Secondary Teachers’ Family Engagement Practices Targeting Academic Achievement for Hispanic Students

Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




John Harrison


Teachers’ engagement practices with Hispanic families are contributing to the continuing disparities in academic achievement between Hispanic and other students. The purpose of this basic qualitative study was to explore secondary teachers’ perceptions about the challenges of building engagement with Hispanic families. The conceptual framework guiding the study included Epstein’s theory of overlapping spheres of influence and Yosso’s theory of cultural wealth, which together provided an ecological-social and critical race framework to ground the study’s problem, purpose, and methodology. The key research questions revolved around participants’ perceptions of (a) challenges in Hispanic family engagement, (b) family engagement practices improving student performance, and (c) family engagement practices demonstrating the activation of Hispanic families’ cultural wealth or the overlap between spheres of influence in Hispanic students’ lives. Purposive sampling was used to recruit 15 secondary level general education teachers from a medium-sized urban school district in the Northeastern United States who participated in audio recorded semistructured interviews on the virtual Zoom platform. Braun and Clarke’s 6-phase thematic analysis was used to guide the inductive thematic analysis of interview transcripts. The three final themes prevalent in the findings and that addressed the study’s three research questions were obstacles in engaging Hispanic families, inconsistent and isolated family engagement practices, and teachers as experts and value setters. A potential positive social change implication is that the study may inform teacher-parent engagement practices found to be effective in improving Hispanic student performance in the areas of academics and social-emotional functioning.

This item is not available through Walden resources