Yakhnich, Liat. “Immigrant Parents in the Educational System. The Case of Former Soviet Union Immigrants in Israel.” Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 46.3 (2015): 387-405.
This qualitative study focuses on immigrant parents’ perceptions of their children’s academic adaptation, their attitudes toward the host country’s educational system, and their motivation for school involvement. The participants are parents of adolescent children aged 11 to 17 years, who immigrated to Israel from the former Soviet Union (FSU). Open in-depth interviews were used to obtain data regarding the participants’ views and insights. The interviews showed that the immigrant parents perceive education as an essential factor in their children’s successful adaptation to the host country. They report significant disparities between educational methods in the FSU and in Israel. They perceive Israeli schools and teachers as being more “friendly” and sensitive to children and granting them equal opportunities for success, yet they are highly frustrated by the teaching level and by discipline issues. Concerned about their children’s academic adaptation, parents try to influence their learning process from the home. Yet, they have difficulty becoming involved in the school and communicating with the teachers. The primary factor that promotes their school involvement is the teacher’s personal characteristics, such as availability, patience, and flexibility. The findings have significant implications for educators who wish to advance immigrant students’ adjustment by means of meaningful cooperation with their parents.