At the intersection : examining the meaning of school participation for parents
This qualitative study explores the meaning of participation for parents in the education of their children. Ten parents with children enrolled in primary school were interviewed and invited to a group discussion, a process of individual and collective inquiry focused on parent perspectives on the nature and relevance of their participation. Data from semi-structured interviews and the small group discussion were analyzed using thematic analysis. Three themes emerged as core tensions, between parents’ sense of responsibility to their children and the challenges of their lives; compliance with school expectations and a need to be vigilant; and finally their perceptions of self and of other parents. The study takes place in Mexico City, focusing on parents with children in the public school system, which serves the majority of families in this country.