Family literacy programs: A source of transformative learning

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This paper will highlight the findings of an empirical study, which examined how Hispanic mothers' participation in an Even Start Family Literacy program in Texas contributed to their family literacy engagement and parental development. By exploring the elements of participation and engagement in the program, parents discuss the ways in which these influence their reading behaviors and other literacy practices. Additionally, the study's findings highlight observed personal and parenting changes and transformations. Significant transformations, as reported by the mothers, occurred in areas related to spousal, parent, and child relationships, communication skills, discipline habits, literacy practices, and critical thinking skills, among others. This study has implications for the theory, research and practice for adult and lifelong education.

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In the United States, issues facing immigrants are fundamentally intertwined with racial justice. Through a critical, human‐rights perspective, we examine how immigrants engage with adult learning, paying particular attention to the history of immigration and policy as it frames lives often described as lived “in the shadows.” Challenges facing immigrants vary by country of origin and motivation for migration, as well as reception to the United States, their White race, and immigration status. We describe educational services and opportunities in adult and higher education for immigrant learners as well as how adult education can support immigrant incorporation. We conclude by discussing the incorporation of nontraditional, critical literacies into adult education curricula to build supportive learning environments not only for immigrant, but all adult learners.
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The causal role of students' self-efficacy beliefs and academic goals in self-motivated academic attainment was studied using path analysis procedures. Parental goal setting and students' self-efficacy and personal goals at the beginning of the semester served as predictors of students' final course grades in social studies. In addition, their grades in a prior course in social studies were included in the analyses. A path model of four self-motivation variables and prior grades predicted students 'final grades in social studies, R = .56. Students' beliefs in their efficacy for self-regulated learning affected their perceived self-efficacy for academic achievement, which in turn influenced the academic goals they set for themselves and their final academic achievement. Students' prior grades were predictive of their parents' grade goals for them, which in turn were linked to the grade goals students set for themselves. These findings were interpreted in terms of the social cognitive theory of academic self-motivation.
This vital addition to Springer’s ‘Educating the Young Child’ series addresses gaps in the literature on father involvement in the lives of young children, a topic with a fast-rising profile in today’s world of female breadwinners and single-parent households. While the significant body of theoretical understanding and empirical data accumulated in recent decades has done much to characterize the fluidity of evolving notions of fatherhood, the impact of this understanding on policy and legal frameworks has been uneven at an international level. In a field where groups of fathers were until recently marginalized in research, this book adopts a refreshingly inclusive attitude, aiming to motivate researchers to capture the nuanced practices of fathers in minority groups such as those who are homeless, gay, imprisoned, raising a disabled child, or from ethnically distinct backgrounds, including Mexican- and African-American fathers. The volume includes chapters highlighting the unique challenges and possibilities of father involvement in their children’s early years of development. Contributing authors have integrated theories, research, policies, and programs on father involvement so as to attract readers with diverse interest and expertise, and material from selected countries in Asia, Australia, and Africa, as well as North America, evinces the international scope of their analysis. Their often interdisciplinary analyses draw, too, on historical and cultural legacies, even as they project a vision of the future in which fathers’ involvement in their young children’s lives develops alongside the changing political, economic and educational landscapes around the world.
The study tested the hypothesis that varying levels of parent involvement would be related to variations in qualities of school settings, specifically school socioeconomic status, teacher degree level, grade level, class size, teachers’ sense of efficacy, principal perceptions of teacher efficacy, organizational rigidity, and instructional coordination. Teacher (n = 1,003) and principal (n = 66) reports and perceptions of the variables of interest were assessed in a sample of 66 elementary schools distributed across a large mid-Southern state. Stepwise multiple regression analyses revealed that various combinations of the predictors accounted for significant portions of the variance in all parent involvement outcomes: parent conferences (52%), parent volunteers (27%), parent home tutoring (24%), parent involvement in home instruction programs (22%), and teacher perception of parent support (41%). Variables most consistently involved in outcomes were teacher efficacy and school socioeconomic status. Results are discussed with reference to parent-teacher role complementarity and implications for increasing productive interconnections between parents and schools.
Relatively few studies of family literacy programmes have investigated parents' experiences and whilst a number of such programmes have been specifically aimed at fathers, little is known about the involvement of fathers in programmes which target both mothers and fathers. This article reports fathers' involvement in a family literacy programme and their home literacy practices with their young children. The article provides a definition of family literacy and describes the context of the study, which was carried out in socio‐economically disadvantaged communities in a northern English city. Fathers' participation in their children's literacy was investigated through interviews at the beginning and end of the programme (n = 85) and home visit records made by teachers throughout the programme. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of these data indicate that, while fathers' participation in the family literacy programme was not easily visible, almost all fathers were involved to some extent in home literacy events with their children. During the programme, teachers shared information about literacy activities and the importance of children having opportunities to share literacy activities with their parents. Data indicate that fathers who were not mentioned by mothers as having been involved in their children's literacy were significantly more likely to be on a low income than those who were reported as being engaged with their children in home literacy activities. Fathers in the study were involved in providing literacy opportunities, showing recognition of their children's achievements, interacting with their children around literacy and being a model of a literacy user. Although involved in all four of these key roles, fathers tended to be less involved in providing literacy opportunities than mothers. While fathers and sons engaged in what might be described as traditionally ‘masculine’ literacy activities, fathers were more often reported to be involved with their children in less obviously gendered home literacy activities. The article concludes with discussion of implications for involving fathers in future family literacy programmes.