Using Bronfenbrenner’s PPCT model as a lens to understand refugee parent–teacher communication processes

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Dana M. Conlin (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Linda Hestenes

Abstract: For refugee families, connections between the home and school may function beyond their children’s social and academic success and further allow parents to be involved in their children’s education in the face of cultural and linguistic barriers. However, there are few strategies for refugee parents and teachers to navigate the potential linguistic, cultural, and economic barriers in forming strong communication pathways, and this is especially true for parents and educators supporting preschool aged children. This study utilized Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological theory and aimed to: a) understand the baseline communication processes occurring between refugee parents and their children’s early childhood teacher; b) explore potential person characteristics and contextual influences that act as barriers and impede communication; c) explore potential person characteristics and contextual influences that act as supports and facilitate communication; and d) investigate the suggested strategies from participating refugee families and the educators supporting them. Participants included ten refugee parents and two preschool teachers. Data were gathered using naturalistic observations and semi-structured interviews with both parents and teachers. Results indicated that unique person characteristics and contextual factors influenced how communication took place and what was communicated about. Findings highlighted the variance among the parents and teachers in communicating due to the complexity of interacting characteristics and contexts. Both parents and teachers proposed strategies to support future communication processes and implications and future directions for research are discussed.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2019
Bioecological Framework, Early Childhood Education, Refugee Parent-Teacher Communication, Refugees
Parent-teacher relationships
Intercultural communication in education
Refugee children $x Education (Early childhood)
Early childhood education $x Parent participation

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