The micro-politics of parental involvement: Ethnocentrism, utilitarianism or rhetoric

Shun Wing NG

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Developing partnership relationships between home and school is one of the prime focuses in the current education reform movement in Hong Kong. Particularly, specific instructions for involving parents at various levels of children’s education have been spelled out in many governmental policy documents. This article reports on an interpretive study that explores the micro-politics of parental involvement in school education in two primary schools in Hong Kong. By analyzing the interviews with 12 parents and 10 teachers and field-notes of participant and non-participant observations in the case study schools, three propositions of power relations between parents and schools emerge. The findings indicate that in the process of encouraging parents’ participation in school education, teaching professionals demonstrated ethnocentric attitudes towards parents; parents were being utilized as instruments of the school initiatives; and the notion of “parents-as-school governors” was of empty rhetoric in home-school cooperation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013

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micro-politics
ethnocentrism
rhetoric
parents
school
school education
Hong Kong
school initiative
reform movement
level of education
primary school
instruction
participation
Teaching
teacher
interview

Citation

Ng, S.-W. (2013, September). The micro-politics of parental involvement: Ethnocentrism, utilitarianism or rhetoric. Paper presented at the International Conference on Information and Social Science, Nagoya, Japan.

Keywords

  • Micro-politics
  • Parental involvement
  • Ethnocentrism
  • Utilitarianism
  • Hong Kong