Educational Needs of a Growing Community: A Multiple-Case Study of Three Islamic Schools
Haq, Batool A.
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While research on parent expectations and influence in public, charter, and private parochial schools is abundant, little existing research addresses parent expectations of and their influence in private Islamic (PI) schools and the ways in which these school respond to parent influence. This qualitative multiple-case study examined parent expectations of and influence in PI schools, and school response to parent influence guided by critical multicultural and social exchange theories. The data collected included interviews, observations, and document. The findings of the study indicated that when parent expectations were not met, they exerted their influence to bring about change. The schools responded by either accommodating or disregarding the influence. The main expectation of American-Muslim parents from PI schools was the provision of an Islamic and safe environment consistent with their belief system. Additionally, their topmost expectation was high quality academics. The parents utilized different channels to exert influence in the school. Parent expectations and influence were shaped by their education, cultural, SES, and ethnicity status. While the schools encouraged parent involvement as a helping hand in the school, they strongly resisted parent influence in school decision-making and tailored their responses to parents based on their education, cultural, and SES status.