04 SES 02 C, Putting Inclusion into Practice: The parents’ viewpoint
From an inclusive educational approach (Dyson, 2010), family-school network relationship, bi-directional communication, connection between families and school with the community and recognition and acceptance of the other (Crozier and Davis, 2007; Esteban-Guitart, Oller y Vila, 2012) are educational strategies that facilitate inclusive education.
Over the last few years, different ethnographic studies (Mills and Gale, 2004; Schecter and Sherri, 2009; Vigo and Soriano, 2015) understand the participation of families as a collaborative process that "reverts to the quality of the school, to the teaching work and to the families, increasing their social and cultural capital" (Llevot and Bernad, 2015, 57). These researches show that social class and / or cultural level of families produce inequality of opportunities for parental participation in school. Children from more vulnerable families receive fewer benefits from the participation of their families, than children from families of higher socio-economic class or belonging to the dominant school culture (Conteh and Kawashima, 2008). The educational system instills and it transmits the dominant culture (Montenegro, 2013) and contributes to the reproduction of the current social structure.
From a critical pedagogical perspective (Popkewitz, 1994), allowing the majority of parents to participate and being part of the organization and school dynamics, may require doing things in a different way (Mills and Gales, 2004). Analyzing the possibilities of families as an educational resource and including practices close to the environment can make schools improve the teaching-learning process and family-school relationships (Esteban-Guitart et al., 2012; Vigo and Soriano, 2015).
In this sense, it is important that schools consider the peculiarities of each family and their needs (Barley, 2014). Schools must develop educational strategies that allow them to know the culture and values of families. These practices of parental participation should not impose an identity and a culture (Kñallinsky, 2016). Teachers must recognize the values of families, their problems, their needs and their potential, turning it into an educational resource (Santos-Guerra y De la Rosa, 2016, Schecter and Sherry, 2009). In addition, these practices allow students to know where they come from, who they are. Families are members of a school community in which they are recognized by a dominant school culture that listens to them, and recognizes their culture (Conteh and Kawashima, 2008).
These practices emerge especially in creative teaching contexts (Jeffrey and Troman, 2013). The inclusion of issues related to the culture and identity of students and families in the educational curriculum, seems useful to achieve a more equitable participation of families in schools (Vigo and Soriano, 2015).
This work aims to contribute to the development of knowledge in relation to inclusive education practices in a school for all. It aims, through an ethnographic study, to explore the parental involvement in different Primary Education schools of public ownership of the Community of Aragon (Spain)
The main research questions of this work is:
-How does parental participation take place in different scenarios and inclusive educational contexts?
More specifically, the objectives that this work has directed has been:
- Identify practices of parental participation in schools of different contexts and know how these practices are carried out within the framework of the school and the classroom.
With the presentation of this paper, we intend to discuss and reflect on the role of parental participation in an inclusive school, as well as to question how the school can leave out the most vulnerable families or families with a culture and identity different from the one that has the school (Vigo and Dieste, 2017).
This research is carried out through a qualitative methodology, it aims to inform clearly and precisely about the observations of the environment, as well as the experiences of those investigated (Hammersley and Atkinson, 1994). More specifically, the ethnographic method has been used with the aim of achieving a description that reflects the characteristics of the family-school relationship in different inclusive educational contexts. The research was carried out within the R & D project: "Families and schools: Discourses and daily practices in participation in compulsory education" (Ref: EDU2012-32657) 2012-2016. Subprogram of Fundamental Research Projects of the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. The context of our study is Aragón, specifically 3 schools. From an inclusive perspective, parental participation strategies have been studied, trying to understand the practices and experiences promoted by each school. Data was collected from a deep study in each school during two academic years, from participant observation (Taylor and Bogdan, 2008), in both formal and informal spaces. We have done participant observation in one classroom of each school in order to explore parental involvement in the life of the school. In addition, data was collected from ‘informal conversations with teachers, parents and children. The data was obtained also from semi-structured interviews (Walford, 2009) with teachers, head-teachers, parents, and administrators to know how they experienced this participation. Finally data was collected from school websites and administrative policy documents. We have focused on the analysis of information on how schools promote acknowledgment of families in building participation. A categorization process was carried out (Miles and Hubermnan, 1994) that reflects how teachers and families build participation. The "selective-intermittent" nature (Jeffrey and Troman, 2004) of the study made it possible to review the observations and conversations collected during the process in order to analyze and compare them with the theoretical framework. This process allowed us to return to the field from more informed perspectives and / or with new points of view. In this way, the relationship between the field work and the data analysis was fluid and enriching. The validation of this work was made from three lenses that consider the perspective of the researcher, the researched and external researchers identified by Creswell and Miller (2000).
In the three schools, teachers develop activities that link curriculum with the ways of life of students (Barley, 2014; Esteban-Guitart et al., 2012; Llevot and Bernad, 2015; Vigo and Soriano, 2015). "What we do in a way closer to the environment favors them because it is not memorizing, it is feeling" (Teacher Urban School). Teachers develop activities that allow their students and themselves to know and recognize other cultures and values (Conteh and Kawashima, 2008). These practices allow teachers to know where their students come from, and what are their culture and identity (Crozier and Davis, 2007; Kñallinsky, 2016; Schecter and Sherry, 2009). Sometimes, these are very different from the dominant values in the school (Montenegro, 2013). "The teacher asked us to do an Arabic reading workshop. My friend read in Arabic and I was translating "(Mother Rural School). At other times, the presence of families in the classroom does not have to be physical (Vigo and Soriano, 2015). In suburban school, for example, the teacher develops a practice about the origin and meaning of the name. “The students, through this activity, investigate and discover the values, beliefs and customs about their families and about the families of their classmates” (Field Diary Suburban School). Parental involvement is developed from an inclusive perspective. It is a school-centered participation that is based on listening and recognizing the experiences of families. This recognition of the families' values can be a bridge of approximation that facilitates the development of the cultural and social capital. In addition, these practices are possible when teachers listen to families, accept their experiences and make them part of the process. Schools with a disadvantaged population are more aware of the need to promote this kind of practice and facilitate the participation of all (Vigo and Dieste, 2017).
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