"Una buena educacion": A study of parental values, beliefs, and aspirations in a dual-language school

Olga Gloria Rubio, University of Pennsylvania


This is a case study of Puerto Rican parents whose children attend an enrichment bilingual-bicultural program in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 19 participants in the study were interviewed and observed at the school and, when possible, in their homes. Four of the participants were also observed in a more intensive way. This study shows that the parents viewed bilingualism as an additive trait and believed that it had an important function and cultural value in their lives. Additionally, the study uncovered a unique concept of volunteering in the school, whereby volunteering led to part-time employment in the school. The model of volunteerism was constructed by the parents in conjunction with a parent-friendly principal and parent coordinators. A third major finding of the study relates to parents' aspirations for their children. Parents showed a wide range of aspirations for their children. This study builds on theories of resistance and the funds-of-knowledge literature. It is suggested that the role of ethnicity is an important variable in the interpretation of acts of resistance, such as self-affirmation and cultural maintenance, against hegemonic practices. Parents value schools and have high expectations for their children. The study asks four major questions: (1) What do the parents in the study think of schools and bilingualism? (2) What role do schools play in their lives? (3) How do parents construct relationships with the school? (4) What are the aspirations of the parents and under what ecological conditions are these constructed?

Subject Area

Bilingual education|Multicultural education|Minority & ethnic groups|Sociology

Recommended Citation

Rubio, Olga Gloria, ""Una buena educacion": A study of parental values, beliefs, and aspirations in a dual-language school" (1994). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9427609.