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Children Crossing Borders 

Immigrant Parent and Teacher Perspectives on Preschool for Children of Immigrants

By Joseph Tobin, Jennifer Keys Adair and Angela Arzubiaga

Publication Year: 2013

In many school districts in America, the majority of students in preschools are children of recent immigrants. For both immigrant families and educators, the changing composition of preschool classes presents new and sometimes divisive questions about educational instruction, cultural norms and academic priorities. Drawing from an innovative study of preschools across the nation, Children Crossing Borders provides the first systematic comparison of the beliefs and perspectives of immigrant parents and the preschool teachers to whom they entrust their children.

Published by: Russell Sage Foundation

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi


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pp. vii-viii

About the Authors

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pp. ix-x

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Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiv

“Children Crossing Borders” began as an idea for a collaborative international research project in 2002 when my French colleagues, Gilles Brougère and Sylvia Rayna, and I decided to do a comparative international study of approaches to early childhood and care among countries in Europe. ...

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Chapter 1. Introduction

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pp. 1-19

At the conclusion of a discussion we ran with a group of nine Mexican mothers at a Head Start program on New York’s Upper West Side, we asked if there was anything they wanted us to communicate to their children’s teachers. One mother replied: “Ask them, ‘Would it kill you to teach my child to write her name before she enters kindergarten?’” ...

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Chapter 2. Community Contexts and Research Methods

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pp. 20-34

In the United States, as of 2010, there were 8.7 million children under age eight with at least one foreign-born parent, a number that had doubled since 1990 (Fortuny, Hernandez, and Chaudry 2010). Immigrant families from Mexico, South America, and Central America make up 63 percent of the total immigrant population ...

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Chapter 3. Curriculum

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pp. 35-58

Many of the immigrant parents in our focus groups expressed appreciation for the quality of the toys and play opportunities available to their children in a U.S. preschool, some noting that the early childhood education settings in their home country often lacked such resources. ...

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Chapter 4. Language

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pp. 59-78

Of all the topics discussed in our interviews with parents and teachers, language was the one that produced the most comments. In focus group after focus group, immigrant parents told us that they were anxious for their children to learn English, but at the same time they worried about their children growing up losing fluency in their home language. ...

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Chapter 5. Identity

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pp. 79-116

Immigrant parents brought to discussions of identity a sense of idealism mixed with a pragmatism that reflected their assessment of the opportunities and constraints of the communities in which they had settled. Across our research sites, immigrant parents told us they want their children to become Americans, but also to maintain ties to their cultural roots. ...

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Chapter 6. Facilitating Dialogue

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pp. 117-128

As the focus group stage of our project drew to a close, we returned to Riverdale, Iowa, for a follow-up session with a mixed group of teachers and immigrant parents. Up to this point in the project, all of our focus group discussions had been with parents or teachers. ...


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pp. 129-140


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pp. 141-148

E-ISBN-13: 9781610448079
Print-ISBN-13: 9780871547996

Page Count: 162
Publication Year: 2013