Caribbean immigrant parents' cultural perspectives on preparing their children for kindergarten
ABSTRACT SUZAN A SOUTH CARIBBEAN IMMIGRANT PARENTS’ CULTURAL PERSPECTIVES ON PREPARING THEIR CHILDREN FOR KINDERGARTEN DECEMBER 2020 Early learning and transition into kindergarten are paramount to children’s development. Parent involvement also plays a crucial role in the experience. Parents being the first teachers for their children, develop and acquire expectations essential to developmental domains, and education. A transcendental phenomenological study explored Caribbean immigrant parents’ cultural perspectives on preparing their children for kindergarten. Parents shared experiences that reflected their prior and current knowledge about preparation process, learning, and the school system in general. The experiences created a balance in the changes and transitions that occurred during the preparation. The study focused on understanding and describing cultural perspectives critical to Caribbean immigrant parents’ lived experiences in the United States. Data collected through in-depth interviews captured parents’ experiences. Data analysis used the four steps of philosophical phenomenological method (a) Epoche, (b) Phenomenology Reduction, (c) Imaginative Variation, and (d) Synthesis. Four major themes emerged from the participant’s representation of their cultural perspectives. The four themes include: (a) balancing expectations, (b) developing relationships, (c) investing in your child’s education, and (d) creating lifelong critical thinkers. These findings demonstrate that parents’ cultural differences, values, and perspectives play a crucial role in preparing, developing, and promoting children’s early learning. Overall, being knowledgeable about Caribbean immigrant parents’ preparation process is instrumental in shaping future research in this area.