Strategies for Collaboration Between School and Parents: Homework in General and Translanguaging Homework in Particular
The purpose of this case study is to examine if and how working with homework in general and translanguaging homework (TLH) in particular can support collaboration between home and school. Our aim is also to find out if TLH provides the ground for teachers and parents of migrant background to feel and act as epistemic subjects, i.e., as participants whose knowledge is given credibility. Prior research has shown the importance of collaboration between home and school. However, for migrant parents, collaboration has often proved to be problematic and unequal, due to for example language barriers. Research has shown that translanguaging bridges such problems. How the implementation of translanguaging is appreciated by parents and teachers has scarcely been researched. Neither has collaboration through TLH been studied regarding how they perceive each other as epistemic subjects. In this study, thematic content analysis has been applied on interview data with parents and teachers. The epistemic (in)justice framework has then been used to discuss the found themes in their answers. The findings show that teachers’ and parents’ perceptions of working with TLH differs. Some parents perceive that TLH enhances their chances to collaborate with school as epistemic subjects. Conversely, TLH may obscure other parents’ possibilities to collaborate, thus creating epistemic injustice. Lastly, TLH might be ignored altogether by some parents, thus neither enhancing collaboration nor creating epistemic justice. Concludingly, in order for TLH to work, reciprocal sensitive listening to each other, from both the teachers’ and the parents’ side, is important, and teachers need to be aware of the students’ family situation regarding their language choices and language use.
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