The Korean Journal of Human Development

pISSN : 1226-4474

Multicultural Mothers’ Experiences of Participation in Their Children’s Elementary Schools

AUTHOR : 최혜영,이강이,이재림,이수현

INFORMATION : page. 159~181 / 2017 Vol.24 No.1


The purpose of this study was to explore multicultural mothers’ experiences regarding school participation. The data came from five focus group interviews with 5 multicultural mothers and 16 elementary school teachers and supporting professionals. Our analysis revealed that the multicultural mothers were ambivalent about school participation, and they acknowledged having both a positive influence on their child (e.g. being proud) and a negative one (e.g., feeling uncomfortable). They did not like the current approach that segregates multicultural families at school. They communicated with teachers in various ways and expected proactive support from the school system. The difficulties these mothers experienced regarding school participation originated from the different cultures and school systems between their countries of origin and Korea. The teachers and professionals said that multicultural mothers have difficulties in participating in school due to the lack of other family members’ support and cultural differences. They emphasized a strengths-based approach to promote multicultural mothers’ participation in school. Our findings suggest the importance of schools’ proactive support and user-friendly materials that are specific and easy to understand. This study contributes to the literature by listening to the voices of multiple stakeholders and discussing practical implications to better understand and enhance school participation among mothers in multicultural families.

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