Building on the Hopes and Dreams of Latino Families with Young Children: Findings from Family Member Focus Groups

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Early Childhood Education Journal




In the past, Latino families were often regarded as being uninvolved in their child’s education, particularly within the parent involvement literature. More recently, authors are encouraging educational professionals to look at a family’s “funds of knowledge” to encourage their involvement. This expression takes into account the knowledge a teacher can gain from a family and child, including awareness of culture, familial background, and other contributions the family can add to the child’s education. This article reviews findings from the analyses of focus groups conducted with Latino family members who have a child(ren) enrolled at a Head Start Center. Findings indicate that Latino families openly communicated strengths, interests, aspirations and learning opportunities for their child and family yet often faced barriers in conveying these to teachers and other staff in their child’s life. Implications for using inquiry-based approaches to bridge this gap in family-school communication are discussed.


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