Parental engagement is widely acknowledged in the literature as having the potential to significantly enhance children’s educational outcomes. This has resulted in its prominence in school reform policies across various Western countries in the last decades. However, a noticeable research gap exists regarding parental engagement patterns for marginalized communities, particularly migrant groups. Addressing this gap, the present study focuses on parental engagement among migrant parents. Specifically, this study examines the parental engagement of firstgeneration migrants in the P. Oosterlee school in Moerwijk and investigates the sociocultural factors that influence their participation, including language and (cultural) literacy, work situations, school attitudes towards parents, household situations, and different approaches towards parental engagement. Through a series of insightful focus groups involving 11 mothers and subsequent individual follow-up interviews, this research reveals the significant impact of sociocultural factors on various aspects of parental engagement, both positively and negatively. Home-based engagement remained largely unaffected, while parent-school communication encountered challenges. Additionally, parental expectations regarding their children’s education were found to be positively influenced by the studied factors, but sociocultural factors posed barriers to parental involvements in school activities. The findings of this study provide valuable insights into the intricate dynamics of immigrant integration and participation within school settings. The study highlights the disadvantages faced by migrant parents in engaging in the education of their children while emphasizing the diverse interpretations of parental engagement. By building upon these insights, it becomes possible to foster an inclusive educational environment that fully harnesses the potential of parents, teachers, and students, thereby enhancing the educational experience.

Dr. Mark van Ostaijen, Dr. Asya Pisarevskaya
Public Administration
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Paula Medina Agromayor. (2023, August 9). Navigating the socio-cultural context of firstgeneration migrant parents: a case study of parental engagement in Moerwijk. Public Administration. Retrieved from