The impact of social class difference on parent involvement in school education in Hong Kong

Shun Wing NG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Encouraging parents to participate in school education is one of the prime focuses in the current education reform movement in Hong Kong. In the West, the importance of strong home-school relationships has been identified as a critical factor in the academic success of school children. However, there is a paucity of qualitative studies on how parent involvement in school is affected by the social status parents belong to. This study captures the thoughts and perceptions of four parents of different social positions in a primary school on their involvement in the schooling process of their children. By comparing the practice of how they were involved, eight categories of propositions emerged from the data. The findings indicate that as compared with their counterpart, working-class parents were in a less favorable situation in choosing schools, rearing their children at home, participating in school events and communicating with school personnel. There were also significant differences in developing social networks, creation of social capital and purposes of participation. The study also serves to provide scholars with academic insights for further investigation or parent involvement and policy makers with practical knowledge in developing appropriate strategies to promote home-school cooperation so that parents of different social class can have equal chances and resources to participate in the schooling process of their children. Copyright © 2000 The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-62
JournalEducation Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000


school education
social class
Hong Kong
reform movement
social position
academic success
working class
social capital
primary school
social status
social network


Ng, S.-W. (2000). The impact of social class difference on parent involvement in school education in Hong Kong. Education Journal, 28(2), 35-62.