Original Research

Initiating a different story about immigrant Somali parents’ support of their primary school children’s education

Doria Daniels
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 7, No 1 | a461 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v7i1.461 | © 2017 Doria Daniels | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 May 2016 | Published: 10 August 2017

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Doria Daniels, Department of Educational Psychology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

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The ability of parents to nurture and support their children during their primary school years is considered to be fundamental for the child’s development and learning. Teachers and educational psychologists assign great prominence to parental involvement as a tool to advance educational success for children, especially for those who are faced with disadvantages. In the past two decades, we have seen South African schools radically shifting from being racially and ethnically homogenous to becoming culturally, ethnically and linguistically heterogeneous. It is especially the schools in the lower socioeconomic areas that find themselves under tremendous pressure to serve their growing immigrant school population. Not enough is known about the cultural capital that lies embedded in these learners’ home contexts and the roles that their parents play in their education. In this manuscript, I investigate the potential intersectionality of school and home and critique the affiliation between teachers and immigrant parents as an important dimension of learning success in the primary school. I situate the discussion in a community school with a strong Somali immigrant population.


immigrant learner; Somali; parent support


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