|dc.description.abstract||Just over one in 10 primary school age children in Ireland are first-generation immigrants (Department of Education and Skills [DES] 2018a). An even larger number of Irish primary school pupils have at least one immigrant parent (DES 2018; Central Statistics Office 2017). However, surprisingly little is known about the experiences of these “new Irish” parents (Roder et al. 2014, p.15) as they navigate the Irish primary school system. In extending the work of Cotter and Kolawole (2015) and Martin et al. (2018), this small-scale study employed semi-structured interviews to explore the lived realities of a small ethnically diverse group of immigrant parents. Some key people, including migrant rights advocates and ethnic minority community representatives, also shared their perspectives.
This study used Bourdieu’s theoretical framework to understand how immigrant parents learn how to “do school” in Ireland (Hickes 2002, p.217). An examination of the personal narratives provided some insight into how immigrant parents view and enact their role in their children's education. The qualitative findings also reveal the value which immigrant parents place on education and the high aspirations they hold for their children. Several obstacles to immigrant parent involvement were also identified. The results may help provide a better understanding of how immigrant parent-school partnerships can be supported in the Irish primary school context.
Key words: immigrant parents; parent-school relationships; parental involvement; ethnic capital||en_US