1 Department of Education - Learning, Danish School of Education, Arts, Aarhus University2 Danish School of Education - Pædagogisk Psykologi, Emdrup, Danish School of Education, Arts, Aarhus University3 Danish School of Education - Pædagogisk Psykologi, Emdrup, Danish School of Education, Arts, Aarhus University
A main goal in Denmark is to encourage parents to take responsibility for their child’s schooling. With parents considered as a cornerstone in their child’s successful school achievements, focus on the partnership between school and home has increased. The partnership between first and second generation (im)migrant parents and the school has proved particularly difficult. According to school teachers, cultural differences, socio-economic problems combined with (im)migrants’ uncertainty and feelings of powerlessness as to the upbringing of their child/children in a new cultural setting constitute major obstacles. The role and the responsibility of the school teachers are therefore to assist the parents in enabling their child to balance between different values and norms within the Danish society, the family and the school. While the perspectives of the professionals are well-known, (im)migrants’ perspectives are not well researched and understood. Based on theories from social and cultural psychology and drawing on my research on (im)migrant parents’ experience with the Danish school system, this paper discusses these parents’ views on the parenting culture promoted by the Danish state and the school system. Focus is on the following issues: Which expectations to parents and school teachers are created through the school/home partnership? Do (im)migrant parents agree/disagree with the views of the professionals? How do parents and school teachers regard their tasks and which dilemmas do they see? Are prevailing discourses on parental roles as well as the increasing reliance on (Danish) scientific discourses in child-rearing acceptable? The ultimate aim of my research is to provide new insights into how the new parenting culture affects (im)migrant parents' views and behaviors as well as school/parents relations.