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Improving School Involvement of Immigrant Parents of Children with Disability. Hyun- Ju Kang, Tida Tubpun , Wittawat Sakoonon RPSE & ELPA UW-Madison. What is parental involvement?. What is disabilities?. Definitions. Parental Involvement. Disability.

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Improving School Involvement of Immigrant Parents of Children with Disability

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Improving School Involvement of Immigrant Parents of Children with Disability

Hyun-Ju Kang, TidaTubpun, WittawatSakoonon

RPSE & ELPA UW-Madison

What is parental involvement?

What is disabilities?


Parental Involvement


Any restriction or lack (resulting from an impairment) of ability to perform an activity in the manner of within the range considered normal for a human being (United Nation, 1997).

  • A variety of attributes and responsibilities of parents, as well as activities for parents to participate in children’s education (Rogers, Wiener, Marton, & Tannock, 2009)

  • Attending school meetings, parent-teacher conferences, and school events, as well as volunteering at school (Nero, 2010; Hill and Taylor, 2004)

Why Parental Involvement?

So what? What is the concern?

  • Why are immigrant parents of children with disabilities rarely seen as active participants in their children’s education?

  • Teachers consider a lack of school involvement of immigrant parents as lack of interests in their children’s education.Is it true?

Discourse in definitions?

Parental involvement


Shame and/or guilt

Family’s face

Punishment from higher power

  • Taking care of their children and sending them to school, as well as listening to teachers’ report about their children’s academic performance and progress

  • Teachers’ roles: teaching their students as well as organizing classroom and curriculum without help from parents


Individualism vs. Collectivism

  • A child is not a single entity – action, decision, desire are for the whole family/clan

  • Losing face for having a child with a label of disability

Authoritative vs. Partnership

  • Only the rich or noble families can have education

  • Principles or teachers are government employees

  • Authority in their children’s education

  • Confucianism

  • Their role is to listen at PT conference

Teachers’ uniform


  • Limited understanding of English (e.g., academic, formal, law)

  • Concern of the use of translators

A Social Network

  • A useful method for immigrant parents to be involved in school

  • Sharing cultural values and beliefs to facilitate communication and collaboration

  • Learning school systems and school expectations from other parents and teachers

  • Receiving social and emotional support from experienced parents


  • Apex:

  • FAST:

  • P2P:

  • PAL:


  • Brown, M. (2010). A new multicultural population: Creating effective partnership with multiracial families. Intervention in School and Clinic, 45, 124-131.

  • Collingnon, F.F.; Men, M., & Tan, S. (2001). Finding ways in: Community-based perspectives on southeast asian family involvement with schools in a new England state. Journal of Education for Students Placed At Risk, 6 (1&2), 27-44.

  • Colombo, M.W. (2006). Building school partnerships with culturally and linguistically diverse families. Phi Delta Kappan, 88, 314-318.

  • Epstein, J. L. (1986). Parents’ reactions to teacher practices of parental involvement. The elementary School Journal, 86, 277-294.

  • Finders, M., & Lewis, C. (1994). Why some parents don’t come to school. Educational Leadership, 51, 50-54

  • Huntsinger, C.S. & Jose, P.E. (2009). Parental involvementin children’s schooling: Different meanings in different cultures. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 24, 398-410.

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  • Nero, C. (2010). Parent involvement and views of school success: The role of parents’ Latino and white American cultural orientations. Psychology in the Schools, 47, 391-405.

  • Park, J., Turnbull, A. P., & Park, H. (2001). Quality of partnerships in service provision for Korean American parents of children with disabilities: A qualitative inquiry. The Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps, 26, 158-170.

  • Rogers, M. A., Wiener, J., Marton, I., & Tannock, R. (2009). Parental involvement in children’s learning: Comparing parents of children with and without Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Journal of School Psychology, 47, 167-185.

  • Ryan, C.S., Casas, J. F., Kelly-Vance, L., Ryalls, B. O., & Nero, C. (2010). Parent involvement and views of school success: The role of parents’ Latino and white American cultural orientations. Psychology in Schools, 47, 391-405.

  • Sheehey, P., Ornelles, C., & Noonan, M. J. (2010). Biculturalization: Developing culturally responsive approaches to family participation. Intervention in School and Clinic, 45, 132-139.

  • Sheldon, S. B. (2002). Parents’ social networks and beliefs as predictors of parent involvement. The Elementary School Journal, 102, 301-316.

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