The research examined kindergarten teachers’ beliefs and implementation of school, family, and community partnerships (SFCPs) in Riyadh City, Saudi Arabia. It used Epstein’s model of SFCPs including the following practices: parenting, communicating, volunteering, learning at home, decision-making, and collaborating with the community. Two strands were employed: the quantitative obtained teachers’ beliefs and implementation of the SFCP practices by surveying a sample of 266 teachers from 126 public kindergartens. The follow up qualitative strand included a purposeful sample of 12 teachers to explore their experiences with SFCPs within three different social and economic areas (SEAs): High, middle, and low SEAs. Two-way Multiple Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) and chi-square tests were used to analyze teachers’ response to the survey. Thematic analysis was used to analyze teachers’ responses the follow-up interviews. The results revealed that there were no significant associations between teachers regarding to their years of experience or different teaching areas in terms of their beliefs about or implementation of SFCPs. The teachers believed that all of the six practices were important but gave slightly differences priorities to them. For the implementation of the practices, learning at home ranked the highest of the implementation, 74% of the study sample implemented this practice between once a semester to a weekly basis. For parenting and communication practices, over 50% of the sample implemented these practices between several times a semester to weekly. Collaborating with the community, volunteering, and decision-making were the lowest in implementation. More than half of the participants (49%, 60%, and 66% respectively) never implemented any of them. The interviews analysis provided four main themes; partnerships knowledge, establishing partnerships need, partnership obstacles, and partnerships enhancement. The result showed that not all teachers acknowledged the six practices. They provided different stories to show the need (or not) of specific practices. The interviews focused on teachers’ experiences and highlighted many of the barriers that weakened the partnerships and emphasized the need to enhance these partnerships. This enhancement should be from different levels and parties, including but not limited to the teachers, co-workers, families, Ministry of Education, and the community.

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