Original Research - Special Collection: Interrogating Coloniality in South African Primary Schools

Reimagining a framework for parent involvement in South Africa: Preparing preservice teachers

Carmelita Jacobs
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 14, No 1 | a1431 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v14i1.1431 | © 2024 Carmelita Jacobs | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 September 2023 | Published: 30 May 2024

About the author(s)

Carmelita Jacobs, Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa


Background: School-family engagement significantly influences educational outcomes, yet South African teachers notice limited involvement from parents, particularly in impoverished communities. Teacher education can play a significant role in preparing teachers to work with parents and communities.

Aim: This article promotes Community Cultural Wealth theory as a community-based approach to educational support that contrasts with the conventional view of parent involvement, which often overlooks collectivist African cultures.

Setting: Teacher education in South African tertiary institutions.

Methods: Drawing from a decade of literature, this conceptual study utilised EBSCOhost, and Google Scholar databases, as well as reference mining to select peer-reviewed English articles relevant to teacher preparation for school -family partnerships.

Results: The analysis highlights how the concept of parent involvement should be decolonised and reimagined through the lens of Community Cultural Wealth and offers examples from the Global South and pedagogical tools for teacher education.

Conclusion: This article makes the assertion that as long as poverty remains unaddressed, the perception of the uninvolved parent will endure as a consequence of systemic economic challenges. However, by embracing the framework suggested in this article, teacher educators can equip preservice teachers with the skills and perspectives necessary to foster meaningful collaboration with families and communities. The article concludes by highlighting the transformative potential of Community Cultural Wealth theory in promoting equitable and inclusive educational practices.

Contribution: This study underscores the importance of cultivating a holistic understanding of family engagement among preservice teachers and challenges the classification of impoverished families as ‘uninvolved,’ advocating for a broader examination of their assets beyond traditional metrics.


preservice teachers; parent involvement; community cultural wealth theory; community model of educational support; family engagement.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 4: Quality education


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