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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Parents with teachers re-authoring the home-school interface : a critical participatory action research study Kozak, Donna Lynn


Much of the literature on family involvement and engagement has served to reproduce social inequality by creating and privileging certain representations of parents ignoring the complexities of contemporary definitions of family and ultimately limit productive relationships (Nakagawa, 2000; Turner-Vorbeck & Miller Marsh, 2008). Voices, perspectives and questions of families are often missing from educational research as "it tends to be research on parents, rather than research with parents" (Pushor, 2007, p. 9). In an attempt to further contribute to this research void, this dissertation argues that the historically defined home-school interface has socialized parents and teachers into roles within a hierarchical system controlled by positional and institutional power structures. It asks the questions: How will the co-creation of discursive spaces among researcher, teacher, and family member participants: (a) foster integration of their respective funds of knowledge around children's literacy development; (b) impact the interface relations between home and school; and, (c) enrich the lived curriculum in the teacher participants' classrooms? Critical participatory action research methodology (Kemmis, McTaggart, & Nixon, 2014; Ledwith & Springett, 2014) created conditions for 25 parents and teachers to join together as co-researchers on five occasions over four months of a school year. Together, they co-created a collective hybrid discursive third space (Gee, 1996; Gutierrez, 2008; Soja, 1996) that invited them to align their respective funds of knowledge (Gonzalez, Moll, & Amanti, 2005). Participants also engaged in iterative processes of conscientization (Freire, 1976) through story, dialogue, and reflections. Pre and post interviews, focus group field notes, participant field notes, and participant journal reflections were created and collected as main sources of data. Experiencing liminality and communitas enabled participants to transform and renegotiate understandings of their roles, positionalities and how they situate each other within the perceived and lived boundaries that define the home-school interface. Teaching and parenting; parenting and teaching converged equally through relational connectivity and metaphoric bridges that developed into a sense of togetherness and trust disrupting previously held institutionalized and unquestioned hegemonic borders, rules and roles. Over time, relationality transformed their Discourse into pedagogical opportunities where home and school literacies merged into moments of lived curricular hybridity in the participant teachers' classrooms.

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