Date of Conferral


Date of Award







Amie A. Beckett


Although home-school partnerships support Kindergarten children's development of vocabulary, the alphabetic principle, and phonological awareness, the mechanisms through which these partnerships are established and facilitated with immigrant parents from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds are largely unknown. Therefore, the major research questions that guided this qualitative, grounded theory study focused on exploring how successful Kindergarten teachers defined home-school partnerships with parents, the strategies the teachers used to communicate with parents, the ways these teachers reached out to parents to create and sustain partnerships, and how the teachers used these partnerships to support children's learning. Vygotsky's sociocultural theory served as the conceptual framework because it supports the critical role that parents play in children's learning and development. To collect the data, the experiences and perceptions of 12 Kindergarten teachers obtained from the Toronto District School Board were elicited through in-depth, semistructured interviews using open-ended questions. I also examined documents used to communicate with parents. Following the guidelines of grounded theory methodology, the data analysis involved open, axial, and selective coding. The results indicated that before Kindergarten teachers can create and sustain home-school partnerships, the teachers must embrace diversity and adopt appropriate practices that enable all parents to become involved. Given that the ability to read is paramount to children's academic success, this study leads to positive social change by providing Kindergarten teachers with a model that they can use to establish and facilitate home-school partnerships with immigrant parents from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds to support children's development of early reading skills.