A BOOK READING WORKSHOP IN A TRANSITIONAL HOME: PARENTAL EXPERIENCES, SELF-EFFICACY, AND PRACTICES WHEN TAUGHT CODES OF THE CULTURE OF POWER
Crassas, Maria Elliker
Afflerbach, Peter P
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In this case study, I explored parents' experiences, self-efficacy, and practices in supporting their children as readers. These factors were explored while parents who were homeless attended a book-reading workshop in a transitional home, in which the primary focus was mainstream book-reading practices, which I refer to as "codes." To examine parental experiences, self-efficacy, and practices, I collected data over a ten week period of time, through interviews, observations of workshop sessions, focus groups, unscheduled meetings, and a post-workshop survey. Participants included five parents and their nine children. For additional data, I also interviewed and held a focus group for staff members who worked closely with the participating families after the workshop had concluded. In examining parental experiences, I found that relationships and interactions, including those with the workshop implementer/researcher, other parents, and children were crucial in contributing to a positive experience. Additionally, parents and children were enthusiastic during the workshop about reading and about new vocabulary. However, parents also encountered many challenges in supporting their children as readers, which contributed negatively to experiences. In regard to parental self-efficacy, parents demonstrated their self-efficacy through reporting their own or their children's reading skills, their comfort level in reading with their children, their current practices, and their knowledge of supportive practices. Parents also strengthened their self-efficacy through positive feedback from their children, each other, and the researcher/implementer. Negative factors toward self-efficacy included a perceived lack of reading skills and a lack of time and energy. In regard to practices, parents already valued mainstream reading "codes" and were open to learning more about mainstream practices. Social, school-related, and economic factors were also found to influence parental experiences, self-efficacy, and practices. Context was found to greatly influence power dynamics as well as self-efficacy. Implications for practice and research include a continued focus on building relationships between parents and educators, a continued focus on self-efficacy and agency, a focus on the role of siblings, and a need to continue programs that instruct mainstream "codes," while also highlighting and building on parents' current supportive practices.