Lopez, Scribner and Mahitivanichcha (2001) discuss the limited volume of
literature that directly addresses ethnic minority parents' involvement in their children's
education and they call upon researchers to fill this gap in the literature. This study is one
such positive step with its focus on exploring how ethnic minority parents of secondary
school students in southern Ontario understand their involvement in their children's
education. Participants in the study included three ethnic minority parents recruited from
a local adult education centre, and my parents who, as ethnics minority parents, also
faced challenges trying to support their children as we progressed through the Ontario
educational system. Primary data were collected through in-depth, open-ended interviews
approximately one hour in length. Each of the five participants was interviewed twice.
Secondary data included Ontario Ministry of Education documents that addressed
programs, policies, and supports for ethnic minority students in Ontario secondary
schools. Fieldnotes and a research journal also provided secondary data.
The findings highlight, among other things, the challenges the participants faced
as ethnic minority parents with a deep desire to support their children's education, but
often lacking the cultural capital valued in the Ontario school system to meet that goal.
As well, I benefited greatly from this research learning about the various ways in which,
in my future work as a teacher of ethnic minority students, I can integrate the knowledge,
skills, and experiences of ethnic minorities into my practice to ensure that parents of the
non-dominant culture have an opportunity to become highly involved in the education of
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