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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/33953

Title: Negotiating Two Worlds: A Cross-cultural Narrative of Chinese Immigrant Parents' Encounter with Canadian Schooling
Authors: Chi, Xiaohong
Advisor: Wallace, John
Department: Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
Keywords: curriculum studies and teacher development
cross-cultural studies
Issue Date: 10-Dec-2012
Abstract: From 1998- 2009, mainland China has been the number one source of immigrants in Canada (Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 2011). For newcomer families, adjusting to the local school is a major concern, since their children’s education is a crucial factor in families’ immigration decision. In my research, I examined Chinese immigrant parents’ experience with Canadian schooling. The study focuses on four families living in the Greater Toronto area, who have immigrated from mainland China. I employed narrative inquiry to tell the stories of the lived experience of the four families in my study. The data for these stories are mainly drawn from field notes of each of my home visits and my interviews with the family members over a six month period. I found that the challenges and difficulties the immigrant parents face are deeply rooted in the differences between Chinese and Canadian cultures and social systems. The discussion on the features of Chinese culture in its comparison with Western culture provides a reference point for understanding the Chinese immigrant parents’ values and opinions on such matters as schooling, moral education, and parenting practice. Parental involvement in schools is different between China and Canada, and the parents, and school teachers and administrators have different understanding on this issue. What’s more, the language barrier impeded the parents’ involvement in their children’s school life. The acculturation gap between the parents and their children is another major reason for miscommunication over such issues as extracurricular activities, choice of university major, and future career. The less heard voice of immigrant parents will open new venues for the understanding of cross-cultural experiences of immigrant students. I find that instead of mainly using the traditional Chinese practice and Chinese educational values in approaching their children’s education, it is important for Chinese immigrant parents to make efforts to familiarize themselves with the ideas and values that their children are exposed to in the new environment.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/33953
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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