A qualitative phenomenological study of Hispanic parent perspectives on school readiness

Lee Kirkpatrick, Tennessee State University


This study sought to discover the essence and lived experiences of six Hispanic immigrant families as they prepare their children for entrance into Kindergarten in a Tennessee public school district. Data collection occurred in the form of semi-structured interviews with parents during the spring semester of 2016 in a Middle Tennessee public school district. The research questions are: a) From a Hispanic parent’s perspective, what are the most important factors that impact the school readiness of your child? b) What are significant obstacles faced by parents when considering the school readiness levels of their child entering Kindergarten? c) From a parents’ perspective, what school and community support would assist Hispanic families as they strive to prepare their child for a successful transition from home-to-school? Interview transcripts were coded to identify emerging themes. The themes were evaluated to determine connections with the research questions, identified literature and the conceptual framework. Four findings emerged from participant interviews: (a) The sense of a strong familial bond characterized by attitudes and actions that demonstrate a supportive and encouraging environment is conducive to early gains in school preparedness; (b) Parent concerns about their personal levels of educational attainment and the resultant economic limitations they faced attributed to an early exit from schooling; (c) Parent experiences indicated that a lack of English language proficiency significantly impacted their ability to do what they instinctively knew would better prepare their children for successful entrance into Kindergarten and (d) When limited levels of English proficiency existed for parents, they believed critical school and community-based services were instrumental for their children to experience educational preparedness. Recommendations were crafted for schools and school districts, the community, Hispanic parents, and for policy and future research considerations. Representative of a qualitative phenomenology which aims at going deep to the essence and lived experiences of a small number of research participants involving a common phenomenon, recommendations should be considered in light of the reader’s environmental and contextual experiences.

Subject Area

Educational leadership|Educational administration|Hispanic American studies

Recommended Citation

Lee Kirkpatrick, "A qualitative phenomenological study of Hispanic parent perspectives on school readiness" (2016). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI10158710.