n South African Journal of Education - Understanding the dynamics of parent involvement in schooling within the poverty context




A qualitative study was undertaken to understand the realities and dynamics facing parents when attempting to be involved in their child's schooling. The focus was on parents in an extreme poverty context in Cape Town, South Africa. Results indicated that mainstream schools themselves pose barriers for both children and parents in the schooling system. Furthermore, results highlighted the central role that schools can play in increasing the degree of parental support, as well as ways in which to understand the support needed by these parents. The stress on parents and their relationships with their children, as a result of pressures placed on them by the schooling system, are also illustrated, because the realities of these communities are seldom considered by school staff.


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