Cultural Barriers In Rural Schools

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Increasing parent participation in high poverty, rural school districts is a challenge for administrators and teachers. During the interview process, administrators, teachers, and parents recognize and understand that multiple barriers exist which hinder or prevent parent involvement of parents in the education of their children. The most prevalent barriers in the district established by the interview participants include psychological, cultural, educational, and work barriers. Each barrier presents its own challenge to the district, therefore parent involvement is minimized and ultimately affects academic achievement. Psychological barriers. Barriers inhibiting parent involvement are created by parents because of their feelings of inadequacy, …show more content…
Another barrier identified within the school district, specifically by teachers, is that in dealing with cultural values and family situations. Many of the students served in the district come from non-traditional homes. Additionally, the district serves students that are from various backgrounds, all of which may bring differing norms and cultures, Such differences often bring poor communication between the school district and families, which in turn may create conflicts, disruptive behaviors, and lack of involvement. During the interview process, participants referred to cultural barriers that inhibits parental involvement within the district. The most common perception mentioned among teachers and administrators during the interview process was the mindset among parents that school is not important nor is it priority in the home. Staff members often referred to students and families appearing to be complacent and doing just enough to get by. High school teacher EM stated “One of the things I’ve noticed in the community and the school is the lack of initiative and wanting to learn.” Tenth grade parent MG specifically referenced cultural barriers during his interview responses and stated “The biggest struggle the school faces are cultural barriers. It’s a complacency and students becoming a product of their environment because of what has been taught in the home for multiple …show more content…
Parents in the district have many responsibilities coupled with time restraints and economical limitations often feel like they have choices to make between working and school events and activities. A common theme among parents and teachers was connected to work barriers. The interview presented economical challenges parents are faced with in the district as a major downfall in the oil and gas industry, which happens to be a major employer in the region. Parents and teachers responded that parents are having to work long hours and lower paying jobs while some parents in the district are having to work multiple, low paying jobs to make ends meet and sustain the family household. Another challenge in the district is limited employment opportunities as a result of the parents’ criminal background history. Middle school teacher CS stated “We have so many of our parents with criminal records”, therefore their employment opportunities are stifled while being forced to work low paying jobs that may require them to travel out of state. Middle school parent AS stated “My job creates a barrier in becoming involved. I manage a store and some weeks I work 45 hours and other weeks I work 60 hours. The schedule I maintain prevents me from being involved.” Feedback from the interviews also provided that parents are more difficult to contact because of working long hours in low paying jobs to support their

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