This presentation is based on my research completed via the Masters of Education program. I have combined research with my own experiences as an Ojibway child, mother and finally my experiences as a teacher.
Parent Engagement in First Nation Schools: An Ethnography
First Nation schools
Inside of Teepee. Photography by Fay Zoccole, 2013.
• My own stories
• Definition and benefits of Parent
• First Nation students: What’s it like
• Barriers that impede Parent
• Two Popular Theories: Which theory
Veronica Davis. Photograph by Mike Davis. 1978.
My own story
Rene Meshake. Photographed by Joan Meshake, 2012.
• Involvement: Parents support
their children through
communication with teacher
and support for their child.
• Engagement: Parents that are
fully engaged and actively
participate in school-sponsored
activities or help their children
in ways visible to their children
Involvement & Engagement
• Education gaps
• No special education
supports and services
Zoccole kids in Weagamow. Photograph by Fay Zoccole, 2007.
First Nations students:
What’s it like?
A safe place to learn
To know there culture
Library with lots of books
Role models from their
What do students
• They want their children to
• Access to resources for
special needs children.
• They want their children to
develop their own talents.
Zoccole kids and me. Photograph by Fay Zoccole, 2006.
What do parents want?
• Parents to be involved
• Supports for students with special
• Professional development: How to
work with First Nation families?
• Learn about community protocols
What do teachers want?
• Residential school experience
• Teacher’s negative
• Heavy use of professional
• Meetings not planning around
needs of parent/families
• Clash of cultures
Teepee in Marten Falls. Photograph by Fay Zoccole, 2012.
Barriers that impede
• Classrooms and hallways
• Parents are recognized as
• Supportive and utilizing of
• Parents, elders and senior
students are part of staff
• First Nation teachers
Learning literacy by utilizing the medicine wheel. Photograph by Fay Zoccole, 2011.
What does a school that nurtures
relations with First Nation parents
Epstein’s Parental Involvement Framework
Learning at home
Which theory works best?
• Parents are not partners in the
• Parents are positioned in
Criticism: What’s wrong
with this theory?
Parental Education Programs
Parent Involvement & Parent Participant
School. Clip Art Pictures. Retrieved from : www.embroyoniccjourney.blogspot,com.
Theory 2: Kellaghan, Sloane,
Alvarez & Bloom
Teacher needs to work with parents to reach students.
View parents as equal partners in their child’s education.
The school serves the families.
Focus on the strengths of students and community.
Assembly of First Nations. (2012). The National Panal on First Nation Elementary and Secondary Educationn for Students on
Balli, S. J. (1996, Winter). Family Diversity and the Nature of Parent Invovlement. Education Forum, 60(131725), 1-6.
Beader, A. (2010, February). Stepping Into Students' Worlds. Educational Leadership, pp. 56-60.
Becker, J. M. (2011). A five-year Follow-Up: Teachers' Perceptions of the Benefits of Home Visits for Early Elementary Children.
Early Childhood Education, 191-196.
Bower, J. &. (2011). Can the Epstein Model of Parental Involvment Work in a High-Minority, High-Poverty Elementary School? A
Case Study. ASCA Professional School Counseling, 77-87.
Bryan, J. &. (2008, December). Strengths-Based Partnerships: A School-Family-Community Partnership Appraoch to Empowering
Students. ASCA, pp. 149-156.
Cairney, T. (2000). Beyond the Classroom Walls: the rediscovery of family and community as parents in education. Educational
Review, 52(2), 163-174.
Epstein, J. & Sanders, M. (2006). Prospects for Change: Preparing Educators for School, Family and Community Partnerships.
Peabody Journal of Education, 81(2), 81-120.
Kellaghan, T., Sloane, K., Bloom, B., & Alcarez, B. (1993). The home environment and school learning. San Francisco, CA: