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Shifting Boundaries in Home and School Responsibilities: The Construction of Home-Based Literacy Portfolios by Immigrant Parents and Their Children

Jeanne R. Paratore, Anne Homza, Barbara Krol-Sinclair, Trinidad Lewis-Barrow, Gigliana Melzi, Robin Stergis and Hannah Haynes
Research in the Teaching of English
Vol. 29, No. 4 (Dec., 1995), pp. 367-389
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40171256
Page Count: 23
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Shifting Boundaries in Home and School Responsibilities: The Construction of Home-Based Literacy Portfolios by Immigrant Parents and Their Children
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Abstract

There is consensus that parents play an important role in children's learning, but many questions remain about how to establish a collaborative relationship between parents and teachers. With a sample of four families, this study examined the nature of parent-teacher interactions when discussions and conferences were centered around artifacts of children's literacy learning in both home and school contexts. Results suggest that the creation of home portfolios may provide a starting point for teachers and parents to discuss children's developing literacy. As teachers and parents addressed the artifacts that children completed at home and at school, they each began to see the connections between home and school. Teachers saw how children practiced school literacy outside school, and as well, how they practiced literacy behaviors that had not yet been addressed in school. Parents used the explicit examples to formulate questions that had been troubling them about particular assignments or about specific practices they had observed. Researchers concluded that the process has the potential to affirm parents' awareness and knowledge of their children's learning, thereby including them as valuable informants in assessing children's performance and progress. In addition, it has the potential to inform teachers about the ways parents and children engage in literacy, and to suggest ways to link events in school to routine events at home.

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