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Parental involvement: Irish travellers and early years education
Boyle, Anne; Hanafin, Joan; Flynn, Marie
This paper explores Traveller parents’ involvement in Traveller preschools in Ireland. Travellers are a distinct cultural group who have experienced educational disadvantage. Against a backdrop of changing policy paradigms, Traveller preschools were established in the 1970s as a compensatory educational intervention. The study methodology was mainly qualitative, drawing on interpretivism, social constructivism and critical theory. Methods included document analysis, focus group and individual interviews, and a questionnaire survey. From a thematic analysis of the data, three overlapping themes emerged about Traveller parents' involvement in schools: how school culture facilitates parental involvement; parents’ direct involvement in preschools; and parents' home-based activities supporting children's education and development. Travellers were extensively involved in various ways except formal decision making. Traveller preschools were experienced as protected enclaves where parents felt welcome and accepted, and involved on an individual and familial level. This research highlights the importance of engaging in respectful ways with Traveller parents and acknowledging their educational involvement.
Keyword(s): travellers; Ireland; parents; early years education; qualitative research; ethnicity
Publication Date:
Type: Journal article
Peer-Reviewed: Yes
Language(s): English
Institution: University of Limerick
Citation(s): Encounters in Theory and History of Education;19, pp. 186-204
Publisher(s): Queen's University
First Indexed: 2019-01-31 06:26:10 Last Updated: 2019-02-01 06:26:34