Academic journal article International Journal of Multicultural Education

Positioning of Korean Immigrant Mothers of Children with Disabilities

Academic journal article International Journal of Multicultural Education

Positioning of Korean Immigrant Mothers of Children with Disabilities

Article excerpt

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Immigrant Parents' Experiences

Korean Immigrant Mothers of Children with Disabilities

Positioning Theory

Methods

Findings

Discussion

Limitation and Implication

References

Author Contact

For children with disabilities, the quality of parenting is a critical factor for the children's academic success and independent living. It is reported that mothers who take care of their children with disabilities often find it difficult to cope with stress and feelings of being overwhelmed because of their parental roles and responsibilities (Dabrowska & Pisula, 2010; Johnson, 2000). In particular, mothers from different cultural and social backgrounds may have different attitudes about their children's education. Immigrant parents' perceptions of children's school performance vary depending on cultural traditions and values (Ogbu, 1987; Goldenberg, Gallimore, Reese, Garnier, 2001; Yamamoto & Holloway, 2010). The family history of immigrants and their home cultures affect how immigrant parents engage in the education of their children (Lopez, 2001). Immigrant parents draw upon repertoires of life experiences and cultural capital to actively engage in their children's education while positioning themselves in different ways as helper, questioner, learner, listener, and advocate (Carreon, Drake, Barton, 2005). In this paper, we explore how immigrant mothers from Korea take up their roles to position themselves while they engage in their children's education across a wide range of settings--academic, social, and linguistic.

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Immigrant Parents' Experiences

Cultural factors are operative in social structures that influence immigrant parents' aspirations and expectations of their children's school performance. For example, Latino immigrant parents have been shown to hope for their children's academic success (Ryan, Casas, Kelly-Vance, Ryalls, & Nero, 2010), but their expectations for their children's performance become less stable when they experience discrimination and inequality in schools (Goldenberg et al., 2001). Interestingly, Goldenberg et al. (2001) found that Latino immigrant parents considered educational attainments as opportunities to secure personal development and satisfaction (e.g., feeling sure of oneself) and future happiness of their child's life (e.g., making more money and getting a good job) based on their cultural expectations.

Similarly, Asian immigrant parents draw on their distinctive cultural and ethnic backgrounds for their parenting practices and attitudes toward their children's academic ability and school success. Cultural variations such as cultural characteristics and social class background influence Asian immigrant parents' socialization and parental perceptions, attitudes, and values regarding their children's education and school (Chao, 1996; Li, 2006, 2010; Zhang, Ollila, & Harvey, 1998). Based on their cultural expectations, Asian parents negotiate the concept of schooling for their children's academic success while experiencing different cultural and educational ideologies from parents raised in the United States.

Trainor (2010) affirmed that cultural background plays an important role in shaping parents' perceptions of their children's education and learning and that parents' cultural backgrounds, including personal experiences and history of school performance, influence the way they advocate for their children's education. Moreover, immigrant parents understand and make sense of special education based on their own cultural and school experiences (e.g., getting an education, specific skills, self-esteem, self-actualization, employment, and social relations). Due to their different ways of dealing with children with disabilities, culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) parents are often treated as unprofessional or passive regarding the education of their children with disabilities (Geenen, Powers, Lopez-Vasquez, & Bersani, 2003; Jung, 2011; Kim & Morningstar, 2005). …

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